Friday, December 24, 2010

12/24/10 Christmas Eve: Guadalajara - Morelia - Mexico City. 400 miles, 14 hours in 2 days

Went and took a bus to Tequila and took a tour of the Cuervo factory. Ehh, not that cool, but ok to do once. Back in Guadalajara, I head out the next morning and take a 200 mile ride to Morelia. The ride is a bit underwhelming, but I do start to get into some mountain range and a few hours later I'm there. First hostel I go to is full but I find a nice second place within walking distance to the center of town, with a room to myself. Spend that night and the next day taking in the sights. Morelia is basically a scenic/historic halfway point between Guadalajara and Mexico City for me and I wont be spending too much time here. The cathedral is particularly amazing though, really big and grandiose. Really nice town, and some good food and coffee as well. A literary agent named Mohsen from London is staying at the hostel and we spend a lot of time talking about various ideas I have and promise to keep in touch. The next day, I head to Mexico City. Im now somewhat at the halfway point between the start of the trip and Nicaragua, (where I plan to stay for a couple of months) and I'm pretty excited. I plan on staying several days at least, including my birthday and Christmas as I know Mexico City has much to see and do. As many times as Ive been to Mexico, Ive always avoided the capital for one reason or another so its kind of a milestone. The ride itself is kind of blah, but as I see the sign for the MC city limits and ride past, Im fired up. This place is definitely as big and confusing as they say, and people dont drive especially crazy like they say, more just like complete shit. Motherfuckers just suck at driving, they would be annihilated in NYC. Over an hour later and Im the famous city center, cathedral in front of me and after some well calculated moves over and around a series of 1 way streets, I find Hostal Moneda and get set up and am allowed to keep my bike in the lobby. I settle in and eat the included dinner on the rooftop terrace, right across the street from the National Palace and a view of the zocalo and take a stroll around after dinner amongst the madness that is the center of MC during Christmas season. People EVERYWHERE, little kids throwing inflatable toys all over the place, people screaming, selling stuff, cops everywhere, etc. Settle in for the night and look forwards to sightseeing and getting to know the place during the next 10 days or so.

Make quick friends with a group of folks, Ricardo and Juan from Guatemala and Carlos from Cancun. Lucky for us Carlos is studying to be a tour guide and has the proper credentials and knowledge to not only show us around, but get us into places free, which is damn sweet. We hit the world famous archaeological museum, Chapultepec Castle (only European castle in the Americas), and the Monuments of Independence and Child Heroes. The next several days are spent with my new friends and include seeing the Cathedral, National Palace, Templo Mayor (Monteczuma's crib), and various other places to eat and drink coffee. Also end up trying pulque, the sweet, thick syrupy local brew which can fuck you up quick if you are not careful. On my birthday, a few of us make plans to have some drinks and see some lucha libre (with midgets!) but 2 girls who work at the hostel insist on taking me and Juan out for drinks and to hang out. One fancies Juan, and the other fancies me and they are not shy at all about letting us know this, so the wrestling plans are put on hold. Javier, a medical student and heavy metal freak who works at the hostel join us and we end up at a metal/goth bar getting lit and then back to the rooftop bar at the hostel for more drinks. All in all, a pretty good 34th b-day.

Today, Christmas Eve, me, Juan and Andi (a girl who works at the hostel, very cool chick) go out, and Andi hips us to the good coffee spots and food at the crazy Mercado Merced, which is the largest and oldest market in the city. Its also kind of a rough spot, known for its rampant prostitution, half of them underage. Kind of weird seeing hookers in their hooker gear in the middle of the day next to the fruit juice stand. Back to the hostel, everything shutting down early and catching up on the blog, uploading pictures, reading, watching movies, etc. Tomorrow, off to the ruins at Teotihuacan outside of the city, and lucha libre at night. Sunday, last day in MC, so Ill do last minute errands and sightseeing as I see fit, which will definitely include a trip to the Sunday bullfight.

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