“My niece and her girlfriend plan to do the Camino a Santiago Compostela (800 kilometers) next month,” my neighbor Miguel Mayorga told me. “So my wife and I plan to take them up to La Chupinaya this Sunday to warm them up … do you want to come along?”
Well, thanks to people like Gerry Green and Jim Boles, I’ve been hearing (and reading in the Reporter!) about La Chupinaya mountain for years and two basic ideas had stuck in my mind. The first was “one kilometer straight up” and the second was “hard, hard hard.” But, I thought, if the Mayorga family can do it, maybe I can, too.
To our surprise upon arriving in Ajijic, we discovered that 800 other people also figured they could do it. Yes, we had chosen the very day of the annual Chupinaya footrace and athletes had come from all over Mexico to compete. Upon our arrival at Donas Donuts we bumped into Efren Navarro, an old friend of Miguel’s, who had placed third in this very race two years ago.
“Will they allow us on the trail with all these runners?” we asked Navarro.
“Don’t worry,” he replied, “while you are eating breakfast, all 800 will whiz past here and you won’t see them again, because they’ll come down by a different route.”