As we've ridden, the list of cities we've passed through is getting longer and longer...everything from Allende to Zacatecas, it gets hard to keep them straight....
AdventurePoser has seen amazing sights, eaten incredible foods and gotten sick in some of the most memorable places he will ever see!
The trick in Mexico is to slow down, relax, talk to the people, even if your Espanol is muy malo, and occasionally turn around and look at what you've already passed. It is amazing how your viewpoints about things change when you take the time to do what you do at train intersections...you know, "stop, look, and listen."
When you do so, the treasures of Mexico unfold in front of your eyes!
Enough of wordsmithing...here are a few pix you may enjoy. Of course Jackie and Valentino are also posting images, and in some cases may be nearly identical. We ARE traveling together, but AdventurePoser regrets any duplicates.
The aquaduct in Morelia is fabulous-especially so at night. Of course getting the shot meant nearly taking AdventurePoser's life in his own hands.. What he will do to provide you with some entertainment while you are supposed to be working!
At night, the churches are magical, aren't they?
The roads around Toluca and heading toward Mexico City are incredible. Steeply banked turns, fast sweepers, and little traffic... sort of.
A Close Encounter of the Bovine Kind:
It was a moooving experience to come around a corner and encounter these cattle. Of course they were hardly interested or impressed by our GSAs. We continued to hoof our way to Toluca, then Ciudad de Mexico.
Mexico City sits in a bowl atop a plateau at over 5K feet. To get there you climb endless rolling hills, tiny towns, and occasionally a great place to take a picture. This is not as easy as it might seem as there are no shoulders, so stopping can be a death defying experience. Fortunately for you, Adventureposer was able to shoot this pastoral scene.
Rene, (he would be the guy with the operating GPS), did a masterful job of guiding us into Mexico City. But, before we could find our hotel, we found ourselves on a jam-packed little street where we could scarcely move. Soon the bikes began overheating.
With the bikes groaning from the heat, red warning lights flickering, and oil warnings flashing, we pulled over in front of some government buildings where we were immediately engulfed in the crowd. One person was kind enough to get our picture.
Maybe they thought we were Charlie and Ewan? Wait, that couldn't happen because unlike them, we don't have a caravan of support vehicles following us...
Since we had several days in Mexico City we had time to do some exploring...
This is an overview shot of the ancient Aztecan ruins rumored to be the exact center of this ancient civilization. When Cortez came, he had the temples destroyed, and natural enemies, such as flooding, also took its toll. Who knows how many incredible artifacts are still buried underneath this and the adjacent blocks of businesses? We'll never know because most of it is now underneath the water level of the current modern city...
Your best bet is to tour the museum after visiting the ruins...
It was the job of "skull strippers" to literally peel the flesh off executed prisoners. The flesh was made into masks that could be worn in ceremonies. In the day of the Aztecs it was important to either win the battle or be killed outright. You did NOT want to be taken prisoner.
This was the Aztec's God of War. The skin has been peeled from his face, and his liver has been left exposed. Alrighty then.
Earlier, Rene had mentioned something about a book, "Opening the Veins of Latin America." This is the part about closing your veins in Latin America; if not your veins, at least your arteries! The street food is spectacular. All three of us are huge fans of the homemade potato chips. Lightly salted, and with lime or chile (or both) added, "betcha can't eat just one!"
In one of the many town squares, we found this beautiful building which houses the Museum of Architecture. Fabulous, isn't it?
There are great places to walk all around the central district of Mexico city. The Lovebirds give the promenade a sense of scale!
There is an amazing deeply rooted culture here, but Mexico is also on the move...
Our few days in Mexico City were soon to be up. Mexico City is a wondrous, graceful woman, blessed by time, art, and culture. Mexico City can also be a hard edged bitch. She is choked with traffic, smog, and huge transportation problems. Despite the governments efforts to control traffic and pollution, the City sports 23 million people who seem to be driving 100 million cars. Now, add the topography with its resultant inversion layer, and unrestricted industrial growth, and you have smog that equals Shanghai China. The government is trying, but AdventurePoser is afraid it could be a losing battle unless the government orders draconian steps to curb emissions...Put in a few words, the smog makes the quality of life here suck.
Heading out of Mexico City, we soon found ourselves climbing "out of the bowl" and into the high forests on the way to Puebla. A simple ride of a few kilometers, but the difference was night and day.
More jaw-dropping architecture..
Handheld at 1/15th of a second. A 1.4 aperture is grand...
The Marines were in town for an exhibition...widely considered to be the "point of the spear" in the narco wars, the Marines have a reputation for toughness and not being tainted by the DTOs.
AdventurePoser, and his alter ego, Steve, really enjoyed the streets of Puebla.
While walking around town in the late afternoon, we stopped here for cold drink...within minutes a huge storm with thunder, lightning, sheets of frog strangling rain, and hail slammed into town. The roof is covered with fiberglass. The din was incredible...for a few minutes it was nearly impossible to talk over the storm.
On the way to Oaxaca, where we currently are staying...
My friends, posing on the way...
Holy Moley! Oxaca is the town for mole (mol-ay), a rich sauce comprised of dark chocolate and about a million other spices...Here, I'm getting ready to devour a plate of chicken mole.
Kids getting ready for a church service...
In the evening, much of the zocalo is bathed in purple light.
At the meat market a shopper checks out the choices available today. Go with the asada....go with the asada...
Oaxaca is the chocolate capital...and here is where the magical recipes begin!
It's hard to believe in a few days, I will have been on the road for a month. Rene and Lili even longer. So far, it's been great-a few small challenges, just enough to stretch me a bit and to leave me with some great learning. Tomorrow we'll depart for the coast.
Fortunately, Hurricane Randolph is heading north, and we are going south. The forecast is for rain the first couple of days, but after that it'll be drying out. For us, a minor inconvenience, but the flooding and damage north of us looks consequential. AdventurePoser is mindful of those affected, especially the poor who must deal with lack of electricity, sewage, and flooded homes. AdventurePoser's biggest problem may be getting wet on the way to the beach front condo.