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Day 1795: Teotihuacan, Mexico

Friday, April 30th, 2010

As I had one ruins site left that I had alloted myself, I chose Teotihuacan. Palenque is probably Mexico`s highest rated site, but that would have caused me to choose plan C: which was to then travel through to the Yucatan and onwards to Cuba. From there I would have been stuck. So, while coming up the Pacific coast I had some non tv time and started reading my guidebook about other places around there. Teotihuacan fit perfect, it was world renowned, not often visited, and fairly close to an anchor city. Check out this excerpt from Fodor`s.

“Imagine yourself walking down a pathway called Calzada de los Muertos (Avenue of the Dead). Surrounding you are some of Earth’s most mysterious ancient structures, among them the Palace of the Jaguars, the Pyramid of the Moon, and the Temple of the Plumed Serpent. From the top of the awe-inspiring Pyramid fo the Sun—at 210 feet, the third tallest pyramid in the world—you begin to appreciate your 242-stair climb as you survey a city that long ago was the seat of a powerful empire. This is Teotihuacán, meaning “place where men become gods.”

At its zenith, around AD 600, Teotihuacán (teh-oh-tee-wa-can) was one of the largest cities in the worldand the center of an empire that inhabited much of central Mexico. Many arcaeologists believe that Teotihuacán was home to some 100,000 people. The questions of just who build this city, at whose hands it fell, and even its original name remain a mystery, eluding arcaeologists and fueling imaginations the world over.

Just 31 miles from the center of Mexico City, Teotihuacán is one of the most significant and haunting archaeological sites in the world. Climbing on the structures that were once painted a bright, glowing red; discovering the etchings of winged creatures at the Palace of the Plumed Butterfly; meandering through the circuitous underground chambersof colorful murals in the Palace of the Jaguars; taking on the invigorating climb up the Pyramid of the Moon—all will transport you to a Mexico of days past.”

Now, how can anyone in their right minds miss that. Well, I could have, but with one ruin exception on my trip, I figured I better use it or lose it. Actually it had been since Guatemala, and Nicaragua before that where I had used my prior two ruins exceptions so it had been a while. Plus, the beach scene was becoming a bit indifferent.

So there I was, with an incentive of not wanting to pay another night for a room that makes it in my top ten most expensive rooms list, I actually was up at 7am and out the door. It was a bit nippy as I think we were up in elevation as the air had that clean cold air burn to it and my skin was really ashy, I am now part African you know. My itinerary was to catch a bus or combi to the site which was a couple of kilometers away. Of course I ended up walking. Climb the temple of the sun, walk around a bit, climb the moon, and be out of there as I was handcuffed by a 11am check out. Long story short, mission accommplished, although now that I have read the info on the site I missed seeing the murals. Oh well, I got plenty of photos of everything else. Enjoy. Oh, I am posting so many photos as I am trying to max out my photo uploading allotment.

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Coming up the gate two entrance you are right at the steps of the Temple of the Sun and rows of vendor stalls.

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It is the temple of the sun you know. Need to clean my lens though.

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Without the glare.

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And I started to climb…

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At the top you get great views of the site and the neighboring cities.

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I think these were the royalties quarters.

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Shots from the side where there were workers working on the temple. They also help with proportions. You gotta look close though.

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Gotta have photos with cactus as we are out in the desert lands.

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More upper class housing on the street running between the two temples.

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Temple of the moon.

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I had the whole site to myself for the first hour or so. Should have done a nude.

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I was going to climb it but they had the second level chained off so only able to get to the first platform.

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They had all these mini platforms for which I have no idea what they were for. I`m kind of hoping it is where they sacrificed vegetarians.

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Wish I had my deer rifle. Something accidentilly would have been shot down, although I like the picture where it is right above the Temple of the sun.

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The side of the temple with the overgrowth that covered the temples before they were discovered.

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Down the street towards the Temple of the Jaguar.

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Students on the top of the Temple of the sun. They camped overnight at a campground and they came to the site.

Day 1794: On the move

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Acapulco is a very picturesque place and where I was staying was out of the normal tourist quarters so it had a decent feel to it, but time is ticking and I needed to be on the move so I packed my bag and headed out. The normal easy thing to do would have been to just grab a taxi as the bus station I came in on was pretty far away and up and over the hills surrounding the bay. The alternative which I actually was going to try to do was grab one of the regular transit buses. As I was in the center of everything, as well as being the central hub for the buses, I decided to not risk just jumping on one where I was at but rather I would walk up aways to a major thoroughfare where buses probably would not be veering off in other directions and I would have more of a chance not ending up in some random place. It turned out to be a good choice, not because it worked out, but because I got lost trying to get to a perfect thoroughfare and ended glancing at my guidebook one more time and discovering buses for my next destination did not leave from my originally planned terminal. Being happy about saving this detour I started heading towards the thoroughfare where I could catch a bus that would most likely head in the correct direction, again. Well, I walked and walked and I looked at the taxis passing by, yearning, and watched the buses go by, uncertain, and finally an hour later I was close to where I wanted to be. Then, I saw a nice fancy dancy bus terminal across the way before my target terminal. I figured why not check it out and they had a bus leaving in ten minutes although it was about 50P more than my original bus company. I figured screw it, there was a chance that I would have to wait at the other bus station as I didn`t know the schedules, so I bit the bullet and bought a ticket. This was definitely a first class operation with state of the art destination boards, uniformed employees, and a marble and glass waiting area. I only had a few minutes and we were on the road.

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You could tell this was going to be a nice ride when they had five people prepping the passengers for this one bus. I dropped off my bag to the bag guy who stored my bag which included the claim ticket, another guy took my ticket and told me my seat number, a stewardess with drinks carts prepared a soda, bag of peanuts, and a sample pepto bismo pack. A security guard examined all carryons and did a wand check and finally the driver welcomed people on board. Nice. The ride was 400kms and was supposed to take six hours. Even with the police check and me getting hauled out for questioning, we made it in five hours forty-five minutes. Sweet.

Although I had traveled a distance, we arrived in my primary destination a little after four. As this was a major town and heading out to find accommodation in the middle of rush hour with a chance of getting caught out in the dark, I devised a quick plan (actually the plan was formulated the night before as an option). There was a cool place to go not far out of town with cool stuff to see and the bus left from the same station that I was at. I was on another bus not too much later, actually I caught the bus as it was pulling out so definitely was time efficient on that one. An hour and a half later we pulled into the town of San Juan Teotihuacán. Finding a place to stay however was an issue as the only budget place in town had eliminated single room and the only other place I found was 20P less. No problem, this would give me motivation to get up early, do the do, and get on the road although I would have liked a chill day.

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A procession, just can`t get away from those damn thing.

Day 1793: Cliff divers, check.

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010
Today was the day. Time to fulfill a dream (somebodies dream, not necessarily mine, but probably somebodies). I was going to go check out the world famous cliff divers of Acapulco. Fortunately being located right in the ... [Continue reading this entry]

Day 1792: The way I do the things I do.

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010
I slept really well even though I was staying in a kind of a rough room (although I spent about half my trip in kind of rough rooms). The night time temperature drops to a very comfortable level. ... [Continue reading this entry]

Day 1791, and I still hate buses.

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010
day-one-1.JPG An hour and a half. Thats the maximum. Any more than that and your going to hear me bitch. But onward we must go and go I did. I ... [Continue reading this entry]

Day 1790: It´s a Mexican family vacation.

Sunday, April 25th, 2010
dscn2143.JPGAs it is the weekend here in Puerto Escondido, and I am now staying in the principle beach area, I get to intermingle with locals on vacation rather than foreigners. With my ... [Continue reading this entry]

Day 1789: Phasing out the backpacker in me.

Saturday, April 24th, 2010
I may have forgotten about yesterday, but I did a few things today. First was some important photo backups as my 2gb chip that I got with the camera which I purchased in Hanoi, Vietnam, finally maxed out. ... [Continue reading this entry]

Day 1788:Rest day, I think…

Saturday, April 24th, 2010
I lost a day somewhere, I think. This is my fourth day at my new hotel and I only have two posts since moving there. Hmmmmm. It does factor correctly however, as the national average is about ... [Continue reading this entry]

Day 1787: Exploration day.

Friday, April 23rd, 2010
With my chores done, rested, and the other side of Puerto Escondido to check out, I headed out to see what was out there. Of course I had to start the day checking out the fishing boats coming back ... [Continue reading this entry]

Day 1786: Increasing happiness.

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010
Like I wrote before about not getting complacent and mixing things up a bit as you never know what the next move will bring. Well, the prior day I had scouted out a new place to stay as although ... [Continue reading this entry]