Teotihuacan was high on the list of ancient sites I wanted to visit during my travels in Mexico, along with Palenque and Monte Alban. In 2005 I had the chance to travel to the region, and spent a wonderful few months there exploring ancient sites and travelling around in general. Mexico was the first country that I visited.
Buenos tardes!! My trip started at Great Doddington Working Mens Club, where I had to enjoy/endure a Bush Pigs gig whilst waiting for a lift to the airport. After they had finished playing to an incredible cross section of the gene puddle, I helped my brother pack up, and at 01.00 am we were on our way to the airport. I managed to grab a couple of hours sleep in the waiting hall, and then booked in for 05.15. Caught the plane to Madrid and then the connecting one to Mexico City with no major hassles.
The 13 hour flight was a bit boring, with far too few food breaks for my liking, but you can’t have it all!! Breezed through customs, and then waited for my luggage. And waited. And waited. You know how every time you wait for your luggage, you have this nagging suspicion it is never going to come, followed by the joy of seeing it trundle along? Well, I just didn´t get to feel the joy this time! Seems that some bright spark had decided to send it on to Barcelona for me.There wasn´t much that anyone could do about it, so I filled in the forms, and headed into the main airport arrivals section with the promise that my rucksack would be delivered to the hotel the next day.
In Mexico city airport, there are two stands from which to book a taxi :- pro taxis and one marked authorisad taxi, so I went with that one, and it cost 125 pesos to the hotel. Hotel Isabel is a very big old place, with tall ceilings and large,spacious rooms. I´d pre-booked a single room with bathroom for five nights at 200 pesos which is pretty good value for a capital city. Ok, there are cheaper places, but sometimes it´s a fools economy to book somewhere dirt cheap for the first few days. It´s much better for me to get over jetlag and into the swing of things in my own space and at my own time. So, quick list of the stuff I had with me. Toothbrush and toothpaste, laptop, and camera. Bugger. Luckily, the room had towels and soap, so that solved my immediate problems, but I had no fresh clothes, and I´d already been in mine for over 36 hours. Hold on, what´s that at the bottom of my hand luggage… Lynx deodorant!! You beauty!! With the power of lynx, i´d be able to keep the same clothes on for days!!!..and then I fell asleep.
Day 2. Nice breakfast at the hotel, and wandered into the zocola (the main square in Mexican cities). Made a telephone call to check on my rucksack, and they said it might be with me the following day. Oh well. At the Zocola, I bought a two day pass for the tourist bus, which does a route of all the major sites. A word of warning. If your rucksack containing your sunblock and aftersun is lost, and you have no hair, don´t ride on an open top bus for three hours, else you might go a touch red!! Had lunch, bought a razor blade, decided to veg. Did a lot of thinking about what to do if the rucksack was permanently lost, and was saved the worse case scenario when it arrived later in the evening. Oh, aftersun and clean pants!!!
Day3 First stop was the Templo Mayor, practically the only Aztec ruin left within Mexico city itself. I won´t say that it was the most outstanding site that I´ve ever visited, but it was interesting all the same. The museum showed just how completely the conquistadors levelled the Aztec empire. Back onto the tourist bus, and I saw a demonstration being carried out by a thousand men in their swimming trunks. Not quite sure what that one was all about, and quite frankly I was a bit worried to ask! Got dropped off at the Museo Nacional de Antroplogia, and spent a fair few hours wandering around it. Its an amazing museum, which focuses on the major meso-american civilisation and cultures. A must see, and I recommend hiring the electronic guide to get a bit more out of it.
The next day, it was off to a tour of…
Arrived in Palenque town safe and sound, and decided to ignore the guide books, and find the cheapest place humanly possible just for the hell of it. And the winner is… $60pesos a night.. about three quid. Bargain! At that price, there’s nothing to complain about really, but lets just say that it wouldn’t be to everybodys taste!!
30mins at Labnah
30 mins at Xlapak
30 mins at Syil
30 mins at Kabah
2 hours at Uxmal