Among waterfalls and pools, James created thirty-six structures on eighty acres in his
private jungle garden. They appear animated by Gaudí's architectural vision and Dalí's
dreams. There are Gothic arches, parabolic entryways, and columns erupting into blos-
soms. James added stairways and bridges that M.C. Escher might have envisioned.
Only in Mexico can one walk through such a fantasy garden within nature's garden. Hand-
rails were nonexistent. Like the Winchester House in San Jose, California, there were stair-
ways to nowhere except the imagination. A spiral staircase led up to an overlook, a plat-
form above an arch six stories high. I crept up, hugging the support column, but vertigo
I returned to earth safely. I took photos realizing the truth that, “One picture is worth a
1000 words.” I walked through Las Pozas, quietly savoring the aesthetic flow like a prac-
titioner of feng shui in harmony with chi .
At noon I looked at my map for the Corredor de Minas (Corridor of Mines), which, like
the corridor of missions, would take me through another remote, steep-valley sierra. Four
mining towns were possibly on the agenda, but for most of the day I'd be catching buses
and making multiple transfers.
At 12:30 p.m., hot and sweating, I caught an air-conditioned bus for La Y Griega. Step-by-
step, bus-by-bus, I connected the dots from town to town in the Sierras. The towns were
generally small, roadside commercial centers for farmers and ranchers. At no time did I
wait longer than fifteen minutes for a connection. On most routes, Mexico's bus system is
efficient and economical. I trusted in luck and had not been disrupted in my travels.
From La Y Griega to Tomechtla to Huejutla to Zacualtipan, I rode in comfort. A young
man with a guitar boarded the bus at La Y Griega and played huapangos en route to the
The bus gave me a picture-window view of the Sierra, its jungle, prehistoric flora, ferns,
vines, brush and bush, trees, both deciduous and pine, but only a few flowers, maybe
due to a predominance of shade. Our route, a narrow road, was cut into steep cliffs. Yet,
among this natural beauty, there was subsistence farming and cornfields. Tall green stalks
were growing, generally not terraced, on sixty-degree inclines.