Today was a public holiday thanks to Mexican Independence day, so our Couchsurfing host Angie and her boyfriend Steve (English guy teaching history here in Mexico City – awesome dude) took us for a drive out of the city to visit the Pueblo Magica (Magic Towns) of Malinalco & Tepoztlán.
After a breakfast of cheese and vegemite jalapeno tortilla’s and a few false starts (3 ATM’s later – thanks ANZ), we drove our way out of the Mexico City maze and into the countryside where we drove past cactus plantations, locals bathing at the spring pools and dodged dogs, cows and chickens. The original plan was to spend the day in Malinalco to visit what is supposed to be one of the best, relatively undiscovered archeological sites in Mexico, however it turns out that the site is closed on Mondays (who knew?!).
No problem – the town itself was extremely pretty with cobblestone streets, markets and a huge church. We checked the church out, which had a sign that specifically said “no flash”- not only did i accidentally take a photo of Jesus at the alter with the flash, I kicked the pew in fright when it went off, tripped and said “oh f**k” out loud. Pretty sure I’m going to hell. Sorry Jesus.
We had ourselves an ice cream at the Zocalo and then headed off to Tepoztlán, which took about an hour and a half through the mountains, almost hitting a lady and her donkey walking down the road (not true- she was on the other side of the road and we missed her by a mile, but she still took us by surprise).
Tepoztlán is a very cute little town with hundreds of Mexican banners strung across the streets, right at the bottom of some mountains. At the top of one of these mountains is some Mayan (Aztec?!) ruins, so we decided to hike to the top. We didn’t think that we were going to be doing this walk when we left in the morning, so were very unprepared for the walk in jeans and volleys. We were extremely unprepared for the torrential rain that started when we were halfway up the mountain (to be fair, one Mexican lady made it all the way up and down in clogs, to which I say RESPECT!).
The climb is pretty steep and goes for about 45 minutes each way, which is easier said than done in extremely heavy rain when your jeans are so soaked that they’re falling down your legs. We made it to the top though and the views and ruins made it all worth it- amazing outlooks over the mountains and whole town, with ruins behind you and random animals running around (according to Angie they’re a cross between a bear, raccoon, squirrel and dog…).
Tomorrow to Teotihuacan and a night bus to Oaxaca. Very sad to leave our host and new friend Angie- we want to pack her up and take her with us.