La Chole is a small community about 20 miles out of Zihuatanejo where an ongoing archaeological site is still being studied. They have a pyramid, and a ball court and many artifacts from the Aztec era that can be seen in the small museum. As an event was
planned there I decided it would be an excellent location to experience the celebration of the first day of spring with some ancient history.
Six of us set out in the pre-dawn light to catch the bus to LaChole, well as close as the bus goes which is dropping you off in the middle of nowhere just off the highway where we planned to catch the local passajara. But a car stopped and offered us a ride into the pyramid. We cheerfully accepted. Saving us much hot waiting time. As we arrived at the pyramid the ceremonies had already started and they were bringing folks to the top of the pyramid in
groups of 20. Once on top we were told of the significance of the different areas. As my friend Brenda is Mexican she could translate for us. We were about the only gringos there. As we came down the pyramid there wre more ceremonies, with smudging and storytelling done with great pride and emotion.
We then moved on to the town for food drink and to watch traditional dancers. I could have had Iguana stew, but knowing it is illegal to kill Iguanas I opted not to. The dancers performed regional dances from different eras. It was very colorful and beautiful to watch. Brenda opted to be blessed
Brenda being energized and blessed
Brenda her daughter
Erica with her new friend
and energized in a smudging ceremony, and both she and I posed with the authentic headdresses of the Aztec dancers. All in all it was a great day a wonderful way to celebrate spring. Signing off KO
I’ve been wanting to get to the archeological site at La Chile ever since I first heard about it. I had been to the village many years prior, saw the huge, ancient cactus but the site was off-limits and the museum was just being constructed.
We arranged for Scott to be our interpreter and accompany myself and friends Will and Sylvia as the Senor opted not to go. We met at 8:30 am, and headed off to the local bus depot to catch the Petalon bus which leaves every 5 minutes. Our bus was a newer model not one of the “music and curtains” busses and we were dropped off on the highway at an intersection the bus driver said was La Chole. If you are not familiar with the area you would feel like you had been dropped real close to “nowhere”. Now starting right here is where Scott proved himself invaluable as all we saw was a rough bench with an equally rough palapa over it occupied by 8 or so mexican folks. Scott spoke with them and we learned this was the bus stop to go to La Chole and the museum. They are not one in the same as the digs and the museum area bout 5 km down the road and the village of La Chole is further down the road. By the time our transportation arrived Scott was laughing and joking with the m en like they were old buddy, they all helped us board the pickup, and we learned the fee was 10 pesos, we felt very welcome and not like strange people in a strange place.
Once at the museum we were met by another guide who spoke almost no english and wanted to read us every information in Spanish
without giving Scott time to translate. Soon a new guide Estaban or Eddy as he smilingly told us took over . Eddy speaks decent enough english and was happy to answer our questions and explain all about the artifacts we were seeing. He kept apologizing about his english, without need, as when we didn’t understand him Scott would translate. Scott not only is fluent in Spanish but has a broad knowledge of Mexican history and the history of pyramids and the Mexican pyramids all inter-relate how they inter-relate. We learned that many of the artifacts we saw at the museum while found there at La Chole were actually trade items from other village some distance away. After we completely investigated the Museum we walked down the road about 200 Meters to the excavated ball court.
We had already seen the “goal posts” in the museum”, but here in front of us was a perfectly preserved ball court where people played games many years before Christ was born. We next walked a short walk to where the pyramid was. The pyramid is 100 meters square and I don’t remember how high, but it’s high. Absolutely spectacular! There are additional ball courts and pyramids on the site, but due to financial restraints they have not even begun to excavate. I’ve heard that this site is a very important and significant archeological find and they will be working on it for years to come.
We didn’t go to the village, but returned to the museum area to wait for our transportation back to the main road. We tipped Estaban, and thanked him for all his enthusiastically shared knowledge. Across the road from the museum is a small refreshment stand, beer, water soda and a few snacks, where you can sit and wait for the return transportation.
Here again Scott was with his language skills was invaluable as he makes friends where ever he goes and in turn that makes us comfortable as we know exactly what is happening. So when the pick up truck passes us by we don’t have to panic as he explains the transport will drop people off further down and return for us on his return trip.
Once again we board the back of the pick up, which appears to be standard mode of transportation for folks living in the country and are dropped off at the highway where we cross the highway and just miss the bus, but true to what we were told in less than 5 minutes another one is there for the return trip to the bus station in Zihuatanejo.
We were back at our apartment before 2:30, a very interesting day. This trip can be done with adding in the village of La Chole, and Petalan, you could include a meal. Just however you choose to go. But I do highly recommend going if you have any interest in history. I know there are cab drivers and guides that you can book formal trips with, but for a personal, informational and economical adventure Scott would be a great person to contact, he usually is in front of the Barracruda Bar. Stop and visit with him, as he has a wealth of knowledge of this area and all of Mexico. Once at he museum unless you can read and understand Spanish I highly recommend asking for “Eddy”
We finished off the evening at one of our favorite water holes, the Flophouse Bar to listen to Allan and Buddy and joined by Nelson later. One of the many things I love about the Flophouse is the music comes early in the evening, you can enjoy some great music, great drinks, then go for a bite to eat and it doesn’t have to be a late night.
Our time is getting very short, we still have so many things we want to do, places to eat, people to say good-by to. Tuesday will be here all too soon. Signing off KO