Last updateTue, 15 Apr 2014 5pm

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How to stay hale & healthy no matter your age

It seems regrettable that so many of the world’s medical doctors spend most of their time dealing with sickness and disease and not a whole lot contemplating the benefits of the celebrated “apple a day.”

Tapalpa’s Pueblo Viejo ruins: A major archaeological discovery

Steve Stanton was born in Mexico, studied in the US and is perfectly bilingual. He has lived in Tapalpa for some 20 years and because he was actively involved in tourism for many of them, I felt he was the perfect person to ask about interesting sites in the area, off the beaten track.

Pine-needle creativity

A scream of terror rings out in the deep woods. A hiker races about in circles, leaping into the air and shaking her limbs wildly. “Something’s crawling up my pant leg!” she shrieks to her companions. Modesty cast aside, she rips off her pants to discover inside, not the scorpion, centipede or spider she expected, but a humble, utterly harmless, pine needle.

Where to turn when there’s no place to go

The first town you drive through heading west from Guadalajara on Highway 15 is La Venta del Astillero, centuries ago a major source of lumber for construction projects in the City of Roses and today apparently no more than a set of speed bumps along the road to Nogales … apparently.

Prolific painters enchanted by Austrian landscapes

The Guadalajara Chamber of Commerce is exhibiting the results of a two-week “plein-air” painting trip to Austria taken recently by two of Guadalajara’s best-known artists: Jorge Monroy and Ilse Taylor Hable.

Schoolchildren discover Guachimontones; How to get the most out of a visit to Teuchitlan

A few days ago I had the pleasure of accompanying students and teachers of the Waldorf-de-Guadalajara school on a visit to the archaeological site of Teuchitlán. By the end of the day, all of us felt that the experience had been both educational and enjoyable, so I will outline our program for readers who have never seen the ruins or who aren’t aware of the latest developments at the site.

The Rocks of Quila El Grande: Searching for monoliths, landing in wildflower heaven

Thanks to a turtle, I stumbled upon yet another part of Jalisco which can only be described as “stunning” for its natural beauty.

Return to the Blue Falls: Climbing Tequila’s ‘Machu Picchu’ is worth the torture, say ecstatic painters

After publishing several articles on Tequila’s extraordinary 170-meter-high Los Azules Waterfalls, I was soon receiving requests from people interested in seeing this wonder for themselves. The only problem was, I had less than perfect information on how to get there, so I decided it was time to revisit the falls with a few hardy friends in order to familiarize myself with the access trail.

Exploring the Sierra de Tapalpa: Enjoy the view, food & fly if you dare

Fifteen years ago I camped in the gorgeous Sierra de Tapalpa at a place overlooking the big salt flats of Sayula, located about 20 kilometers west of Lake Chapala. In those remote woods up above, we discovered Alfredo, a man of letters living alone in a cabin, who seemed to have taken seriously the ancient admonition, “Know thyself.” I wrote an article about this “sagacious hermit-philosopher of the tall pines” in the May 24, 1997 edition of this newspaper.

A brief guide to the Primavera Forest

Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-largest city, happens to be situated right next to a beautiful pine and oak forest covering more than 36,000 hectares. For as long as anyone can remember, el Bosque de la Primavera has been referred to as “Guadalajara’s lung” and in 1980, when big-time development plans threatened the woods, the entire forest, whether publicly or privately owned, was declared a Protected Area and Wildlife Refuge.

Ancient mud sculptures of human figures discovered in Oaxaca cave

The September 2012 issue of the National Speleological Society News (United States) reports a unique archaeological find near a small town in the eastern highlands of Oaxaca. More than 40 figures sculpted from mud were found inside “a river-filled cave with over one kilometer of passages,” writes explorer Tamara Ballensky. “They varied in size from about two to eight feet in length. The majority of the figures resembled humans … One of the most detailed female figures appeared to wear a beaded necklace and had tattoo-like designs on her shoulders.”

The long hard trail to Jalisco’s most beautiful cave

It’s 7 a.m. at Rancho El Zapote. The air is full of early morning sounds. Loudest of all are the roosters who live only meters from my tent and have been trying to wake me up since 4 a.m. Then come the chickens, a very large pig and dozens of loudly mooing cows, one of which wears a clanking bell, indicating that she is the leader of the herd. Suddenly I hear the distant and repeated gurgle of a car engine which doesn’t want to start, accompanied by incomprehensible shouts of men who, I’m sure, are crowded around an uncooperative truck. Finally, varoom, varoom, va-ROOOOOM! The deafening attempts to start the car go on forever and I decide it’s time to get out of my sleeping bag and into my caving pants. Today we are going to visit La Cueva de los Monos (Cave of the Figurines), which can only be reached after a long, hard climb up a steep mountainside above the little town of Toxin, which is located 37 kilometers northwest of Colima City. The cave is so named, I understand, because local people claim they found artifacts inside.

El Diente festival draws 1,000+ rock climbers & friends

El Diente is a huge, tooth-shaped monolith which—for as long as anyone can remember—has been the favorite hangout (literally) for Guadalajara’s rock climbers to gather and practice their skills. The Tooth is located only five kilometers north of the city’s Periférico or Ring Road and is just one rock among a veritable forest of monoliths nestled between the rustic villages of Río Blanco and San Estéban.

A crackling fireplace, mystic art & gourmet food in Sierra Tecuane

A month ago we briefly stopped to peek at Amor Corazón, a most unusual Restaurant not far from Tapalpa. Inside we found decorative two-headed snakes wound around columns, “thrones” straight out of Lord of the Rings and a fascinating mural with figures made of wine bottles and shiny glass balls. “Shades of Gaudí,” we said; “Who created all this?”

The NOkidd’n NOphone: Recalling Mexico when Telmex was all we had

CNN tells me the whole world is abuzz over the imminent release of the Snapple Phone 5… or was it the Gooseberry Smellphone 9981… or maybe the Androgynous Flan 4.2? Somehow the exact name escapes me – tasty as they all sound – probably because I’m completely sold on my own, personal mobile device: the truly versatile NOkidd’n NOphone. Believe it or not, my NOphone has been serving me faithfully for 71 years, nonstop and has never gone out of range and never let me down, even in the remote and barren wastes of the Saudi desert where I once spent some time.

US Peace Corps Volunteers reflect on Guadalajara tour: ‘We don’t want to leave Mexico’

Californians Barbara and John Dye have spent the last two years working in Guadalajara as members of the U.S. Peace Corps. Barbara, who holds a degree in geology, assisted the team which cares for the Bosque de la Primavera, while John, a graduate in mechanical engineering, carried out special projects for CIATEJ (Jalisco Research Center for Technology and Design).

Unity in diversity: hundreds gather for multicultural peace confab

Representatives of many major religions joined hands in Guadalajara last week in an event that allowed them to learn about one another and even participate in the rites and rituals of different faiths.

Hissing, sputtering & fuming: the source of city’s ‘hot river’

Without a doubt, the best-known feature of the Primavera Forest, situated on the fringes of Guadalajara, is its celebrated hot river.  In fact, Río Caliente has become the symbol of the entire Bosque, even though the caldera in which it lies has plenty of other geologically interesting phenomena.

A one-man revolution in Barranca de Otates

“A funny thing happened to us on our way to the cave.”

This is one of my favorite expressions, as not only funny things have happened, but also beautiful and inspiring things, mainly because of the extraordinary people we inevitably come upon in those lonely, out-of-the-way places where a cave may or may not exist, but where we often find adventure and friendship … and in the case of Barranca de Otates, signs of a most interesting “idea revolution” operating in rural Mexico.

Apologizes due for wrong date

We would like to extend a sincere apology to those residents of Lakeside who last weekend turned up to participate in a hike through the Primavera Forest to be led by the Reporter’s John Pint.

Electronic books keep expats in far flung spots reading

I must confess that only a year ago, the very thought of reading a book on a computer screen turned my stomach. If you feel the same way, read on, because I eventually made some discoveries you might like.

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