A new and strange experience - travelling with out a Lonely Planet (LP) as unfortunately the Central America LP only covers a 1/3 of Mexico! Either that or I had a significant number of pages missing. What to do!
Plan A - Locate a map. The hotel had one but when open was taller than me - not incredibly practical and besides it didn't have any landmarks on it.
Plan B - Wander round aimlessly until we find a tourist information and hopefully see things on the way. (which you do not have a clue what they are but they look big and impressive so quick take a photo in case). This was semi successful - we did find the info centre but they didn't have maps. I got out my 10ft map to see if they could direct us to any points of interest but they apparently didn't know of any.
Plan C - Continue to wander aimlessly………
Mexico City seemed OK but as to points of interests, sadly I cannot comment as we managed to miss most of them. We know this because our trip guide gave us a map the next day poniting them all out when there was no time to actually use the map! I will have to come back because despite walking miles we actually managed to walk the only possible route that would take nothing in (according to the map). PS This might be a slight exaggeration but not much!!!
We joined the intrepid tour on the evening of Day 2. Motley crew headed by our fearless leader - Gino from Spain (part monkey / part Duracell bunny). This guy has more energy than me - hard to believe but true. There are 10 of us in total. 2 Brits (Me and Ann); 2 Kiwis; 5 Aussies and a token Yank. Everyone wanted to be friends with the Yankee (Oscar), as not only did he speak fluent Spanish but he had the Mexican LP - we were saved. No more aimless walking - yeah. We all had tea to bond as a team. The food by the way here is superb. It would be hard not to beat Cuban cuisine but that doesn't do Mexican food justice. The flavours are amazing, lots of variety, and portions sizes are spot on. All add up to make Jackie a very happy bunny.
The next day we had our first unofficial group outing with Oscar as our leader (he had the LP). We caught public transport to the impressive ruins of Teotihuacan Pyramids. Only one mishap on the way when we caught the underground except Oscar who was on the wrong side of the closing doors! Lets not forget at this point the is our leader. There was a moment of panic as we prised the doors open with super human strength often witnessed in times of danger! Yes we had Oscar but his bag was now on the other side - which contained the LP!!!!!!! Suffice to say eventually we managed to get the whole of Oscar in and the rest of the journey went without incidence.
The pyramids were amazing. There are 14 in total here with one being the 3rd largest in the world. We were able to actually climb this one. It was a tough climb in the heat but the view was well worth the effort. How many people can you fit on the top of a pyramid - too many. It was absolutely packed up here and even had Brits on Tour. You know the type - drunk, rude, mouthy and think they are god's gift. I conveniently became a Canadian at this point.
Getting down was steep but a local guide had shown me a sideway / diagonal technique. It earned me the nickname 'mountain goat' as the only view of me going down was my tracks. It as exhilarating.
After the Pyramids, our guide convinced us to have lunch at a little place he knew- not to worry about transport his brother was coming. So our taxi arrived - 7 of us sat in a Ute. OHS - what's that??? It was good fun and I got a bit carried away and on arrival leapt over the side like something from Dukes of Hazzard. Don't worry nothing was broken. It was a good meal too but we got fleeced. - all part of the experience.
In the evening we went to Garibaldi Square and Mercado San Camilito. We ate nachos in the market. There is a direct and positive link here between the amount of Formica and the quality of the food (unlike the UK where the opposite is true). So we went to Formica heaven. Afterwards we went to the square where Mariachi bands (4-6 guys with guitars) stroll around waiting for people to pay them to play. Are they kidding? I would have paid for them to go away but people actually do pay. For me a nightmare but the other seemed happy. (PS if you are struggling to imagine a Mariarchi band think back to those irritating musicians that stalk Italian restaurants in the UK; come in; play a few songs as if they are doing you a favour; disrupt your peaceful romantic dinner or sparkling witty conversation; then want you to pay!)