As soon as I can, I’ll update you on my one year trip. I’ve decided to leave everything behind and spend real time with the people that matter the most in my life: my wife and three children. This is my story, I hope it will inspire you to create yours.
You can read my previous “on the road” articles:
- On the road #1
- On the road #2
- On the road #3
- On the road #4
- On the road #5
- On the road #6
- On the road #7
- On the road #8
- On the road #9
- On the road #10
- On the road #11
- On the road #12
Date: from October 12th to October 19th
States/Province traveled through: Mexico / Mainland
I decided to accelerate my writing pace for my “on the road” pieces as I will shortly arrive in Guatemala as I’m writing this. I don’t know how and when I will have internet access and will concentrate my time on my online business. This post covers a very short period of time (only a week), but it was quite significant for us. In our previous “on the road” we left the other family to live our adventure solo. Something magical happened next…
If you are scared of Mexico or wonder if you should go there or not, this is the post you need to read.
Days #129 to #137 Teotihuacan & Mexico City – A Tale of Kindness
As I told you in my previous “on the road”, we headed on our way to San Juan Teotihuacan to visit the famous ruins and also to get the part I needed to repair my RV. Good news, the piece is waiting for me at the campground and this is exactly what I need. As an eternal optimist, I am convinced this will only take me a few minutes to replace. Well… for once, my over confidence paid off as it really took 30 minutes and the piece was brand new.
Needless to say the beer tasted different that night ;-). It had a taste of victory!
The next morning, the lady at the campground offered to drive me to a garage for my oil change (yeah… we have to do these boring things sometimes). I followed her through the city and she helped deal everything for me so I don’t have to pay the “gringo’s price”. Then, she asked me where I was going next with my family. The plan was to take a cab and visit the Teotihuacan pyramids. “hop on board, I’ll drive you” she replied! We then got a guided visit of the small city and a free lift to the pyramid.
This was our very first ruin of the trip. I was expecting this moment for a while now, and I wasn’t disappointed! Here’s what you can find on Wikipedia:
At its zenith, perhaps in the first half of the 1st millennium AD, Teotihuacan was the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas, with a population estimated at 125,000 or more,  making it at least the sixth largest city in the world during its epoch.
Apart from the pyramids, Teotihuacan is also anthropologically significant for its complex, multi-family residential compounds; the Avenue of the Dead; and the small portion of its vibrant murals that have been exceptionally well-preserved. Additionally, Teotihuacan exported fine obsidian tools that garnered high prestige and widespread usage throughout Mesoamerica.
The city is thought to have been established around 100 BC, with major monuments continuously under construction until about 250 AD. The city may have lasted until sometime between the 7th and 8th centuries AD, but its major monuments were sacked and systematically burned around 550 AD.
Walking through this majestic site had something magical. It was impressive to see how precise they were when building their pyramids. They also built a complete water management system with sewers and manholes. After climbing on top of both the pyramid of the moon and the pyramid of the sun, we felt like we were on top of the world. These were amazing moments.
We took a cab on our way back and decided to shop around in the mercado near the plaza. Each city and village seems to have their Plaza with stores around. This is always a nice play to chill and eat for cheap. We found clothes for everybody (it is freezing at night and we didn’t have enough long pants nor long sleeve shirts ;-)) and new shoes for Caleb as he is growing too fast now (Disney Star Wars edition for less than $25 ). When we arrived at the campground, guess who was there? FREEFALL! The campground owner had the truck delivered to the campground after the oil change. Is this service or not? Oh wait! She also ordered bottles of waters and LP gas so I can leave her campground full of resources.
Our second day at this campground, we decided to go to Mexico City. We then decided to take the bus and the metro to get there. This was quite an adventure in and of itself. First, you must understand that Mexico is one of the largest cities in the world. This means there are lots of people heading into the city each morning. I asked someone in the bus where is my stop. Good timing, the gentleman gets out of the bus at the same station. He makes sure I take the right turns and that I get into the metro. After I purchased the necessary tickets at the booth, the lady checking our tickets tells me that I am missing one. Too bad, I’m already passed with my children, but my wife is standing the other side. As we look confuse, another lady passes by and gives me a metro ticket without even waiting for a thank you and keeps walking. Amazing… people in this country are incredibly helpful.
As we approach the rail, I notice that all the women stand on one side and men on the others. As I don’t want to be separated from my family, I stick with them. It doesn’t take 2 seconds until a police officer comes to see me and explain me kindly that I can’t take the “mujeres side”. Another metro staff comes to see me and offer us to literally escort us to the metro station we are looking for. We then squeeze into the metro station with the employee and he guides us until we reach our station! On our way outside, another Mexican welcomes us to “his city”. Wow… can people be more kind???
We spent the rest of the morning visiting this amazing city where new buildings are built right next to ruins and other centennial monuments. I love the city, I love the architectures and… I love the tacos al pastore!
Towards the end of the afternoon, we get back to Zocalo where I am to meet with one of my readers, Eduardo and his mother. Eduardo kindly agreed to walk me around Mexico City to show me its beauty. We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening with them. They offered us a very special tour of the Cathedral where we were invited to go inside the towers and walk on the roof. This was a very inspiring moment. Then, they took us to the Templo Mayor. Those are the ruins of a temple in the middle of Mexico City. The temple has been upgraded 7 times before it collapsed when the Spanish conquered the country. It was quite impressive to visit the museum with a bunch of artefacts from this period of glory. After this visit, we walked around in the center of the city to get a feel for the “Mexican Jungle”. We finished our amazing day with the most delicious meal I had in Mexico. Eduardo’s mother brought us to a classic Mexican food restaurant and they ordered all the classic meals. We shared each of them so we were able to taste everything. This was quite a moment with strangers that became friends for life in the span of a few hours. Eduardo’s family kindness and open minds happened at a very good time for us. As we left the other family, we were quite sad, whereas meeting with Eduardo with his mother put smiles back on our faces. It was a genuine encounter that confirmed my love for this country.
Eduardo, thank you again for your kindness. I can’t wait to meet with you again!
We spent another 2 days at the same campground as another family we met at San Miguel stopped by. They are from Switzerland. The children played together and we decided to put a great dinner together (another Filet Mignon!!!).
We left Teotihuacan for Puebla. However, after visiting Mexico City, Puebla was nice, but not more than that. Funny enough, we met with our friends from Quebec that we left in San Miguel. They are slowing down their pace and trying to find a way to stay in Mexico. They look better, we are happy. But we left the next morning, as we didn’t want to extend the torture.
We are now on our way to San Cristobal de Las Casas… our last stop before going into Guatemala!
For those who think Mexico is dangerous, I’m telling you, Mexicans are the nicest people I have ever met. You should definitely visit this country!