Gratos of Tolantongo

We arrived here at dusk last night. Tolantongo is hours away from Mexico City along treacherous roads. Unknown even to most Mexicans, it is a natural hotspring. An underground river of the freshest toastiest water emerges from this mountain at the head of an incredible gorge. There is a hotel at the bottom of the gorge where we bedded down for the night. In the morning we explored the magistry of this place. The photos don’t even begin to show the beauty. The grato sits at the mouth of the river that snakes through the gorge. Behind kira, you can see opening of the grato. It is actually a huge cave with tunnels extending deep into the mountain. Some of the currents from those tunnels are so incredibly strong that ropes are strung along the walls of the cave. I was too chicken to bring my camera too near the water, so you will have to make due with these amazing scenes from a distance. We spent all day exploring both sides of the gorge. High up the far side we found a trail to a another hotspring pool. We had to swim to get there, so there was no hope of bringing a camera, but it was quite possibly the most beautiful place i’ve ever been. Warm currents from under the mountain met the cool waterfall from atop it to provide us with a very comfortable pool. Above us, two cliffs seemed to reach out to each other leaving a crevasse just large enough for the sun to pour through to illuminate each falling drop of the waterfall. Truly amazing. I was speechless. (if you can believe that after this very wordy entry)

Pyramids of Teotiuhuacan

We left this morning for the ancient city of Teotiuhuacan.  Once the largest city in the Americas, it is home to the 3rd largest pyramid in the world.  Much of this ancient city still stands to this day.  We climbed the pyramids and met some Australians at the top.  It was exhausting, but the weather couldn’t have been more perfect.  It seemed to be hazy for much of the climb, but clear up as we the day progressed.  All in all an amazing trip.  We hopped back in the Supra for Tolantongo.

Exploring the City

Our first stop after breakfast was the Zocalo.  A town square, it has changed quite a bit over the years.  Originally paved by Cortez, the most recent changes involved removing just about everything from the square. (trees, monuments, etc.)  The only thing that remains is a giant flagpole and an enormous mexican flag.  That is not to say it is empty.  The square is filled with street vendors, performers, protesters, students, beggers, and tourists.  The Zocalo rests in front of the oldest cathedral in Mexico.  It’s construction took over 200 years beginning in the 16th century using stones stolen from an Aztec city that originally occupied this area.

After viewing the Cathedral, we jumped on the subway to get downtown to the Plaza de Computation.  A cross between Frys Electronics and a swap meet.  Before you even get inside you pass dozens of street vendors selling everything from cell phone chargers to pirated copies of Final Cut Pro or Lost.  I was too busy ogling to take pictures.  We came for a purpose, to buy me a new hard drive (remember, i broke my laptop in Culican).  After that we head to a certain Sears shop with a coffee shop with a spectacular view of the Palace of Fine Arts.  Another piece of amazing architecture you cannot seem to go two blocks without stumbling upon.

After that we did a bit more sightseeing before deciding to take a cab back to the apartment instead of the subway.  It’s a good thing too, because almost as soon as we get in the green VW Beetle with no front seat, it starts to rain.  By the time we get home, it is really pouring

First Night in the City

We arrived in Mexico City in the evening.  After bringing our stuff the four flights to Eric’s apartment we headed out to a bar.  It was actually an art explosion.  We paid one cover for bars and clubs all over town.  We met some really nice folks.  I met some journalists from the US and Canada.  After a few hours, we’d move on to another place.  Some of the clubs had live bands and all of them were packed full of people.  Some of the exhibits were truly inspired while others seemed to be drug induced.  One of my favorites had a cleverly edited loop of a standoff between two gunslingers projected on the wall of the sub-basement.  It had been edited in such a way to lengthen the loop.  Cutting between long shots and close-ups without letting the intensity let up for even a moment.  We ended the night with some tacos and then sleep.


We arrived in Morelia very late last night.  A thoroughly modern city despite much of its construction in colonial times.  It is the capital of the Mexican state of Michoacán.  A beautiful city with a very active night life.  We wondered the streets at night to find a hotel and found bars and discotecs brimming with people, even at nearly 2am.  We eventually found a place and bedded down.  In the morning we explored some of the historic architecture that makes this city famous.  A mole torta and we hit the road again.


After passing countless fields of agave we finally arrived in the town of Tequila.  Home of a drink of the same name.  We visited the Jose Cuervo factory.  Tour and tastes for tourists because most of the actual Tequila production and all of the bottling takes place near Guadalajara.  I had a great time, even while I was almost beaned by a falling agave (they can be 50-70 kilos).  I learned much about the making and drinking of Tequila.  We even got to see the private cellar.  It was actually lost for decades, only found when growth and expansion lead to serious remodeling.

After the tour we met up with a friend Eric had made on his previous visit.  We met up for more drinks and wonderful conversation.  A really great guy with a lovely fiancé.  He is building a Tequila factory of his own.  As the day came to an end, we had to pack our car and get back on the road.  The sun was setting on the agave fields as we drove on to Morelia.


The journey here was awful.  The 15 was usually a very nice drive, but for this stretch it was one lane each way and there were so many slow moving double trailer semis it took forever.  When we finally arrived at 1am, we discovered it was a hole in the wall town that we only slept in.  The hotel was straight out of the 60s and quite run down.  Rotary phones and no outlets.  What more can i say?  Back on the road!  this time to Tequila!