JD, Mexico City, Mexico
The more observant amongst you will have noticed that we have added a map to the blog. The most observant will notice that said map consists of a single line following the roads we drove from place A to place B.
Let’s call it ‘creative mapping’. Had we added all the u-turns, dead-ends and the numerous circuits around ring roads while looking for the right exit, it would have given us RSI, been dizzying for you and made our beautiful map look like a child’s scribble or bad etch-a-sketch.
Talking of endless tours around ring roads we never want to go to Zamora again… I don’t want to talk about it. Suffice it to say it shall forever be known to us as sod’ em and Zamora!
But getting lost is just a small – and inevitable – part of an increasingly wonderful journey as we travel through the heart of Mexico. From the stunning silver city of Zacatecas to the buzz of Guadalajara, the picturesque indigenous town of Patzcuaro and on to the constantly amazing Mexico City – one of our favourite cities in the world.
Along the way we’ve over-indulged in our favourite past-time – people-watching – at the rodeo; joined in cheering for the good guys and booing the bad at the temple of kitsch, Lucha Libre; been confused by a rural roadside zimmer frame stall (do they get much passing trade?); and indulged in feasts of spiced-up tacos, ostrich fajitas and melt-in-the-mouth burritos. Oh, and the famous sweets of Morelia – chilli tamarind truffle anyone?
All these ingredients ensure life in the van is never dull. Over the past couple of weeks we’ve camped in beautiful bird-filled gardens and at petrol stations, creepy deserted campsites and hotel car parks with stunning views overlooking the city. And we’re kept busy pondering why the check engine light has come on again, why the doors have started locking by themselves, why the driver’s door has stopped opening or…
But for a few days we’re leaving van life behind. We’ve done the unthinkable and driven right in to the heart of Mexico City (population estimated at a mere 20 million). Not bad for someone who only passed their driving test less than a year ago!
We’ve got a few days work covering an international trade union conference and are booked in to the conference hotel (the room actually has a bath – which measures about the same as our whole living space in the van!!).
On Sunday night, over a few draft beers and the best tacos we’ve yet had, we congratulated ourselves on the first 3,000 miles, making it safely to Mexico City and meeting the only deadline we had.
Things we always knew to be true: Posh hotels are outrageous. [Bottle of water in our room = 55 pesos. The 10 tacos we had for lunch before we got here = 50 pesos.]