Thursday, 23 July 2009

Our first day trip: Tepoztlán

Two days ago we went on our first day trip out of Mexico City.

Our destination: Tepoztlán, a little town about an hour South of the city by bus.

The adventure began at the Taxqueña station, which is the Southern-most station on our local metro line, only one stop South of our station, General Anaya. Taxqueña is incredibly busy and chaotic; it is a place where the metro connects with a light-rail, local city busses and the main bus terminal for the Southern part of the City. And of course there are hundreds of vendors hawking everything from freshly squeezed juices, to crazy Mexican food to pirated DVDs to batteries and backpacks.

However, as Taxqueña was also the beginning of our trip to Xochimilco and the end-point of our day at the Six Flags amusement park, by now we kind of know our way around. We found the bus terminal with no difficulty at all, and after some over-the-phone encouragement and explanations from Unnur we found a bus operator who would sell us tickets and tell us which of the 4 exits to take to find our bus. And soon enough, we were on our way.

The ride was very pleasant, Mexican long-haul busses are very comfy. When we weren't admiring the view of the mountains South of the city, we could enjoy a Disney flick about indians and bears, in Spanish of course. Great practice?

The bus dropped us off, apparently at a gas-station in the middle of nowhere. But signs and my phone's GPS all assured us that we were very near Tepoztlán, so we picked a direction almost at random and started walking. After about 10 minutes we found ourselves on the town's main street and after another 10 we were ordering quesadillas for lunch in the market in the town center.

We took a look at the local Unesco World Heritage cathedral (pretty) and then set off to find the mountain path to the Aztec temple that was supposed to be nearby. According to pages torn from our guidebook, all we had to do was keep walking down the main street until we found ourselves climbing a mountain. And so that's what we did.

The climb was very, very pretty. And a lot of work; Ewelina loves to walk, and she loves to walk as fast as possible. Slowing down just because we were walking uphill a little bit wasn't an option, even if she started to feel a bit tired, and then a lot tired. So we practically jogged up the top of the mountain, climbing in 45 minutes what our guidebook said should take 1-2 hours.

At the top we sweatily admired the amazing view of the town, valley and surrounding mountains, catching our breath before climbing up on top of the little pyramid we had come to see. It was really quite amazing.

All over the area there were small mammals which didn't seem afraid of people at all; quite the opposite, if they got the impression you had something edible, then they would surround you and eventually try to climb you. I know, I got climbed as punishment for waving granola bars at them. After some googling I'm pretty sure these were white-nosed coatis, apparently relatives of the raccoon.

After we had had our fill of the view and the coatis and the temple, we made our way back down the mountain, again going as fast as could be considered safe.

At the bottom we stopped at a cute little restaurant for food, and then went looking for our bus home. All that running up and down mountains had made us too tired to consider finding a place to stay overnight and exploring more the next day...

We were home by nine and spent most of the evening laying on the floor and laughing helplessly at a quite amazing reality-TV show called 'I survived a Japanese Gameshow!' Not Mexican at all, but great stuff all the same.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not surprised you guys liked Tepotzlán, it is truly magical. I took the full package though, a three day stay that apart from the climb to the pyramid included a food poisoning, a carnival, a mexican grandmother, taking part in a 2000 person conga on the town square, tequila, horses, an old man remembering the days when they would catch wild bulls in the mountains (baiting them with raw horsemeat), delicius homecooking in three different homes and then more tequila. Tepotzlán is awesome! :)


The past!