Way Off the Beaten Path Near Guadalajara

Quick post about our experience in Guadalajara, which was itself pretty quick!

Because Laurie brought us our camping gear (in anticipation of our European bike tour), we decided to camp for a couple nights in the Bosque La Primavera, a big, wild forest just west of Guadalajara. Not only would this be a delightfully cheap form of accommodation, it would also be a nice change of pace from the monotonously indoors places we’d been staying for quite some time.

On the way from Guanajuato to Guadalajara, we stopped in the neighborhood of Tlaquepaque, on the south side of town, for a quick walk around. The neighborhood was very charming but we were both surprised to discover that we were kind of burned out on cities at the moment! Guadalajara is Mexico’s second-largest city, and while it seems like a lovely place, it felt somewhat undifferentiated, and so we were glad to head off to our rural campsite.

On the first night, we stayed at a formal campground just inside the main entrance to the Bosque. This was a really fun scene with a bunch of day-trippers and a few groups staying overnight. There were people on horses, people on bikes, a zip line that I’m sad to say we didn’t find time to ride, all in a lovely pine forest that was very different from many of the forested areas we’d seen thus far.

The following day we decided to camp in a different part of the park, a bumpy few miles into the unpaved interior, along a thermal river. When we arrived, it was a blazing hot Sunday afternoon and the river was dotted with families and groups of friends who had brought coolers, speakers, grills and floaties for a fun afternoon in the water. We pulled out our own makeshift cooler and jumped in, whiling away the afternoon under the forgiving shade of a tree overhanging the river.

Our cooler, which we fashioned by cutting off the top of this 6L water bottle, filling it with ice and cold water that we procured from a family who also sold us some chicken taquitos. Very effective!

As the day moved towards dusk, day-users packed their gear and headed home for the work/school week. We remained, watching the park empty out completely and surveying the now-empty river bank for the best overnight camping spot.

The one we selected was on a flat spot under the shade of a jacaranda tree. We slept without our rainfly – a luxury of desert camping – and awoke a few times throughout the night to a cloudless sky, lit by a bright moon. As far as we could tell, we were the only souls who had stayed overnight, the only sounds we heard were from the river, and some cows mooing on nearby fields in the morning.

After another morning swim, we packed up the Prizefighter and pushed onwards, west into agave country!

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