Skip to main page content Navigation follows
Linked In

A day trip to the volcanoes

[This article was originally written for an e-newsletter sent out on 28 November 2005.]

Well it's not all toil and labour here, and on a recent public holiday, my hosts gave myself, and the two other Latin-Link volunteers here in Mexico, Graham and Joey, the opportunity to visit the nearby volcanoes Popocatépetl and Ixtaccíhuatl, in a country park about a two-hour drive from Mexico Ctiy.

The trip took place on Wednesday 2 November and this was my first venture out of the city since I had arrived a few weeks earlier. Mexico city is so built up, and people don't seem to have gardens here, just small backyards if that, so I felt I had not seen any 'green' in weeks. As I began to escape the seemingly endless corridors of urban landscape, and saw for the first time real countryside, I felt like the lead character in the film 'Brazil', who in the dream sequence at the end, began to escape at long last to the countryside he had for so long dreamed of visiting.

As we looked back over the city, I saw for the first time the plume of smog that continually hovers over the city. I was stunned by its dark-purple appearance, and horrified to think that this is the air I breath every day. I was able to snap a quick photo of the haze looking down from a mountainside as we left the city: The photo isn't that great, but I will try to get a better shot in the future.

Mexico City is already at high altitude (7000 ft), so as we headed out of the city it was amazing to see these great mountains dominating the horizon.

I had been warned to apply plenty of sun lotion. However, when we arrived, the temperature was pretty cold, so I figured I would be ok, besides which I had a hood. I guess I've always associated sun burn with hot weather. This though is a mistake I will not make again - especially at high altitude - as when I arrived home that afternoon, my face was as red as a beetroot.

The views were pretty cool as you might imagine, with snowcapped mountains and deep valleys, but I'll let the pictures speak for themselves (link at end of article).

What perhaps I enjoyed most about the day (as anyone who knows me will understand) was the lunch part. In what totally blew my mind, there are all these local people who set up mini restaurants alongside the winding roads of the volcano. They're called 'puestos' (= stands), and are a simple affair with a long table, set with some inviting drinks under a small canopy. The hosts (in our case a husband, wife and baby) had a small stove to one side, and ingredients to cook you a lovely lunch. You just find a puesto along the road where no one is sitting, and pull over.

We stopped at this puesto about half-way down the mountain and ate 'quesadillas', surface-baked tortillas filled with delicious Oaxacan mild cheese and various other hot fillings. As we sat watching the wife cook the food, the husband was in the background chopping wood for the stove - I felt a million miles away from the regulated, modern, computer-driven world I had come from. I thought if this was the UK, they'd probably have running water, a gas stove, some degree of sanitation, and there would probably be a law against chopping wood. But this is Mexico! I wasn't too convinced about the hygene, but I blessed the food, crossed my fingers, and it was really delicious.

To see photos from this day trip to the volcanoes, visit:

0 Comment(s):

Post a Comment

Other Posts

For earlier posts, see the Earlier Posts and Archive links on the right. See the homepage for a list of most recent posts.

Powered by Blogger