Today I drove to, and up, Cofre de Perote. Near the top I encountered snow and lots of folks who had also made the trip up the narrow, cobble stone roadway to play in the snow.
Cofre de Perote, an extinct “shield” volcano and one of the ten highest mountains in Mexico, lies at the Northeastern end of the “trans Mexico volcanic belt” that terminates to the Southwest at Pico de Orizaba, the highest mountain in Mexico. Both Cofre de Perote and Pico de Orizaba are visible from the Parque Juarez, in downtown Xalapa, and from the roof of my apartment building.
Cofre de Perote lava flows, the youngest being about 900 years old, have reached East beyond Xalapa and is flanked by a number of younger cinder cones.
The prevailing story as to how Cofre de Perote got its name holds that one of Hernan Cortes’ conquistadors spotted the mountains and was struck by its shape which he thought resembled the trunk of one of his fellow conquistadors named Perote.
There is a very rough, cobble stone road, you can see in the picture above, which takes you, very slowly, the approximate 10 km to the very top of the mountain where is located a number of communications towers and buildings housing TV Azteca equipment.
The views from the peak are quite spectacular. Here you can see the Pine forest which mantle the mountain, a cinder cone in the upper left, and a couple of towns that inhabit the mountain plateau below.
Someone had put together this cute little snowman in a small roadside patch of snow.
This beautiful rock wall was constructed from the same type of rock from which was constructed the roadway which it flanks.
On the drive back to the highway to Xalapa I had to stop and wait for this flock of sheep to move aside. The shepherd carried a really long whip which he artfully snapped to direct the flock
Returning to Xalapa I stopped at the Barbacoa restaurant along the highway in La Joya and while enjoying a video of classic rock and roll acts from Sonny and Cher to the Bee Gees, to which a fellow at the next table sang along, I had a tasty lunch of enchiladas, rice and beans, and a couple Indios.
It was indeed another great day in Mexico.