So this is Las Pozas de James, just outside of Xilitla, in Mexico. It’s a crazy jungle world of concrete structures covered in creeping vines, waterfalls, and faded paint in vibrant colours, half-finished projects that spiral up into nothing.
Edward James, builder of the masterpiece, was a British millionare. He mixed with artists, and writers, and smoked lots of drugs, and was growing orchids in Mexico, when his entire collection was wiped out in a cold snap. Naturally, he decided to start building enormous (long-lasting) concrete orchids. And then lots of other things too.
We were there on a Sunday, so the place was thronged with Mexican tourists, all with camcorder in hand. A lot of them, however, weren’t to keen on going on this thing – no safety railings, and a considerable dropoff. Apparently at least one person has died after falling off (but he was a gringo).
On the back of a turtle.
Staircases like this led everywhere, disappearing to who knows where – it was easy to get lost wandering around.
Finding random drawings etched in the concrete
A series of sculpted waterfalls fall