El Puente de Dios, or God’s Bridge, is located 133 kilometers straight south of the town of Chapala. “It’s a big, beautiful cave with two arched entrances, through which a river flows for something like 200 meters,” I was told, with the assurance that, “there’s nothing else like it anywhere in western Mexico.”
So, 12 years ago I mentioned this to my friend Chale – who was well over 70 at the time – and his eyes sparkled. Chale had seen just about everything The Magic Circle had to offer ... but not this. I wanted to be honest, however, so I added: “Chale, they say getting to this place is one big chinga.”
One week later Chale gave me a call.
“I decided to do a little recce to find out about your Puente de Dios,” he told me. “So I drove down to Tepalcátepec in Michoacán, where they told me there’s now a big wide road leading from there to the town of Ahuijullo (in Jalisco) and from there to a recently opened iron mine. A rancho just beyond the iron mine is the spot where we can leave our car and start our hike to the cave ... and by the way, we’d better bring along enough food to last us five days.”
Chale’s “little recce” had involved driving 606 kilometers (round trip), so I knew we were going to God’s Bridge or we’d die trying. All I had to do was learn how to say the unpronounceable name of that town: Ah-wee-HOO-yo.