Chris' 1994  R100GS/PDChris' new bike, a 1996 F650 ULTIMATE JOURNEY Erin's 1997  F650
Living a Dream . . . 2 Live-N-Ride

April 14th, 2003.-- Mexico City: Day 1,425 = 49 countries with over 88,800 miles

Credit to

Mexico City

-- Story by Chris --

Weds, April 9th: After much discussion with Joaquin, his family, and his friends, we departed Puebla and headed for the capital of Mexico, Mexico City, otherwise known as Mexico DF or just DF. Supposedly, not all that long ago, DF was rated the second most dangerous city in the world. Most travellers we asked for hotel recommendations could not help, as they gave the 25,000-inhabitant city a miss. The very few that had been, gave it very high marks.

In order to reach the city early, we traveled the 120km on the Autopista, which was much faster then the Federal road, but also cost $20 ($10/bike). The signage was fairly clear, but a friendly couple from the Apoyo Vial (some form of roadside service) offered to lead us through the traffic, first to the zocolo, and then to our hotel. The Hotel Monte Carlo on Calle Uruguay was recommended by another traveller friend (thanks Jason). It is located in the center of the city, only a couple of blocks from the zocolo (main plaza), has large rooms, safe parking inside, and apparently was a favorite hotel for D.H.Lawrence –- not bad for $20! Our first impression of the city is that it is very clean, safe, and has a very European feel, with its architecture and cobblestone streets. We like it!

Thurs, April 10th: The Museo Anthropologia is world renowned, and even recommended by other travellers, so of course we went for a visit. A 15-minute subway ride ($0.20) brought us to Chapultepec Park, followed by a 10-minute walk to the museum. We spent all day roaming though the various exhibits, which started with the evolution of man and carried through the various Indigenous Indians of Mexico and the southern USA.   I, like many of my male friends, am not a museum man and I must admit this museum is definitely worth a visit.

Afterwards while having a sandwich in the park, we encountered the famous Totonac rain dancers from El Tajin.  Usually four, but sometimes up to 12, rain dancers and a musician all dressed in colorful costumes climb to the top of a 30 meter pole.  When the musician starts to play, the other dancers, attached by ropes to a spinning top piece, fling themselves off and begin a long upside down spiral decent to the ground. 

Fri, April 11th: We spent the day wandering around the city, exploring the cathedral, and entering many of the churches. Of particular interest, many of the old buildings and churches are slanted/tilted – they are literally sinking into the ground. The tableland the city is built on is soft, and with Mexico’s many earthquakes, buildings continue to settle lower into the ground each year. Buildings that originally had a few steps leading up to the entrances are now at or below street level. The biggest drop known is 4 meters!

We headed to Plaza Garibaldi in the evening. Friday and Saturday nights are apparently the best nights to see the various groups of Mariachi bands. A traditional Mariachi band has 8 members, dressed in wonderful costumes with large sombreros, singing and playing various string instruments and horns. The going rate is US$5 for a song, US$10 for 2, and US$300 for an hour! There were probably a couple of hundred players hanging around the plaza. Some were waiting to serenade lovers or birthday celebrants, others combed and solicited the nearby restaurants, and the last group had individuals scattered along the streets, trying to catch the eye of passing cars (for a song or for the night). Yes, we thought they looked like prostitutes… …of music. It was a wonderfully interesting thing to see.

Sat, April 12th: Lalo of Poncho Villa Tours came to our hotel in the morning, along with his friend Irma. We met Lalo at the Panama - Costa Rica border back in December while he was guiding a tour, and have been in contact since. We took Lalo’s truck out to Teotihuacán, the site of the famous sun and moon pyramids, located about 30-minutes outside of the city. It has some of the most remarkable relics of an ancient civilization in the world, and dates from 300 B.C. The site, like all the others we have seen in Mexico, is very large. We spent several hours wandering around the site, including climbing to the top of the taller (sun) pyramid. The base is at an altitude of 2,300 meters/ 7,500 feet, and from there we climbed some 64 meters / 210 feet up – "Ay Chihuahua", it was exhausting!

In the late afternoon, Lalo and Irma took us to Plaza Ciudadela where we watched various dance classes (not performers) practicing the Cuban rhythms of the mambo. Afterwards, a stroll through the artesian market left our wallets a little lighter and our baggage a bit heavier. We got back to the hotel well after dark, and plunged into an exhaustive, deep sleep.


Approaching the Zocolo


Looking down into the hotel lobby


The Totonac rain dancers in flight.


The largest mushroom in the world -- this fountain is the centerpiece of the Museo Anthropologia


Hologram display changes from scull to faces as you walk past


Depiction of Indian dancing


Shaman priest in the Zocolo


Performers next to the Zocolo


In front of the Sun Pyramid at

Chris, Irma, Erin, and Lalo




Previous Chapter | Next Chapter


TOP | About Us | Costs | FAQ | Journal Entries | Links | Motorcycles | Photo Gallery | Supporters | Guestbook | HOME

  Sure, send us an email E-mail Us

There are probably dozens of errors on this website (if not more).   
If you notice/have any problems, please send us an email: Webmaster

The goal is not the destination, it's the experiences along the way.