“Its closed, cerrado” I was told about a half dozen times in several languages often followed by laughs. One gentleman went so far as to get me to look at my watch, “cinco treinta”. I was hiking several hundred meters up a mountain that surrounds Tepoztlan, a bit of a hippie town that’s a weekend destination for Mexico City. The temple closed at 5:30, it was 5:35 and I was well aware of that. I wasn’t expecting to get in at best I thought I might be able to get around it, given the gate, cliff and stairs I encountered when I got to it I’d have to wait till the next day.
The temple wasn’t the only reason I headed up though, actually it was more by accident, the road I was exploring in town just started leading up there and I followed. Moreover however, I noticed smaller paths darting off the main trail and had followed one near the bottom. It was clear these lesser paths were more used by youths looking for a place to hang out and get away, or for a quick tryst which I may have interrupted. These paths however also lead to areas with nice views of the surrounding mountain and town.
Despite the closed gate at the top I was rewarded with another path that lead off the main trail. It was as I had hoped, a way to get further up the mountain than the location of the temple. I was rewarded with a beautiful view of the surrounding valley, all the way to what I think was Cuernavaca. I was also presented with a beautiful sunset, which quickly made me realize I had neglected to bring a light and still had at least a 30 minute decent ahead of me, if not longer. I managed to make it down just as it was getting too dark to see my footing, I sometimes forget how dark it can get in the maintains and forest, and how much worse it is when they are combined.