the first 15km of the road is paved--and then it's not...
Even today it is hard to reach. With Meri and Caroline from Hotspur along for the trip, we followed what seemed to be a modified goat trail up an arroyo into the mountains. Along the way, almost fittingly, we passed the site of ancient cave paintings, which were left by the very people the mission eventually wiped out.
We were pleased with these cave paintings--simply because they weren't hand prints
The road to San Javier is under a constant state of construction. Maybe Tourism
Our rental car made it up okay but it started to die on the way down. We barely got it back to the rental agency. Of course we never mentioned where we took it.
In San Javier we weren’t disappointed—the mission had a serene weightiness to it. A constant and permanent atmosphere that made it feel as old as the mountains around it. There was an old man inside when we went in. He sat silently in a pew and we moved around him quietly—respectful of his deep devotion. After the girls lit candles and we got our fill of the flamboyant art, he began speaking to us—giving us the history of the place and answering our many questions.
Every December 2, pilgrims make the trek to San Javier to pray for miracles. We hoped for one of our own as Maia lit a candle for her Grandma Ann.
He was still there after we went for lunch, still sitting in the same pew. And we guessed then that he works there.