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Laguna de Alchichica

Saturday, July 16, 2005 | 0 comments

Yesterday Esme and I talked about going to the state Puebla. I was hoping to find different kinds of scorpions there. Esme had been talking about Laguna de Alchichica often, an old volcano crater turned into a huge lake, so we decided to go there on Saturday. We had been looking at pictures on a website by Alan Formstone so had an idea what to expect.

So, in the morning we went to the main bus station in Xalapa, Caxa, and took a bus to Perote because there was no direct connection to the town of Alchichica. The trip from Xalapa to Perote is wonderful, it goes up and up in the mountains and there are great views, even though there was a slight drizzle. In Perote we took the bus to Alchichica, Puebla. When we got out of the bus and Esme asked directions to the lake, a woman made clear to us that we had arrived at the wrong place. This was Alchichica, not Laguna de Alchichica. We had to take another bus for a short trip to get close to the volcanic lake.

Cactuses on the way down to the lake.
Cactuses on the way down to the lake.

When we finally arrived at Laguna de Alchichica, the lake was very present because it's very close to the main road. I had expected that we had to walk some distance to the lake, but just walking a bit down - avoiding cactuses, goats, and sheep - and we had arrived at the waterside of the crater lake.

The crater lake of Alchichica.
The crater lake of Alchichica.

It was quite a cloudy day, and I was wearing my jacket and Esme a sweater. It was not really cold, but there was quite some wind, and hence the weather was not really suitable for just a shirt.

Picture of the water from a rock in the lake
Picture of the water from a rock in the lake

I remembered that I read on the aforementioned website that the water was not as salty as the sea, so I tested that first. And indeed, it tasted way less salty.

The crater lake, notice the stromatolites in the water.
The crater lake, notice the stromatolites in the water.

Esme and I walked along the lake. We saw more and more cactuses and other plants growing on the slope of the crater wall. I saw that some of the cactuses had flowers and took a picture.

Cactus with yellow flower (Opuntia species).
Cactus with yellow flower (Opuntia species).

We started to walk more and more between the cactuses and other plants adapted to dry terrain. At one moment Esme saw a rabbit running away, but I just missed it.

Esme standing in front of a huge cactus
Esme standing in front of a huge cactus

We saw many small lizards, almost black, running away and hiding underneath the leaves of some of the big plants that looked like agaves to me.

A lizard on a dead leaf.
A lizard on a dead leaf.

We walked more and more up the crater wall and slowly the terrain changed. It became more dry and different kind of cactuses showed up. The climb got more and more steep, and finally we arrived at the rim of the crater.

Read the rest of this blog entry in The walk on the crater rim.

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