Saturday, November 03, 2012

Aconchi, Sonora

We had been waiting until it cooled off before we headed to Aconchi, Sonora to visit the Aguas Calientes/Aguas Termales or in other words hot water pools from a hot water source coming out of a hill in the middle of no where.

After leaving Ures we travelled through some smaller towns, stopping to take a few pictures along the way.  The roads were good; although twisty and curvy as you begin climbing through the mountains.  Very pretty scenery with more varied species of trees than we see here, lots of deciduous trees; especially poplar.  The leaves were just beginning to turn so it would be even prettier in a few weeks.
Still in ranching country so lots of cattle and feed.  The crop in the fields seemed to be Milpa, which is Maize which as far as I could figure out they were using for cattle feed; but I am not positive about that.
It also seems to be a big area for hunting and that seems to be the major tourist draw here that they are trying to expand upon.

Arriving at Aconchi, we found the gravel road to the hot springs and followed it.  What a lovely drive; although the road was gravel it was quite smooth; but dusty.  It was not busy anyway and I was in total awe of the fantastic huge, old growth, Black Poplar trees.  Twisting and turning their trunks and limbs they make an awesome sight.  I happened to spot a dead one with a Nopal cactus growing right out of the center of it.  I guess there is lots of nutrition for it on the rotting tree trunk.

We arrived at the hot springs and it was so quiet, not a soul around.  I finally spotted an older man doing some work down at the other end of the park and so we went to chat with him.  He had a zippered pouch with him to put the money in that he collects from people and also a receipt book.  The entrance fee is 20 pesos a day per adult and for this he said we could camp there overnight if we wished.  We hadn't brought our camping stuff as we weren't sure if we could find a place to camp or not, so that wasn't an option this time.  He gave us our receipt and we continued on up the road for a bit to another set of pools.  We decided that we preferred the first area and turned around.  I was looking at the receipt and noticed that he had by accident given us the next one under ours when he tore it out of the book.  I told Roy we had better stop and return the empty one to him as I didn't want him to get into trouble for a missing receipt as the money goes to the Ejido San Pedro and they might think he was trying to pull a fast one.  We stopped by him and returned it and when he saw what he had done he gave me a huge smile and thanked me for returning to him.

The park area has lots of stone and concrete picnic tables and benches and grills, a change room/bathroom, etc.,  a very pretty place with huge trees all around so there is lots of shade.  These are not the smelly sulphur hot springs, there is no smell at all from the water, that made it even more enjoyable.

We spent a couple of hours there relaxing in the water and just sitting and soaking in the tranquility until our stomachs began to let us know that it was lunch time.

We headed back into Aconchi to check out the town and find some food and fill up with gas.  We ended up eating at a hotel restaurant and had one of the regional specialties, "carne con chili", which surprisingly was not spicy hot; but was very tender and tasty.

We then debated going further on to see some of the towns on the way to Cananea or heading back the way we had come.  We had both really enjoyed Ures and so decided to head back there and stop at some of the smaller places that we had missed on the way.

After several stops we ended up back in Ures and decided to return to the hotel that we stayed in the first night.  They were almost booked up as a mining exploration company had come in that morning from Hermosillo; but we managed to get her last room.  We again visited with the amiable receptionist lady and headed to the Plaza.  The young people had finished putting up their altars for the day of the dead so we looked at those and just sat and relaxed on the benches in the park.
We wandered around some of the side streets just looking and snapping photos of some of the buildings and then headed back to the hotel with an ice cream in hand.  The hotel cats fell in love with Roy when he shared bits of his cone with them, so he made some new friends.

The next morning we again had breakfast across the street at the bus station, why mess with a good thing?  When we returned to check out of the hotel the reception lady handed me a bag of their regional sweets that they are famous for, Jamoncillo or dulce de leche and told us that it was a gift for us from her.  What a nice gesture!

The landlady had asked me to look around for some nuts for her called Bellotas which are a small acorn.  When looking them up on the internet so I would know what I was looking for I found out that there is a very expensive ham which comes from Spain called Bellota Ham.  The pigs wander through the forests foraging and eat a lot of the Bellota nuts/acorns and the resulting ham is very flavourful and sells for around $160.00 dollars a pound.
Anyway I didn't find any of the Bellota nuts; but did buy some peanuts which are grown also at Aconchi.  Yummy and as usual for me with peanuts I did not buy enough of them.  Oh well, a good excuse for another trip up there.


Linda Lou and Senor, Too said...

Brenda, I was glad to read your post as we have been thinking about doing that route and a trip to Ures for some time now. Thanks for all the great information! LL

Brenda Maas said...

Your welcome Linda. We really enjoyed Ures.
Did you see the post below of the photos I took in Ures?
It was a good trip; although short lol.

Shannon said...

Brenda, I'm really enjoying your little travelogue. The pictures are wonderful. I almost feel like I've been there. I was particularly enchanted by the black poplars, a real natural work of art!

We have several hot springs here in San Miguel as well, and they don't smell sulfurous either. I wonder if they are all like that in Mexico?

Brenda Maas said...

Thanks Shannon. I absolutely loved those black Poplar trees. I am thinking of doing a pastel painting of one of them. I think it would be very challenging to get the bark right.

I loved the fact that the pools don't have that sulfur smell, sure made it nice to be around. I guess it is because it is just a thermal hot spring and not a mineral one. Lovely anyway, much more enjoyable.

diverdoug said...

Hi Brenda, I'm glad you've made it to Aconchi. Have you thought about camping at the hot springs? I've read that it's a nice place to hang for a few days if it's not crowded. But most importantly, were the peanuts great? --- Doug & Edna

Brenda Maas said...

Hi Doug. Yes, we made it there and really enjoyed it a lot.
Yes, we asked about camping there and the caretaker/worker said we could,for just the admission cost.
So now we know for another time.
We didn't take our camping gear this trip as we were told there wasn't anyplace to really camp.
About the peanuts; the only drawback to them was that I didn't buy enough lol. They were very good!!!