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Hola from Mexico City (Part 2)

It was Lewis Birthday!


View Central & South America on chellebelle's travel map.

Sunday started off with another early wake-up....This time it was 6am instead of 5am! I'm calling that progress. Yay!!
Things work on a slower time here. Breakfast at our hostel we discovered takes about an hour. We arrive and chill in the courtyard where we are served coffee and a banana to start. After another 20mins or so deliciousness arrives...For lewis birthday it is quesadillas with salsas and hot black beans. I don't think I am going to get sick of beans so how. They are so tasty here! We have discovered that this laid back time at breakfast is the best time to learn some more Spanish from our phrasebook. Slowly but surely hopefully we'll get there. We seem to be able to read most things pretty well it is the speaking that is causing some (major) issues.

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Our lovely host Olivia recomended seeing the flying Indians outside the Anthropology Museum. I had completely forgot but on Sunday in Mexico, one of the main roads is closed to traffic until 2pm so that it can be used to exercise on. It was an awesome experience walking along with others who were biking, running, skate-boarding, rollerblading down a main road. There were little areas to the side where people had set up classes. I think my favourite part of it, besides the amount of people out and about exercising was that there were so many people teaching there Mum or wife how to ride a bike. It was really cute!

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We arrived at the museum just as the men had climbed the pole. At the top they started chanting and before we knew it they were flying around and slowly making there way back down to the ground. It was a pretty awesome thing to watch.

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The Anthropology Museum is world renowned so we couldn't help but stop and have a look. This place exceeded expectations; to be honest it blew me away. The history and the amount of artefacts were amazing! Even better they had english subtitles for all of the major points of history. I learnt a lot about when different groups ruled and how they lived. Really interesting stuff! They even had an outdoor area with examples of some of the temples that were made in that times and in the different areas.

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That evening we headed out on a tour I had organised for Lewis birthday. We were off to see Lucha Libre Mexican Wrestling with Urban Adventures. We started out heading to Arena Mexico with our guide Luis.

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All except for the Main Event was a triple tag-team or 3 vs 3. The rules are quite simple, first to win three rounds wins the match. Some teams would send someone in to distract the ref while they would gang up on an opponent so pretty much rules are made to be broken and obviously. Luis explained that in wrestling there is always a good team and a bad team or hero and villain. Obviously you want the good team to win but this is not always the case. He also explained that in Mexican wrestling, once they loose their mask they can't get it back again and the person behind the mask can possibly be your neighbour and you would never know it. It is a pretty big deal if you lose your mask.

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During the night I think I yelled the most out of all of us. The theatrics with the wrestling was highly entertaining ...I hate to admit it but I think I maybe a fan, especially of the Australian tag version! Luis organised for us to meet one of the wrestlers who we had just watched. It was pretty epic.The wrestling wasn't confined to the ring, more than once wrestlers were chucked into the audience. It is fairly intense.

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We rushed off to the Latin American Building post match, it is one of the tallest buildings in the historic area of Mexico City. We headed up to the bar on the 42nd floor. The views as the lights of Mexico City came on were out of this world.

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I couldn't stop staring at the tiny people below that looked like ants. The Mezcal Mango Margarita was also pretty impressive. Our dinner stop was stunning pork tortas before heading to a bar in the Mariachi Plaza.

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The boys drunk tequila and mezcal shots while I sat and stared impressed with the stunning cantina.The bar's orignial owner was the one that created the mariachi plaza as he missed the music from home. Luis decided to organise a few songs to be made by the Son Jarocho band in the bar. They made up the lyrics about what ever topic he wanted (In this case it was about a girl). They were magnificent performers.
At that point we called it a night. Considering it was a Sunday I was pretty impressed with the effort. It was a magnificent night and I honestly can't speak more highly of the tour. Thank you Luis!

For our last full day in Mexico we decided to complete the massive journey to the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco.

The Floating Gardens of Xochimilco is a series of canals that were made in pre-hispanic times when the valley where Mexico City now stands was a lake. The Aztecs dug a series of canals along it's edge whose mud they heaped on the earth around them and anchored reeds atop of the water. These land plots appeared like floating islands. The farmers on these floating islands used the canal muck to fertilise the soil and so created a rich agricultural resource where many of the city's flowers, fruit and vegetables were grown at the time and hence the name floating gardens. Today approximately 14km of canals are still navigable. Farmers, nurseries and gardens are still on the banks of the river. Over 2000 brightly coloured trajinera (flat boat) can go along this canal daily. Luckily for us it was a very quiet Monday and we would have been lucky if there were 50 trajinera's on the water when we were. Smaller trajineras, (called chalupas) came up alongside offering you entertainment, food (there was literally a small kitchen on a tiny boat) and handicrafts as you float along.
It took us about two hours each way in non-air-conditioned trains and metros. It seemed pretty crazy considering it was only 20km from where we were staying. The trip home was extremely hot to say the least, we liked to think of it as a sauna. We arrived and headed down to the boats. Due to my terrible Spanish I didn't try to bargain to much though I definitely got a decent discount just for walking away.

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We walked past hundreds of boats and arrived at ours and were off with our young teenage paddler (He was pretty lazy and let us float a lot of the way along the river). We manoeuvred past the numerous other docked boats and headed down to the main canal.

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The water was glassy in places and was it was stunning just floating along in the quiet with birds flying past or watching from their nests. As we continued along we reached some of the traders who have boats and sell their items along the river. Some boats are filled in a Mariachi band that connects to your boat and serenades you as you float along. Basically nearly anything you would like you will find as you float along. It was a beautiful hour along the river and an awesome experience. It really is Mexico's version of the canals of Venice.

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We decided to explore the market and town of Xochimilco after our trip down the canals. The church was beautiful and had streamers everywhere to help make it even brighter. We explored some of the mercado (it was massive!) and brought tortilla azul with spicy guacamole for lunch. The town was bright, vibrant and extremely busy. There were buses everywhere but to be honest there were minimal tourists.

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Mexico City has been amazing. The people have been friendly and helpful. We really have had no problems and to be honest I would be back in a heart beat. I can't wait to see more of this exciting country! Next stop Puebla.

Posted by chellebelle 20:58 Archived in Mexico Tagged boats gardens mexico adventure urban city tour libre df xochimilco lucha Comments (1)

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