My friend Josh Wolf finally got himself a vehicle designed for exploring the byways of Jalisco, many of which cannot be reached by ordinary cars. He may have overdone it a bit, as his new Nissan Pathfinder comes with so many bells, whistles and built-in entertainment attractions that kids might never be tempted to peek out the window at the natural marvels around them.
“Let’s give your new 4x4 a real test,” I suggested to Josh. “Let’s go to Agua Blanca and the Saucillo Pyramid.”
Agua Blanca is an UMA, an officially recognized animal sanctuary started by members of the local ejido (farm co-operative) on 433 acres of their land that are “too rocky for farming but unusually beautiful and home to all kinds of animals, including an extraordinary variety of birds.”
The enthusiastic founders of Agua Blanca managed to get support and grants to create a 350-meter-long nature trail overlooking a steep canyon and leading to a combination bird-watching platform and lookout point with a magnificent view. They even built a dramatic hanging bridge across the arroyo and managed to print up a very useful, professional-looking guide to the local birds.
On top of that, only 500 meters away lie the ruins of El Saucillo, a well-preserved circular pyramid and ball court over 1,000 years old, conveniently located a two-minute walk from where you park your car.
Because of all this, I included the Agua Blanca Sanctuary in volume two of “Outdoors in Western Mexico” (Chapter 24), but ever since I’ve had the nagging fear that the bad road leading to the place might ruin what had seemed like a wonderful project.