Posted by: jimndianne | December 1, 2009

The changing faces of Mexico.

01 December 2009, Mexico

We said a sad goodbye to our friends, the staff at Hotel Las Villa Margaritas. They had shown us such warmth and friendship and seemed genuinely sorry to see us go. Our guide from the previous day, Armando, was kind enough to offer to take us to the bus terminal, another very nice person we had had the privilege to know here in Xalapa.

We were booked to travel to Mexico City on an ADO078 bus, with GL level of comfort, (one level down from the most expensive bus) and with barely a half full complement we departed from Xalapa, the journey scheduled to take 5 hours. The bus pictured here on the right was of a different line but similar as we forgot to take a photo of ours! Our 054fellow passengers soon put their seat backs into a  position which almost created a bed and most of them fell asleep straight away. For us, the grey curtains at the windows were a nuisance   as we wi041shed to see as much of the countryside as we could on this trip so we pulled back as many as we could. From the 042 outset, there was changing scenery even as we journeyed on our way through the mountainous area away from Xalapa. There were043 many shanty towns and small villages, as well as unfinished bare concrete homes.044

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Note the boots outside the door!051

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Once out of the mountains, the landscape gave way to flat plains. The main crop here is corn, and it is everywhere! However, due to the cold weather at this time of year the corn has now dried out and is either still standing dry and forlorn in the fields or has just been gathered up and put into small pyramid-shaped stacks. None of it is wasted though and would probably be fed to the livestock or ground up into corn meal, possibly for making tortillas. (This is just our guess…)

There are massive cacti to be seen, too, 067 and other smaller varieties. A solitary airfield caught our eye, in the midst of fields of vegetables; also a ruined fort. Here, a small town nestles into the hills.

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A type of cabbage tree was prolific in this area.

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About two hours out of Mexico City this attractive church was visible between other buildings.

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Spotted when we stopped at some road works – this young boy herding his sheep and goats, along with his three faithful dogs, up a dry river bed.

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Also along the way were many beautiful shrines of remembrance in the form of floral tributes to a departed soul, perhaps a victim of a road accident.

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We were now approaching the outskirts of Mexico City and were quite astounded to see the actual side of this city – it is just VAST! Very many homes are also built on the numerous hills surrounding the city. It is urban sprawl at its worst, with huge numbers of 077people living in quite desperate circumstances. 075

And we are almost in Mexico City after a very easy and pleasant 4 1/2  hour bus ride.

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Journey ended with a short taxi ride to our final Mexican hotel, the Ramada.


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