Mexico City

We had an early flight from Puerto Escondido to Mexico City. Angela and I took a taxi and met her family at the airport. I was tired and a little lost when Lorenzo kindly called out to me and invited me to sit next to him when I had lost everyone at the gate. We had booked tickets at different time so were sat apart on the plane but the flight was just over an hour. I took the opportunity to admire the mountains.

We said our goodbyes to Angela’s family at the airport in Mexico City as they were staying with her brother for a few days. Angela and I went to stay with one of Angela’s friends who just happened to be the daughter of the Colombian photographer Leo Matiz. She wasn’t there during our stay but her driver collected us from the airport. In a continuation of my ridiculous life for the first time Angela and I first “lived together” it was in a 6 million dollar house complete with 24 security, a maid, cook and driver. The house was huge and set up to be turned into a gallery space if needed. There are lots of photos hanging on the white walls and we finally had a bathroom with an actual door.

We settled in and after a few hours of resting Angela took me into the centre of Mexico City. Angela had lived here previously for several years before moving to Canada. We found some glasses for Angela after she admitted that she was practically blind without them grabbed some food, which was one of the cheesiest toasties I’ve ever had. We spent time looking around the shops, tried not to buy more of the food that was on offer and walked around the main square. I discovered the annoying men playing the musical boxes everywhere and Angela was happy to discover that I found them annoying as she did.

After lunch we decided to catch a movie and went on a long walk to the cinema passing many different districts. It’s a good way to explore cities, just choose an area and try to walk there. Although this did back fire for me in Lima, but now I know where not to go.

I don’t know why but I really enjoy going to the cinema in other countries, even if the films are in English. It was daily late when we finished but we were still full from the huge lunch so decided to head back “home” on the metro. There is a really good metro in Mexico City and it’s well connected but it does take time to get anywhere but that is mostly because Mexico City is huge. 28 million people live there so it’s going to take a while to get around.

The next day we visited Ciudad de Teotihuacan which are about 40km from Mexico City. It’s around an hour on the bus which you can catch from Terminal Central de Norte every half hour. We didn’t book anything in advance but you might want to in peak season. Also my advice would be to go early to beat the crowds. It wasn’t too busy when I arrived but I was a little sad not to be able to get shots of the pyramids without people in them. My usual trick of waiting until everyone had left didn’t work as there was a steam of people quite rightly climbing them. The ancient city was huge and hot and it’s amazing to see it was built. We don’t really have anything like this in the UK and it felt bigger than both Machu Picchu and Choquequierao the Inca cities in Peru.

There are two main temples, the bigger is The Temple of the Sun and the smaller is Temple of the Moon. Take your time to explore and my advice would be to bring some food. There are tonnes of sellers all over and restaurants are around outside the complex but they are all ultra touristy and expensive.

And it wouldn’t be Latin America unless there were cute dogos everywhere.

And there is proof that we made it to the top. I can’t remember how many steps there are but it’s a steep climb so be careful.

I took us into the local town to try and find some empanadas and of course there was nothing to be found. Tourists don’t normally come to this part but I was happy to see a local town even if I wasn’t given the change to buy some empanadas.

We found a restaurant and had some tacos which were not great. They seems a little annoyed that we declined their overpriced full lunch menu but I was glad to get my coca-cola fix for the day. Afterwards we headed back to the city to prepare for the next day. We met Angelas middle brother for a quick drink as he was leaving Mexico to move back to Colombia before having an early night ahead of the hike.

Obviously all i’d been going on about was hiking and we looked at a couple of places but the obvious was Popocatepetl, which is a hugely active volcano so you can’t actually hike it but you can go to the volcano next door, Iztaccíhuatl. We took a two day trip and I’ve separated this into the next blog.

On the Saturday we had some life admin things to take care of. We went shopping to buy presents for Angela’s nephew whose birthday was the next day. After we went and visited her uncle who lives in the city and after we found an Argentine Restaurant. I wanted everything on the menu but Angela persuaded me to be more restrained. But the steak was delicious and I was very excited to be there.

That night we went to meet some of Angela’s friends. Angela stuck to the tequilas and I had a variety of cocktails. It was fun but didn’t seem the place to dance. Angela and I wondered around looking for a club but couldn’t find anywhere which in hindsight was probably the safest option for us both. The next day we were a little tired and hungover. It was Angela’s nephews birthday so we stopped off for a quick breakfast to sober up. I mean look at this. It’s what is considered breakfast. I ate half and we took the rest to go.

On the way to Cuernavaca city, where Angela’s older brother lives we stopped to get some ice cream in Tepoztlan. There is a shop where it’s possible to buy hundreds of different flavours. After we headed to the children’s birthday party. I was there to meet Angela’s extended family. Luckily for me I had brought my camera and could play the role of camera man. There was a bouncy castle which I went into and all the kids attacked me at the same time and I got to experience a real Mexican piñata. I took a tone of photos but I don’t think this is the place to share them.

We headed back to Mexico City in the evening with Lorenzo in toe and put him to bed. The next day we went to visit the Children’s museum which was great fun. Sadly for us it was a special day and the place was packed with school groups but Lorenzo held his own and was a little upset that he was too short to go on some of the rides. I was impressed that he took great care to look at things and I tried to explain how the mechanics of some of the exhibits worked. He was interested even if he didn’t understand what I was saying. I even scared the staff by crawling through a tunnel first so he was happy to follow me.

We headed to a Chinese buffet lunch before we went to get pizza and popcorn for movie night. Lorenzo was particularly sad when we got a tiny pack of microwave popcorn not understanding how it worked as he saw bigger boxes. We fixed that when we got home so he saw the packet get bigger and bigger. To be fair there were bigger boxes on the shelf. We watched a movie with the pizza and had an early night.

The next day we headed to Mexico zoo. Walking through the giant park we spotted a squirrel.

There were a lot of animals in the zoo. It was a little sad to see them living in small enclosures but this is better than tiny cages.

I wanted guacamole as I’d not had any in Mexico so we went to a local place and had Mexican food for lunch. After Lorenzo and I got out haircuts and were rewarded with ice cream. We went to visit Angela’s aunt and Lorenzo decided to stay the night so he could play with the dogs and Angela and I went to share a final night in Mexico where we went out for sushi. We tried to find a few bars afterwards but Mexico City didn’t seem alive tonight so we headed back. Actually we struggled to find dancing in the city. Maybe they don’t dance? We still had a decent supply of rum so we had a few more glasses when we got home.

We spent the next day trying to fix my phone, getting me a new pair of glasses and had a final lunch of chicken wings before collecting Lorenzo. I packed while Lorenzo tried to hide all of my clothes. He climbed into the washing basket which was upside down and hoovered them up when he thought I wasn’t looking. The driver gave us both a ride to the airport. We said our goodbyes and I went through the gates to board a nearly empty plane.

I was emotional and tired landing in London. Brad has kindly picked up the keys for me and I spent the next few days moving into the flat before starting work the next week. And then it was the simple task of working out how to get back.

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