Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ruining the day

We felt much more optimistic about the next leg of our journey after chatting with our German neighbor the other night, as he has just been there himself. We were planning to spend a day or two a bit outside of Mexico City at the San Juan Teotihuacán trailer park. Just as we were pulling up, MIna the owner, was pulling out. She kindly welcomed us in and we got to to work setting up shop. Ben whipped us up a delicious dinner of porkchops and rice while I made up the sleeping quarters and we dined, for once, without any rain showers!

The next morning I hung back at the camp with our travel companion while Ben went over to see the Teotihuacán ruins. I had already been several years ago and didn't mind staying behind to relax a bit. Unfortunately relaxing did not happen. It appeared that the town was gearing up to celebrate something, with the central square decked out with carnival rides, the church bells (right next door to the RV park) going off every 15 minutes and fireworks randomly exploding throughout the day. Our poor travel companion was scared half to death and spent the better part of the day hiding under the car, shaking in fear. Ben got back to the campsite around lunchtime and again we tried to hang low, but with no end in sight to the madness, we abandoned our plans for another night and got the heck out of dodge! We had hoped to leave our travel companion at a vet's office for a day or so and trek into the city to check things out, but as anyone who has pets (or kids) knows, you've got to be flexible with your plans.

Ben's guide to Teotihuacán:

Teotihuacán from Krista on Vimeo.

Silly us thought we may just have enough time to make our way into the city to visit Xochimilco floating gardens before sunset. Well, naturally traffic was a bear (it is the largest city in the world) so we didn't end up making it in time, but we knew right where to go the following morning. Finding a hotel was a whole different story though. We seemed to drive in a giant circle for an hour or so and only encountered auto-hotels. Do you know what they are? Let's just say that Latin men have issues with fidelity, so the auto-hotel business makes bank here in Latin America. There are various ranges of niceness and we actually weren't even quite sure that Villas del Parque was indeed an auto hotel until we pulled in and saw all the discreet garages. Not really wanting to drive in circles any more, we asked to see a room and found it and that price quite appealing. So it was there that we spent the night....and a good night it was. We smuggled our travel companion in and took full advantage of the free wi-fi and television for 12 full hours.

Honestly the best deal we've gotten in a while!
The next morning we snuck our four-legged friend out of the room, jumped in the car and were gone in a flash.......hopefully, none the wiser! Risking our chances of getting caught driving in no-driving hours (for plates outside of the D.F.), we made our way over to the gardens. We hopped into our own private brightly painted trajinera (gondola) where we spent the next two hours cruising the stinky canals where indigenous families once grew their food, and now operate as headquarters for all plants and flowers grown in Mexico City.

There are so many gondolas at times you can barely see the water.

Private dining on board.

Someone was not very happy that she couldn't swim.

Afterward we made our way over to the San Angel part of the city where we played in the park and hung out in Diego & Fridas' neighborhood for the rest of the afternoon.

Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo's real homes!

I had forgotten how cool she really was. Mexico gives me Frida fever.

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