We had our doubts about visiting Mexico City. It's the 7th most-populated city in the world at over 20 million residents. We've heard the traffic and the congestion are killer! Not a place you'd want to ride into by motorcycle. So when Garry contacted us over the Internet and invited us into the big city, we naturally jumped at the chance!
Garry and I yakking about bikes
Garry, along with his wife Ivonne, run the the Garry Hostel, whose mission it is to "give accommodations to intrepid Motorcycle Travelers brave enough to come and experience the marvels of Mexico City". It's actually their home that they open up to any biker riding through Mexico, as they are also motorcyclists as well. Garry and Ivonne have hosted over 90 sets of motorcycle travellers over the years! They are taking their own big trip in the near future and I'm sure all this good karma they've built up will revisit them in spades!
Mexico City subway - normally a zoo during rush hour
Garry had to work during the week, so we took the subway downtown to visit the world-famous National Museum of Anthropology and History. Since our hosts were taking us pyramid-hunting this weekend, Ivonne told us it would be a great way to brush up on Mayan and Aztec culture before the visit.
Truthfully, I'm not really a museum person, I just like taking pictures. I also like taking naps in museums... Neda loves museums and talks about all the things she learns about while I am snapping away. This gives me material for the blog to go along with all the pictures. But because I'm only half-listening while taking pictures, most of these third-hand-half-heard "facts" that I write down are wrong, and then everyone e-mails me to correct me, and then I get to tell Neda how popular we are on the Internet. It's a great system...
Neda: Are you 5?!
Gene: Come on! I'm sure the artist was also like, "kikikiki" when he made this...!
Aztec Calendar Stone
Speaking of wrong facts, the very famous Aztec Calendar Stone, which is a Mexican cultural symbol, is now believed to be a basin or altar for human sacrifice. Now that's a lot cooler than some lame calendar!
Aztec head, sacrificial basin in the background
Outside the museum, there's a park with lots of vendors selling trinkets
Tweety-bird looks on as Neda gets a gold tooth put in, rapper-style
When we were in Guadalajara, we met a couple from Montreal who had come down to Mexico to get dental work done. The prices down here are much cheaper than in Canada, so Neda takes the opportunity to score some novacaine.
Outta the way! One-Two-Fives in da house!
My battery is not holding a proper charge, so after Garry gets back from work, we go searching for a Yuasa YTX14-BS. Garry's got a couple of smaller 125cc thumpers that are more suited for zipping in and out of Mexico City traffic, so off we go into the city zooming around on these tiny bikes! I got to ride his reverse-shift Honda on the way back, and I was stalling and hopping that rear wheel all the way home! SO MUCH FUN! :)
We didn't end up getting a battery that day, but we did go to the BMW dealership where they tried to charge me a million pesos for a BMW OEM battery. With the currency conversion, it would have been like a couple of thousand Canadian dollars. Whatevs...
Break dancers in Coyoacan
Mexico City is not in a state, it's inside a Federal District. One evening, our hosts take us to the historic centre of Coyoacan, one of the most popular places to visit in Mexico. With it's cobble-stone streets lined with restaurants, cafes, bookstores and other cultural attractions, the place is packed with a flurry of people and activities. We also discover another of our favorite foods - churros filled with Nutella! Neda is in heaven!
Cruiser parked outside one of the many cafes in Coyoacan
On the weekend, Ivonne drove all of us to the pyramids in Teotihuacan about 45-minutes north of Mexico City. Garry made up some stories about how northern Mexico City was the dangerous part of town, 'cause that's where they cut people's arms off. But when Ivonne hit the automatic locks when we were driving through the north, it scared us a little...
All throughout our trip in Mexico, we have been picking up bits and pieces of Spanish, but nobody has ever taken the time to teach us all the swear words. Until now. Ivonne's colourful vocabulary sprang to life as she negotiated the congested streets of Mexico City. "Chingo"!, "Ai Cabron!", "Tonto!"... ok, that last one wasn't that bad, but our SpanishDict apps on our iPhones were working overtime as we were shuffled around in the back seat while darting in and out of traffic!
We'd titter like little kids everytime Ivonne threw another Spanish cuss word at an errant driver that got in her way... :)
Hat and sunglasses commerce at the pyramids in Teotihuacan - tons of vendors everywhere!
We must have climbed over a thousand flights of (very steep) stairs going up and down three different pyramids during the day
Garry takes everyone of his guests here. He's climbed this pyramid over 90 times in his life!
Couple takes a break at the half-way mark
Ivonne fashionably surveying the land. I wish we had brought hats too...
Pyramid of the Sun is the largest pyramid in MesoAmerica. The people at the top look like tiny hairs!
There are three pyramids in Teotihuacan, the Pyramid of the Sun, the Pyramid of the Moon and the Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent. I found it interesting that like the Aztec Stone Calendar, the larger Pyramid of the Sun was misnamed. It's actually dedicated to the god of Water. So it should really be called Pyramid of Water, but it's been called the Pyramid of the Sun for so long that they're not going to bother changing it.
Reminds me of the Skydome back in Toronto. When Rogers Communications bought the rights to rename it to the Rogers Centre, everyone still calls it Skydome... Whole lotta money wasted...
Second pyramid-climb of the day
Pyramid of the Moon
Ivonne meditating in the shade. She's resting since we all fell asleep in the car
as she drove us all back
Our bikes resting at the Garry (and Ivonne) Hostel