After being disappointed at Santuario Miraposa Monarca and being it was mid morning we decided to continue onto our next destination, Teotihuacan which is a Pueblo Magico, just northeast of Mexico City. This is where we took a wrong turn just outside of Mexico City and ended up within the city limits. This is a No-No for foreigners they are not allowed into the city on certain days depending on your licence plate number and/or not before 11am and has rather large fines. As it was, we managed to escape without being caught as this was a day when we should not have been there. We made to what we thought would be a trailer park where we could stay for the night only to find it was locked-up. We decided to get out of the town area and found restaurant for dinner where they allowed us to camp for the night.
Next morning, we walked to Teotihuacan to see the ancient ruins and pyramids of the Sun and Moon.
Teotihuacan /teɪˌoʊtiːwəˈkɑːn/, (in Spanish: Teotihuacán) (Spanish pronunciation: [teotiwa’kan is an ancient Mesoamerican city located in a sub-valley of the Valley of Mexico, located in the State of Mexico 40 kilometres (25 mi) northeast of modern-day Mexico City, known today as the site of many of the most architecturally significant Mesoamerican pyramids built in the pre-Columbian Americas.
At its zenith, perhaps in the first half of the 1st millennium CE, Teotihuacan was the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas, with a population estimated at 125,000 or more, making it at least the sixth largest city in the world during its epoch. Apart from the pyramids, Teotihuacan is also anthropologically significant for its complex, multi-family residential compounds, the Avenue of the Dead and its vibrant murals that have been well-preserved. Additionally, Teotihuacan exported fine obsidian tools that are found throughout Mesoamerica. The city is thought to have been established around 100 BCE, with major monuments continuously under construction until about 250 CE. The city may have lasted until sometime between the 7th and 8th centuries CE, but its major monuments were sacked and systematically burned around 550 CE.
Teotihuacan began as a religious center in the Mexican Highlands around the first century CE. It became the largest and most populated center in the pre-Columbian Americas. Teotihuacan was home to multi-floor apartment compounds built to accommodate the large population. The term Teotihuacan (or Teotihuacano) is also used for the whole civilization and cultural complex associated with the site.
Although it is a subject of debate whether Teotihuacan was the center of a state empire, its influence throughout Mesoamerica is well documented; evidence of Teotihuacano presence can be seen at numerous sites in Veracruz and the Maya region. The later Aztecs saw these magnificent ruins and claimed a common ancestry with the Teotihuacanos, modifying and adopting aspects of their culture. The ethnicity of the inhabitants of Teotihuacan is the subject of debate. Possible candidates are the Nahua, Otomi or Totonac ethnic groups. Scholars have suggested that Teotihuacan was a multi-ethnic state.
The city and the archaeological site are located in what is now the San Juan Teotihuacán municipality in the State of México, approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) northeast of Mexico City. The site covers a total surface area of 83 square kilometres (32 sq mi) and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. It is the most visited archaeological site in Mexico, receiving 4,185,017 visitors in 2017. (Wikipedia)
We climbed to the top of Pyramid of the Sun, where there was a great view of the whole complex.
When we started making our way back to the entrance it was quite apparent that the crowds had started to enter the complex, just look at the number of people on top and climbing the Pyramid of the Sun.
We did go into the onsite Museum, they did not allow flashes and the light was quite dim therefore we did not take many photos. There was a scale model of the complex showing how it would have looked in its hay-day.
After leaving the complex we went back to the camper and had some lunch at the restaurant we had parked at the night. Funnily enough the owner of the trailer park in town introduced herself and told us we were welcome to stay there.
From here we headed towards some grottos that were filled by natural hot springs.
By the time we arrived at the entrance it around 5:30 pm and would start getting dark soon. The road from here is all switchbacks travelling down from an elevation of around 2400M/7870ft to 1900M/5900ft in a distance of about 5km/3miles, therefore we decided to stay at the top for the night.
Next morning, it was raining and visibility was around 50M/55yds. We started the downward drive on these very tight switchbacks (which was no problem in a car), we noticed that there were quite a few small rock slides due to all the rain. The road was paved until the last 2km/1.2mile where it turned into a dirt or should I say muddy road. As we applied the brakes, we could feel the truck sliding due to our weight. After careful consideration we decided it would not be prudent to stay just in case there was a major rock/landslide where we would not be able to leave until it was cleared.
Check out the link to the Grottos, this is what we wanted to see/do: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tolantongo
On our way back south, we contacted Thomas & Stefan who had arrived back from Switzerland and Indonesia, they were located in Tepotzolen, just northwest of Mexico City and where preparing their rig to start travelling again in Mexico, so we decided it was time for a visit and catch up on each other travels.
We ended up staying 6 days in Tepotzolten, we wanted to catch up with our friends and just hang around a wind down from all the driving we had done. To this point we had driven over 6000km/3725miles. Also, Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) was in a few days and Tepotzolten have quite the celebration for this event. The central and southern Mexicans celebrate friends and relatives who have passed-on, the celebration is to help the dead transition to the afterlife.
These people are preparing for Dia de Muertos.
The various graves of ancestors in the local graveyard were decorated and lighted at night.
The graveyard during the day gives a better perspective on the decorations
The adults dressed for the occasion.
The children also joined in.
Even the chocolate makers where in on the celebrations.
Next: East to the Coast