Even though I had a late night last night watching a Lucha Libre wrestling show, that didn’t stop me from being up bright and early this morning at 6am.
Myself, Gautier, Felix, Peter and Stacey had plans to go to the Teotihuacan pyramid ruins an hour or so outside of Mexico City.
We wanted an early start as we wanted to arrive at the park by 9am when it opens to keep away from the heat as much as we could but also to get in there before the inevitable onslaught of tour buses started rolling in.
So, all five of us headed out the door at 7am to catch a metro ride to the north bus terminal where we were catching an 8am bus out of town.
Now, with Gautier’s sad pickpocketing event still fresh in my mind, I made sure my valuables were well protected in my daypack.
Even though it was only 7am on a Saturday morning, the metro was still packed at some stops making it easy pickings for pickpockets.
Luckily my day pack had two loops around the zippers that I can attach with a combination lock so I just made sure nothing was in my pockets and everything was locked away.
It’s funny because sometimes I feel like I’m ridiculously cautious when it comes to protecting my stuff but all it takes it one little slip-up to cause a whole lot of problems.
I’ve been to 35 countries and over 100 cities and have yet to have anything stolen (knock on wood) so I count myself somewhat lucky.
God, I hope I haven’t just jinxed myself…
Anyway, back to the day trip.
Now, there are tour packages available for 400 pesos ($25) but we decided to do it on our own cause, well, that’s the backpacker way. Not only is it a fraction of the cost but you’re not tied down to someone else’s plan and, besides, getting there like a local is half the fun sometimes.
In total, we paid 180 pesos ($12) each which included the metro ride to and from the bus terminal (10 pesos), the return bus tickets (100 pesos) and the entry to the park (70 pesos).
Oh, I may not have mentioned this on my blog yet but, even before today, I was pretty sunburnt. Like red. Bright red. Like where the top of my head it actually burnt enough to hurt when I rest it on a pillow at night.
So, anyway, going out into the sun for 3+ hours was going to be a daunting task for me.
I did borrow some sunscreen from Katherine who was staying in my room so I applied it before we started around the park.
I think it helped but I also think I added another layer of red to my red as my forehead actually started to swell up later on into the night.
Anyway, enough about my grotesque swollen forehead…
Back to the adventure!
Today we walked 14km.
For me with my pudgy little belly 14km is a LOT. And it was up alot of uneven and steep stone stairs but I made it and I’m thankful I did.
There are two main pyramids at Teotihuacan – Piramide del Sol and Plaza de la Luna.
Piramide del Sol is the largest of the structures at the site at 248 steps. The steps are very uneven and very steep but the climb is so worth it as at the top you get a complete view of all the structures down below.
The entire area is vast as, like I said, we walked 14km in total today and spent 3 1/2 hours at Teotihuacan.
Throughout the ruins we were constantly harassed by locals trying to sell their wares. I actually finally found a cool little skeleton skull painted on ceramic and decided to buy it.
But not without a little battering, mind you.
At first I was looking at a smaller size skull that he said were 50 pesos and I didn’t realize that the one I picked was actually a little larger and was 60 pesos.
When he asked for 60 I just kind of looked at him and with just my silent hesitation he immediately came down to 50. So, naturally I offered him 40 and then played a silent game of chicken to see which of us blinked first.
Now the difference in price went from $4 to $2.50 and I’m sure the thing probably cost him 10 cents but, still, it felt good to barter.
By 12:30 we were back on a bus on our way back to Mexico City and by 2pm we were walking around town looking for a place to eat.
We ended up coming upon a place with a sign out front that challenged you to eat a huge 3 foot sandwich filled with different meats in 20 minutes for free.
Well, none of us stepped up to the challenge but we did all go inside anyway. Now, our sandwiches, while not 3 feet long, were still pretty damn big.
Mine was called the Mega Super Astro and was filled with 5 different kinds of meat, cheese and egg (100 pesos, $6) which is kinda of ironic considering the dinner experience I would have later on in the night.
On our way out we actually saw a man sitting at a table about to start his 20 minute challenge, so, naturally I got all touristy on him and asked if I could take his photo.
For the rest of the afternoon I really took it easy. My head was really sore from the heat and I just needed to relax and take a shower.
The shower helped a million percent and by the early evening I was feeling fine again.
A couple of new people moved into my dorm in the afternoon. Chase, a man from San Diego who spent alot of time in Tijuana and was here now looking to move permanently and teach. And Mikayla, another Aussie (this one from Sydney) who was in the middle of her extended trip through Central America.
Remember that irony I was talking about earlier?
Well, turns out they’re both vegan.
So, naturally I joined them and Gautier (also a vegetarian) and went over to the vegan restaurant right next door to the hostel.
Yup, I went from eating a sandwich with literally meat dripping out of it to eating a vegan meal with 3 vegetarians.
Hey, I can adapt to whatever. Life is an adventure.
The menu was pretty diverse but one thing on it caught my eye.
With so many fond memories of Pad Thai from the time I spent in Thailand a couple of years ago, it wasn’t even a second thought as to what I was having for dinner tonight.
As we ate, the conversation naturally turned to vegetarianism and I decided to actively participate in it basically asking to be educated on the whole thing.
It was actually a very enlightening conversation as I did learn alot including how not only is it about ethics and healthy eating, but also how the environment suffers from all the meat being processed for consumption.
Now, will I turn vegan or even vegetarian? No, not gonna happen but at least I learnt something I wouldn’t have known had I not decided to go sit down with 3 vegetarians at a vegan restaurant tonight.
By 10pm it was time to turn in after a very long day. Tomorrow I have to be up early yet again as I have an 8:30 bus to catch taking me to my next stop in Mexico – Oaxaca.
The adventure continues…