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Dang. I'm falling far behind. Maybe time for some larger efforts. Brace thyselves.

So, we were up to when we headed to Tepotzlan. This is one of the 'pueblos mágicos', little towns the tourist board pushes as giving a unique experience to visitors, and hyperbole aside, the ones I have been to a pretty swish. It has unsurpassed ice-cream, with flavours such as tequila and lime and, as I recall, 'song of the sea', and a craft market that sells morbid, amongst other curios, traditional morbid Mexican toys, where a snake comes out of a box and strikes your finger (it never gets old).

The colonial gems here include a sprinkling of churches and a former convent that has a mural made of locally-grown seeds that is replaced each six months, the current being a heady mix of Jeeeeesus, heathen gods, and chicks with their knockers out. Looking back over my photos, I note two things. Firstly, I inexplicably failed to capture that last element in the mural. Secondly, while the colonial churches are spectacular, more so for being set against the mountain range that looms up over the town, that they seemed to me pase at the time seems an incredible indication of how used to beauty one can become while traveling.

Nestled in this mountain range, on a finger of rock with cliffs plunging into ravines on two sides and down to the town on the other, sits a small pyramid, Pirámide de Tepozteco. One follows a climbing mountain path upwards, through a delightful tropical forest, from the town for about an hour (or, if one is an unnaturally fit 40-year-old Mexican insurance executive that looks more like 30, half an hour), climbs some stairs - and if wearing wedge-heeled dress shoes, destroys them utterly – and comes to the pyramid. The poxy, over-rated pyramid. The poxy, over-rated, tourist-infested pyramid that one is not allowed to climb. But, there are weird giant-rat-like things up there called Cacomixtle that seem torn by that aeon-old internal struggle between the inherent knowledge that people are tricksy and no damned good, and the temptation of their tasty, tasty food.

On a side note, here's the harsh rub: pyramidal structures were not built that shape by so many cultures due to some shared and now long-forgotten wisdom regarding an intrinsic auspiciousness coupling it to the mystical potencies of the universe. The mundane truth is this: what was shared and now forgotten was a pox understanding of engineering, and if your engineering technology is pox, pyramids are a shape that doesn't inauspiciously couple to gravity in such a way that they fall over. Also, heads roll off of 'em pretty good.

Tepotzlan also has a famous restaurant that sells the very best horchata I have sampled (I must find a good recipe; I cannot be without this stuff) but we couldn't get a table. Now I have reasons to return: that and to photograph the grain pachugas (that word just sounds right). In line with Jimmy P's quest to find double entendres (known here as 'aburros', they are a Mexican staple past-time), I found a sign about making tortillas (the brave should go here and look under 'm'. You have been warned).


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 12th, 2010 11:25 pm (UTC)
I've been planning on getting some lovely ladies together to film a tortilla making documentary for some time now...

Not sure I'd trust that horchata stuff by the look of it... is it alcoholic?

Jan. 21st, 2010 07:17 pm (UTC)
It is not alcoholic, and the rice/milk/ice/spices blend seems odd, but good lordy lords, it's better for a hard earnt thirst than any danged VB.

Heh. Making tortillas. Every time we walk past a stall where ladies are kneading the dough into round shapes I crack up and Nae whacks me.
Jan. 14th, 2010 07:37 am (UTC)
travel Journal extraordinaire
Buenos Tortillas Nephew,
Such writings must be shared more so than here. A travel writer in the making with a grandiosa feeling for place. How is academic life treating you? Sounds like it is one big holidayo! Is Gnomie still with you?
Muchas Lurve
and billy lids:)
Jan. 21st, 2010 07:20 pm (UTC)
Re: travel Journal extraordinaire
:o ¡Hola!

Yep, I do like the writing of the travels. Good fun times.

Nae is still here, and we just got back from a big, dramatic and exciting voyage (watch this space).

Academic life is indeed okay. Things are falling into place on a few things, so the publications will start rolling in a couple of weeks, I hope.

Love to you all ;)
Jan. 14th, 2010 09:26 pm (UTC)
On pyramids and flying saucers
Dear Paul,

How could you be so ignorant. Claiming that the pyramids do not, in fact, constitute a fundamental truth about the universe and humanity - a truth so crucial to our mere being and happiness, that we have long since forgotten about it. Do you not realise that everybody knows (well, everyone but you, obviously) that supreme alien beings came down to our lowlife and built these perfect monuments so as to conserve an ultimate understanding of the true meaning of life, the Universe and everything?

And there you go, claiming the Aztecs were nothing but a head-chopping culture with limited architectural skills. TskTskTsk.

Joris (I've given up on trying to use OpenID, so I'll just join the anonymous crowd from now on...)

ps: Oh, and before you get _really_ worried: this post is meant to be sarcastic. No, I have not joined the scientologists.
Jan. 21st, 2010 07:23 pm (UTC)
Re: On pyramids and flying saucers
I did detect the sarcasm there Joris, not to worry.

I suggest you too will enjoy the posts 3 installments from here. I have fallen behind badly; a couple more on pyramids, and then it's adventures across the Gulf...
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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