Mexico page 3
On the following Friday, we (actually had another party to celebrate the departure of the americans, and then we) took a bus for a weekend trip to the nearby (10 hours) coastal city of Puerto Vallarta. The buses are actually very comfortable and VERY air-conditioned. Still... 10 hours is a long time. We arrived at about 9am just in time to waltz down to our hotel, check in, and begin sunbaking.
We immediately made for the beach, after all, it was the whole point of our little weekend excursion. It was alright, the water was quite warm, but I couldn't help feeling that it seemed silly to come to the beach in Mexico when most of the beaches in Australia are actually much better. Nevertheless, the Europeans in our group had a great time while the rest of us felt a little sorry for them for being so excited to be at such an underwhelming beach.
Of course, Puerto Vallarta is also much warmer than Guanajuato, which meant that it was the season for throwing people into the pool. I was actually the first to go in... unfortunately my camera was in my pocket at the time. Luckily, although the battery shorted and died, the camera actually still works although the lens is a little dirty (on the inside, where it is somewhat difficult to clean). This is why there are very few photos after this point. In fact this and the next photo were taken with someone else's camera (thanks Luisa).
Puerto Vallarta, being a costal town, is also known for good seafood. We were not disappointed. Here, our group can be seen eating at a Cuban restaurant (you can't really hear the music, but it's there). I ate some lovely fresh prawns mmmMMMMmmmm prawns. From bottom-left, clockwise - Luri (Brazil), Lisette (Holland), Roman (Switzerland), Olle (Sweden), Robert (Holland), Mel (Australia), Nick (Australia), Brittny (Jamaica), Meg (USA), Emma (USA), Me (Australia), Luisa (Brazil), Kyla (USA). The next night we got to watch the superbowl (whoop-de-doo, do I sound sarcastic?) but we spent most of that night trying to avoid obnoxious americans (difficult at the best of times). We managed to find a Hägen Daz ice cream cafe and hung out there and ate lots of lovely German ice cream (yay, globalization). On the Monday, which was a public holiday, we took a boat out to some random island in the bay to do some snorkeling, which was a little bit of a let down given that I've been snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef. We also got to see some humpback whales and bottlenose dolphins up close. During the long transit times, I was also able to dazzle bored onlookers with my ability with the Rubik's cube.
To illustrate the problems I'm currently having with my lens, here is a photo of Nick wearing his favourite shirt. The effect is quite nice, perhaps I should get a job taking photos of couples at weddings or something. However, until I get my lens cleaned, there will be less photos... (the following two are from Nick's camera)
Sitting around on the terrace of the Don Quijote school trying desperately to warm up in the sun. The building itself was always quite cold on the inside so during the break we had between classes, we would rush to the terrace and try to warm ourselves up. Occasionally we would also talk to each other in German...
On completing our time at the Spanish language school, we recieved certificates indicating how many hours we had spent in class and the level which we reached. We also had to give a speech in Spanish. Mine was interesting... perhaps I will post it on this website... here it is.
On the weekend we made our second attempt at climbing the Bufa. This time we were successful in finding the right mountain path and we weren't chased by dogs. It was a very pleasant walk up and when we reached the top I ate some breakfast and we took some photos. The view was really spectacular but we felt that a photograph wouldn't do justice to the depth of our field of view. So, instead, here is a photo of me and Nick...
Mexico City (redux) (11/2/07 - 16/2/07)
After a month in Guanajuato, we returned to Mexico City to have a quick look around before continuing on our travels through Mexico. On our first day there, we planned to visit the Museum of Anthropology, but it was Monday and the museum was closed. This gave us the chance to do some errands including a trip to the doctor for some eye-drops for Nick and some pills for my cough. On Tuesday, we met up, once again, with the Crossley's, family friends of Nicks, and they kindly showed us around a bit more. We travelled to the top of a pyramid atop a small hill which was fairly centrally located in the city's south west. The view from the top was spectacular as we had an uninterrupted 360 degree view of an extremely large and very very vast city.
On Wednesday, we made a day trip to the famous pyramid complex at Teotihuacán. The bus trip was a short 1 hour and when we got off I was pretty happy so I bought a hat so I wouldn't get sunburnt (best investment of the trip) and went about picking up bits of pottery... its the archaeologist in me.
OOOoooohhhhh!!! More pottery! Being careful not to get too excited, we made our way through a small museum they had which displayed information and artifacts about the city of Teotihuacán.
Nick walks in front of the Pyramid of the Sun, the world's 3rd largest pyramid. It's pretty impressive, especially since the folks who built it didn't have things that we, today, take for granted. Things like cranes, fork-lifts, big brother and the wheel.
Nick: "hey Daniel, are you SURE that this is the right pyramid? That one over there looks pretty big", Daniel: "Don't worry Nick, the other one always looks bigger until you're up close... oh, PYRAMIDS!... yes yes, of course... yeah... ummm.... this one's bigger, er... thicker at the base, I mean, its just so nice to sit on... mutter mutter mutter..."
If you thought getting UP was tricky... getting DOWN was even trickier. Those steps were very very steep.
The view from the top of the pyramid of the moon of the whole complex. The pyramid of the sun (the bigger one) can be seen to the left. From the start of the "Avenue of the Dead" to this pyramid, it was almost two miles... so it took us just under 8 minutes to cover the distance *cough*....
Believe it or not... this is a restaurant. Yes. It is in a cave. Apparently it used to be a granary. The food was very nice and the colourful chairs reminded us of pick-up-sticks.
Nick was attacked by a plant after lunch. Luckily a friend of mine who works in the CIA knew someone from the MIB who knew some aliens who were then able to contact their friend and tell him to let go.
Fancy a game of scrabble? Nick won this one comprehensively, although I did make "JUEZ" which was worth 40 points. We didn't even use a dictionary...
The Metro in Mexico City is quite impressive. Frequent, fast, reliable and very very cheap. Two pesos per trip, regardless of distance or duration. (2 pesos is approximately 20 Australian cents)
We finally got around to visiting the Museo de Anthropologica - THE museum of Mexico... and it certainly was very very big. Here is Nick wandering around the beginning section, dealing with the origins of man. Unfortunately, the Mexican anthropological community doesn't go for the flying spaghetti monster theory... but we'll just let this one slide.