Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

Today we had breakfast at 8:30 AM, it was pancake and jello with orange juice day. Today, we had a bus reserved for the entire day as our transportation! It was amazing, a fourteen people van of very nice quality!

We boarded the bus a little after 9 AM. The first stop was the ATM, the second was a store on the corner to get water. Then we were off towards Teotihuacan. Once there, we visited an ex-convent and walked around taking pictures there. We spent about an hour or so. There were many tarnished frescoes, and obviously a bunch of religious relics. We were even privileged enough to go into the sanctuary which usually is not open to the public. Again, opportunity for tons of photos.

After that, we headed to the site of the pyramids!!!! That place was huge and there were many tour buses there already. The first thing we did while there was go to the Pyramids Restaurant to eat. I ordered mole verde: pollo, frijoles, totopos . It was chicken covered in green mole sauce, black beans, and tostito chips. And I drank a naranjada, which is like an orangeade. It was really good! I took a picture of it, don't worry. The meal cost 185 pesos, which already included a service charge..and so Marcela suggested we add in another two pesos extra.

After our huge lunch, we were pumped to walk the Avenue of the Dead, la calzada de los muertos and then get to the pyramids. There were so many vendors everywhere, it was crazy..and of course since we are Americans..we were easily targeted. The walk just to arrive at the pyramids was approximately 1.5 miles long, and it isn't a straight, flat road... you have to climb up and down, walk across a field and up and down walk across a field and up and down walk across a field about seven times. There was a short cut however, where you could just walk along the top, because the structures were connected. So it was a work out...

Finally, I reached the Pyramid of the Sun's base. The pyramid was a step pyramid made from local stones and looks very pretty. Of course parts were deteriorating, but hey...that thing is really old. Pictures coming soon...

Tons of vendors swarmed towards me... it was insane. I did not buy anything though. Then I began my ascent... it was soooo tough. It took me a while to get up there, I did not time it... but my lungs and legs were burning... some of the steps were normal sized in width...but each step was like a foot or so that was hard to climb...also some of the steps had chipped away or were very very narrow...luckily there were rails that you could grab on to to pull yourself up...It was so funny to see other people climbing and their expressions and the curse words they were saying [in Spanish]... I almost gave up because my heart was pounding so hard, my feet were hurting, and I could not really breathe... lol... but when all of my other classmates and professor was cheering for me, I had to cave into peer pressure and reach the summit. It was amazing, even though I do not like heights... Of course I took tons of photos while on the pyramid, it is the tallest one in the area.

After that, we climbed down...that was scary. I buddied up with Christina and we climbed down together. And of course, once we reached the bottom of the pyramid, two vendors were there waiting.... I bought three bangle bracelets from one for 200 pesos, and a sun and moon bracelet for another 200 pesos from the other vendor.

We had to try to maneuver around several more vendors just to get away from the Sun was so overwhelming...they separated us and it was just crazy.... The last thing I bought was from a guy standing at the top of the stairs leading away from the was a handmade flute like thing shaped like Aztec god like figure for 40 pesos.

Christina and I debated about actually climbing the moon pyramid... but once we reached that area... our classmates yelled our names and everyone in the area literally stopped in their tracks to see what was going on. lol. Peer pressure was too much, and so we finally did climb it.

The Pyramid of the Moon, was not that bad as the Sun, we could only climb up to the first level because they are renovating the rest. Once there, the sight was beautiful. I even struck the Sailor Moon pose while on the Pyramid of the Moon! Lol....

The walk back was full of vendors as well.... so aggravating... I wanted to help them out by buying their products, but I do not have money like that to do so... it was sad...

We found a short cut around that area where we had to walk up and down and across yards..yadda yadda... so that cut about ten minutes off of our trip... I even had time to stop and take a picture in front of a huge cactus! We only had to walk through one of those fields because our short cut got cut off...

Finally we were on the home stretch on the Avenue of the Dead, there were some vendors but not many and not as pushy about selling their products..they understood to leave us alone after saying No Gracias.

We were all at the meeting place on time, except for four people. The rest of us went to the bathroom and to the vending machine to get a drink, while we waited... We were supposed to meet at 5:15, but we weren't all together until like 5:30 or so...

After such a long day at the pyramids, we headed from Teotihuacan back to Coyoacan, and visited the local supermarket to buy water and some snack foods. It was awesome... I bought cookies, chips, animal crackers, and three 1.5L of water for 83 pesos and some change. Amazing.

Then our van driver dropped us back at the hostal. His name was Miguel Angel and he was very nice.

Going out to dinner tonight was optional: Marcela, Stephanie, Sarah, Dr. Burmeister, Ashley, Jacob, and I went and met two of Marcela's friends at Telokete Restuarant. There I ordered chapulitas poblanas sin queso and a naranjada. Those are little tortillas with a slightly spicy red sauce, shredded chicken, onion, and cheese which I asked for it without the cheese and I drank an orangeade.

Marcela's two friends complimented me on my Spanish. And then she told them about how I talked to the taxi driver the other day. They were very impressed. Dinner with all of them was really relaxed and really fun. Almost everyone at the table had a Tequila or a Victora, I, on the other hand do not like alcoholic beverages...however, I was looking through my Latin American Spanish Phrasebook and was wondering what an horchata was...because in the book it says it is "refreshing tiger nut milk" .... it turns out to be some kind of rice milk drink. Marcela's friend ordered one for me. It was pretty good, I shared it with whoever wanted to taste.

People who did not go with us to the restaurant, stayed at el hostal and ate their snacks.. some even had Americanized meals like macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets. I kinda wanted some...but then again ...I wanted to go sit at a different restaurant. They described that restaurant as a place that tourists do not usually go, mostly people from the surrounding neighborhood go to eat there. So that was really cool. It is only a few blocks down from where we stay...

When we arrived el hostal, I took a shower and came out to the living room where everyone else was just chilling and talking. At some point Sarah, Jacob, and Erin had a luchador was so hilarious! We were fortunate enough to get pictures of that... it started out as a wrestling type of thing...then it broke out into a dance off... and then back to wrestling. Pretty funny.

1 comment:

  1. I love reading about your Mexican adventures!! I can't wait to hear about it in person when you get back. Come visit us!