During the Feast of San Javier that occurs between December 1st to the 3rd at San Javier, a small community up in the mountains about 34 kms from Loreto, pilgrims walk from either Loreto or Las Parras about 12 km from San Javier. Since I enjoy long distance hiking, I thought it would be fun to hike from Las Parras to San Javier.
As I parked my car just past Las Parras, I expected to see large groups of pilgrims hiking along the road to San Javier. I was really surprised to see that other than two guys who had come from Loreto and a family of five, I was the only hiker. Lots of drivers stopped and asked me if I wanted a ride to San Javier.
I could hear the music as I approached the village of San Javier and it was totally filled with visitors. This village has just 200 residents, but there were many more than that that filled the Paseo, Plaza, and church.
After walking down the Paseo toward the Mission Church with all of the vendors, I had lunch at the nearby restaurant. Today we even had some table side music.
The church was filled with lots of parishioners standing outside the doors and a vendor selling religious trinkets outside as well.
The horsemen have paid for the music and they are encouraging me to pay up as well.
On my way back, I passed a number of horsemen on their way to San Javier. Some were having problems with the ride.
Just before I got back to Las Parras, I stopped by the meadow where the horsemen had gathered before heading up to San Javier. I was greeted by an enthusiastic brass band and some energetic horsemen.
On my way back, I was repeatedly offered a ride, but I maintained my pilgrim status on my way back to my car. I ended up walking about 24 kms (15 miles) for the day through some interesting land and activities.