Woke up to a beautiful, sunny day and decided to get an early start on exploring Teotihuacan. When the sun reveals her true strength, I want to be moving fast, on a bike, carving some twisties, not wandering around solid stone, baking ruins tempting heat stroke. I packed up and we rode the 2Km or so to the entrance. The cost to get in was reasonable and the cost to park was about as much. No discount for motorcycles, but this is a pretty touristy area so, se la vie.
The pyramid of the moon.
The pyramid of the sun (or perhaps water).
Looking down the Avenue of the Dead.
Teotihuacan is one of the largest temple complexes in Mexico. It's OLD with several (I think they discovered eight) layers of buildings stacked one on top of the other. There was a sign that said something in Spanish and then showed Russian nested dolls (Matroyshkas) and an onion. The illustration spoke for itself.
It actually stretches quite a ways past the Sun pyramid.
Jaguar-Bird-Lizard (or something... [Damn you South Park! You ruin everything!])
Well preserved carvings.
Layer upon layer...
For the first time in over two weeks there were plenty of gringo tourists to be seen. It was strange really, not being the only gringos around. I like to play a game where I try to guess where the other tourists are from by their appearance and whatever I can catch them saying (without being too intrusive). As I explored the complex I met several people, including a small group of students from Yale (except for Mike, I thought they were from Korea or China, but their English was excellent which confused me), on their last stop in Mexico before heading home to start a new semester of classes. It was actually kind of nice to speak English with someone other than Randy for a change.
Sun (or water) pyramid.
You can see some people at the top. It's big.
Temple of Quetzalcoatl.
Done. Lunch in San Martin de las Perámides.
Once we thoroughly explored the ruins, it was time to ride to Zacatlan, a “Pueblo Mágico” in the mountains to the east (and slightly north). There is a series of towns around Mexico designated Pueblo Mágico(s) to promote their beauty, culture and history. I was going there primarily for the waterfalls, but what I discovered was so much more.
Coffee break with some caballeros.
The road there was mostly straight forward two-lane highway (Mex 132) with sections of sharp curves thrown in to break up the monotony. The ruins took longer to explore then I originally anticipated and since we managed to avoid all the tolls (and thereby went slower than we could have), we arrived at Zacatlan just as the sun was beginning to set. As I pulled up over the last hill towards Zacatlan, my breath caught in my throat from the beauty I witnessed. I could barely breathe, and if it was the last site I ever saw, I would not regret it! Zacatlan sits on the edge of a huge cliff dropping off into a gorge. That late in the evening the gorge was full of clouds (below us) with the peaks of mountains projecting like islands in a sea. No pictures could do that view justice, and especially none taken by me with my camera.
Use your imagination...
Riding into the clouds.
In the town zócalo (central square) we stopped by a tourist info office to ask for directions to some hotels/hostels. There was one young woman there that spoke some English and she tried to help us. Alas, as everywhere else we tried in Mexico, the directions were worse than no help at all and after riding around town until well after dark, we finally found a hotel (Hotel San Pedro) with reasonable rates, if higher still than we would have liked to pay. It was a long day with lots of sun, so after wandering about town for a bit I crashed out for the night.