Ruins at Teotithuacan outside of Mexico City
My last day in Mexico City
. I had originally planned to fly out Tuesday afternoon but when I was trying to buy the flight in Puerto Escondido
, either the airline site kept crashing or the flight I selected came up as unavailable. I was getting frustrated and anxious to get to Peru so when I saw a night flight on Monday that left at midnight and landed at 5:30 in the morning with no 4 hour layover in Bogota, Colombia, I jumped on it, even though it cost more than the other but $150. I just wanted to get out of Mexico and get to Peru so it seemed worth it to me.
So I had one day left to kill in D.F. before my late night flight. I decided to see the Teotithuacan pyramids and the shrine of Guadalupe and call it a day. Getting out to the pyramids took a full two hours and I only had enough time to walk to the main pyramid of the sun (now believed to be to the water god) and climb up it before getting back to the city and see Guadalupe. I met a nice Dutch couple on the bus who informed me that the bus driver charged me 5 pesos more than them. The driver sheepishly gave me back the 5 pesos but all of us thougth we were getting charged more than the locals. The bus took forever to get to the site. We could never pick up much speed because it seemed like every 100 feet or so there was a speed bump. Evidently there are many buses that take different routes because my ride back was on a nicer bus and took a half hour as opposed to an hour and a half.
The bus back didn't stop at every corner or go through the outskirts but jumped right on the expressway and straight to the departure point. That was a relief! The pyramids were impressive and it was nice to have the company of the Dutch kids. She was studying to be a doctor and had 6 weeks to spend in Mexico. Their luggage had been lost en route and I felt bad for them having to wait til it arrived. We had a nice conversation.
Guadalupe was in a run down, dirty northern area of the city and I guess I was expecting something further out and more remote. The new basilica was stark and the 60s architecture not very inspiring. I climbed up the hill and visited a chapel up there, and visited the old basilica down below. The actual cape of Juan Diego is in the new basilica and I remained to pray a rosary while benediction was going on.
I got back to the hostel and made an appointment to see a girl I had contact with before leaving. She works in the Sheraton and I got a taxi because of the rain and not knowing really where I was going. Lorena was an hour late and we only had enough time for a cup of coffee (Starbucks...yeah! My first good cup of coffee in a week in Mexico!!) and a chat before I had to leave. She offered to drive me and when I saw her shiny and spacious Jeep I asked her if she could drop me off at the subway stop one stop away from the one closer to the hostel to avoid having to change lines twice. I was worried about taking a taxi because of the rain and not knowing how bad traffic would be. It turned out to be a wise choice to take the metro because Jerry was caught in traffic Sunday and missed his first flight.
It was pandemonium outside the airport and the way from the subway stop exit to the airport was over muddy broken concrete in the blackness with no lights and a large crowd of people pushing and jostling each other. Ahhh...at that moment I had had it with Mexico. My feelings toward it, especially Mexico City, were such that I never want to go back there. I haven't revised that judgement either. I apologize to any I might offend but Mexico City was one of the most backward places I've ever been, especially for being a city of so many millions...it was a terrible experience in many ways. I was elated to be leaving for Peru in a short time! The check-in was moving at a glacial pace and when everyone was finally checked in the plane left almost an hour late. But we were in the air and I was happy. South America here I come!!