Pico de Orizaba

Pico de Orizaba Trip Report (#1052)

Had a great time. We stayed with the Reyes family and felt very at home. Their compound is totally enclosed so that no outsider can wander in and take your stuff. When I was up on the mountain people were having trouble with equipment walking off. Stuff was dissapearing from the hut, and from high camp. I don't like to point fingers, but there was a group of locals who were working on restoring the aqueduct. They would sleep in the hut during the night. A few of them were asking how much certain pieces of equipment cost. Another climber had his stove taken from his backpack at the airport. For security reasons I would carry my backpack in a duffel bag and use a good quality, hard to pick lock. Unfortunately crime is a problem in Mexico. When I came back from Mexico my bag carrying my climbing equipment didn't make it back with me. I had to ponder the possibility that several hundreds of dollars of equipment may be lost. My bag did show up two days later, but this taught me an important lesson. Take direct flights even though they cost a bit more. Insure your bag if you are carrying a lot of expensive equipment. Get to know the liability for the airline if they lose your bag without you declaring a higher value. They have to give you $10 a pound. It says this on your ticket.

I travel quite a bit in Mexico and have never felt in danger. I love traveling there but you do need to be a bit streetwise. When driving your own car get used to the idea that you will get stopped by the police and have to pay a mordida. Usually 150 pesos is enough. In Mexico City the fines are 1/2 for tourist and they will not impound your car if you are caught driving on the day you shouldn't. Good info to know if you start getting the shakedown from on of the local police. I learned this from a friend in Puebla after I paid a $150, not pesos, for driving on the wrong day in Mexico City. Mexico can get your ire up so just go with the flow and enjoy it for what it is. This was not what I intended to write about. I wanted to write about the mountain, but half the adventure is just getting there. Have fun.

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