Teta Kawi

A mid-trip break from my Mexican business trip was welcome. Horst Engineering’s, Vice President of Operations, Arthur Roti, joined me on the trip. We share a love of the outdoors, so we made sure we brought the necessary gear to spend a little time in the bush.

Teta Kawi viewed from San Carlos Harbor at sunset.

Teta Kawi viewed from San Carlos Harbor at sunset.

San Carlos, Sonora is a coastal community adjacent to Guaymas, a major port and the fourth largest city in Sonora. Guaymas has attracted a lot of industry. San Carlos is the bedroom community (for ex-patriots and snowbirds) to Guaymas, much like Westchester is to New York City. It is a place of stunning beauty, rich success, and serious poverty. The juxtaposition of those factors makes it an interesting place to spend time. The mountain/sea combination is awesome. My recent trip to Mount Desert Island in Maine re-familiarized me with the greatness of that type of topography. It was nice to experience more mountain/sea combinations during last weekend in Mexico. 

Teta Kawi in morning light viewed from San Carlos Harbor.

Teta Kawi in morning light viewed from San Carlos Harbor.

The symbol of San Carlos is Teta Kawi, a beautiful volcanic mountain that juts straight up from the Sea of Cortez. Art and I hiked Teta Kawi on a hot Saturday morning. We walked over from our hotel, which was located at the edge of San Carlos Harbor. Once we found the trailhead, we realized we were in for an adventure. The trail was overgrown from a wetter than usual monsoon season. The vegetation had since dried out, but it was hard to follow the trail where it was covering the path. The trail doesn’t see too  many hikers. We were the only ones out there. 

We had a great hike, though we were disappointed to fall short of the top. Teta Kawi’s uniqueness is the twin summits connected by a deep saddle. We attempted to reach the top of both summits, but didn’t have the necessary gear (e.g. ropes, harnesses, hardware, proper footwear, etc.) required to do it safely. It was still a fun hike, but both of us left with a feeling of emptiness. We vowed to get to the top…some day. It was wise of us to not push our luck. The buzzards were circling and we were still alive! The views clear to Baja were fabulous. Climbing up there really gave us the lay of the land. 

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Another buzz kill is the fact that Teta Kawi has not been protected. The environmental and conservation movements in Mexico lag way behind those in the US and elsewhere. Two developments, one on each side of the mountain, are conspiring to blight the mountain and its beauty. It is shameful that people encroach on sacred land, but San Carlos isn’t the only place where this happens. It happens everywhere, even here in Connecticut. Why do people have to build their huge and ugly houses at the edge of the sea? There is some sick fascination with being on a hill. I think that attitude is one reason why the environmental movement has such a long way to go.

We experienced this in an even worse fashion on Sunday when we hiked in Nacapule Canyon. 

Aside from the development issues, hiking Teta Kawi was fun. The first peak we went for had a small secondary summit with a large white cross. There was a picture of the Virgin Mary at the base of the cross. That seemed normal for Mexico, a staunchly Roman Catholic country. The irony was the Buddha figurine sitting squarely on the top of the cross. That made me smile. 

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