This morning, on our last day in Mexico City, we had one more relaxing breakfast with “hot cakes” (the Mexican version of pancakes) and around noon Vanessa had to leave for the airport to go back to Toronto. Her dad and sister drove her while her mom and I were going to go to Cuernavaca, the city where I was going to spend the next two weeks.
Our driver arrived a little late (not an unusual occurrence in Mexico), and we headed off towards Cuernavaca. Instead of taking the faster 4-lane toll highway, we took the old winding country road across the mountains. Mexico City is located in a valley surrounded on all sides by mountains and so we climbed up the mountain range. Near the highest point is a village called Las Tres Marias, and you can see very basic homes, with people sitting in front selling various types of merchandise.
Statue in front of the Palacio de Cortés in Cuernavaca
The road is very winding, and narrow in parts, and we had a close encounter with a car in front of us that suddenly stopped to turn left. Of course, none of the break lights were working and the indicator wasn’t on either so we had to swerve off to the right to avoid hitting this vehicle. Fortunately there was no one beside us, so we ended up okay. But traffic on Mexican streets can certainly be an adventure in itself.
The remaining ride through the mountainous forested area was pleasant and our driver asked his way through to the address of Vanessa’s aunt. We entered a beautiful residential neighbourhood full of bougainvilleas and tropical plants and spent an enjoyable afternoon with Vanessa’s aunt, her cousin, his wife and their little 5 year old daughter. Vanessa’s cousin works for Mexicana Airlines and also teaches technical courses at a local university. One of his hobbies is mountain climbing, and among other mountains he has climbed the Pico de Orizaba, Mexico’s highest mountain, as well as Mount Aconcagua in Argentina, the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere at 6960 m.
One of the side chapels next to Cuernavaca’s cathedral
We had a wonderful dinner with roasted chicken, rice and salad and then the whole family dropped me off at my home for the next 2 days: Villa San Marcos, a bed and breakfast located south of Cuernavaca’s center, where I am about to catch some much-needed rest for my first day of language studies.