Today I took a 6 hour journey to see the Monarchs again. This time to the other side of the mountain where I was on Friday. This is a newer sanctuary entrance to the Monarch Preserve at Senguio. Where we were last week was Sierra Chincua, which is more well known and very crowded with tourists, bus tours, school groups and horses to take you up the mountain part way. It is also almost an hour and a half away from the Hacidenda, versus where I went today which was only 40 minutes. I arrived at 10 am and I must have been the first person there for the day. Since this was my choice to go again, I had to pay for my own taxi driver to take me, and once there he ended up waiting 4 hours for me while I took an hour long bone crushing, stomach churning, urine inducing and neck whiplashing drive up the mountain in a 4-wheel drive SUV, and then walk another hour to the final viewing point where I ended up higher than where I was on Friday, and all by myself, except for my 2 lovely guides, Veronica and Carmen. They said there were less butterflies due to them starting to make their migration north, so I did not quite see the same orange cloud as I did on Friday, but here I was much closer and more fully within the swoops and dives of the butterflies. While walking a couple would drop to the ground right on the path in the middle of copulation. Super sexy. The trees, milkweed and other bushes were just teeming with the butterflies. In full color in the sun. I did see a few in the shade that were still on the grayer side, but all in all, it was just what I came here for, and the best was having the place practically to myself. My guides respected my desire for silence while I filmed, so no screaming babies and people chatting in the background. But alas there came some new people to see the site, so I had to step away and head back. While driving back, just as I was thinking to ask what happens if we meet up with another car coming the opposite way on the one lane road, we turned a bend and there they were, 3 other trucks needing to get past us. Full of policemen in protective gear carrying rifles. They bullied us to pull over into the tall grasses, which was rather tight, but they managed to squeeze by.
Once I got back to the entrance, my driver was glad to finally see me after waiting the four hours, but he asked if I was content and I said, yes I was. I was so sorry for making him wait so long that I paid him extra and we quietly made our way back to the Hacienda. Well not so quiet. He and my guides all had to play their music while driving. Kumbia, Kumbia Kumbia.
You can also see a video I posted on Instagram from this day at: https://www.instagram.com/