other areas of the park. There are trails on both sides of the river, as well as a dirt road that parallels it a short distance away. While there is very little elevation gain, the trails are quite rocky and require you to cross and re-cross the river several times. Good footgear, preferably with lug soles and ankle support, is essential.
Nopal, also called the Prickly Pear cactus, grows in many areas of Mexico and has been a staple of the Mexican diet for thousands of years. It is highly nutritious and contains anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Ripe tunas are sweetly delicious. However--as with the paddles--care must be taken to shave off the tiny spines on the cactus' skin. The flat nopal paddles can be roasted, boiled, sauteed, or--my preference--sliced in thin strips and eaten raw. They are tart, crunchy, and quite tasty when served this way in a salad or as an hors d'oeuvre.
Bromeliads (Bromeliacea) are common in this part of Mexico. The species shown above are epiphytes, which are non-parasitic organisms that grow on other organisms but draw their nourishment from the air, rainwater, or from debris that collects around them. Bromeliads are able to thrive in amazingly diverse environments. These range from sea level to 4200 meters (13,780 ft) and from cloud forests to deserts.
The Return Hike
This completes my posting on the hot waterfall of Rio Negro. I hope you have enjoyed coming along on the trek. If so, please leave any thoughts or questions in the Comments section below or reply directly by email. If you leave a question, PLEASE leave your email address so that I can respond.
Hasta luego, Jim