Friday, March 9, 2007

Days 6 - 9: Teotihuacan and Mexico City

On Tuesday, March 6, we spent 4 hours visiting the pyramids at Teotihuacan. This is an amazing archeological site with two very large pyramids: the temple of the sun and the temple of the moon; as well as various other structures.
Upon leaving the pyramids, we discovered that there was a part missing fro my pannier. We were not sure if the part had fallen off at some point or if it had been messed with by a potential thief, either way we had to find how to replace it or risk having my pannier fall off at some point in the future. So, we set off to try to find a machine shop. We were told that there was no machine shop in the town we were staying but that there was one in the next town over. We caught a taxi to take us to San Martin and told him to take us to the "torno en la prepa" (mechanic by the school)and he knew just where we needed to go. He also wante to seem to get there in quite a hurry as he peeled off the road an proceeded to drive at full speed down the street not even slowing down for any of the numerous speed bumps. When I jokingly commented that we would like to get to our destination alive and in one piece, the taxi driver said "just pretend you´re on a plane and relax". We made it to the shop and spoke with the owner´s son, Miguel, who assured us that he could make an exact replica of the part we needed in two hours. So, in order to pass the time, we went to have some lunch (50 cent tacos from a street vendor) and Kevin decided that he wanted to get a haircut because it would only cost him $3. Two hour later we returned to the machine shop and Miguel had our part just as promised and it was exactly what we needed.
On Wednesday the 7th we woke up and went to San Martin to take a picture with Martin and to thank him again for having helped us. We then returned to San Juan de Teotihuacan to meet up with Gary Dymond, a fellow motorcyclist whom we met on the website dedicated to motorcyclists who are making ´round the world (RTW)trips. Gary is a Britton who lives in Mexico City and graciously offered to take us in and show us around for the duration of our stay in the city. We followed him him into and through the craziness of midday traffic in Mexico City. It is a true driving free-for-all here. It is: no-holds-barred-rules-out-the-window-save-yourslef-defensive-and-offensive-driving. Then Gary took us to Xochimilco where we took a nice boat ride down some canals in the south of the city. Kevin and I spent the rest of the afternoon/evening visiting various sites in the city while Gary was at work. We visited the Templo Mayor, the Cathedral and walked around all of the downtown area around the Zocalo. We took the metro a number of times and were impressed at how clean, timely and cheap it was.
Thursday we went to the museum of archeology and the museum of modern art. While we were at the museum of archeology, we heard a march going on outside and found out that the people were marching for women´s rights and the rights of the peasants in small towns and that there would be a rally at the main square (the Zocalo) later on that afternoon. So, after the museum of modern art we headed off to the Zocalo so that Kevin could join the "revolucion" and I could get to see the ceremony of the lowering of the flag. Kevin felt very much at home among the socialists rising up against the proletariat and he kept saying "the revolution will not be televised" and "viva la revolucion!" Anywy, when it came time for the ceremony of the flag the masses at the square made room for the regiments of marines to come in and proceed with the tradition of taking the huge flag down and bringing into the Palacio for the night. Kevin and I found ourselves at the front row for the whole ceremony and it was quite exciting given the circumstances. That night we went to "dinner-and-a-show" with Gary and his wife Ivonne at Garibaldi square which is where all the mariachis hang out waiting to be contracted for gigs.
Last night we made decided to stay here one more day so that we could see two of the most important sights we had not had time to see yet. Today we visited the Palacio Nacional and got a fantastic free guided tour from Julieta who explained to us every important aspect of each of the numerous huge frescoes by Diego Rivera which adorn the walls of what was once the residence of the president. Then we went to the castle of Chapultepec; a fabulous castle on top of a mountain which overlooks the whole city and was once the home of Maximilian and Carlota and a number of other rulers of Mexico. Then Ivonne picked us up and took us to dinner at Coyoacan, a great little bohemian area whith lots of restaurants and shops.
Tomorrow we get back on the motorcycles and head south. It has been nice resting from the riding but we have walked so much every day that we have probably gone to bed just as tired as if we had been riding for 7 hours!


Garry said...

Great having you guys in Mexico City. I'll keep track of your trip and hope to see you in June for the Brit GP. Have a safe trip.

Anonymous said...

Kevin & Clara, I am having fun just by reading your stories!!! Be safe, xoxo, Aileen

BIGjim said...

British GP?...June?...sound like a great place to be!

I'll look into getting there...then maybe up to Ireland?

Big Jim.