The past few days have been a blur. Exciting. Covering ground. Trying foods. Running. Hiking. Exploring new places. Meeting new people.
After a flight delay in San Francisco on Wednesday, I rerouted to fly through Huston, TX, then to Mexico City. Zabrina and Bart picked me up at the airport and we ran over to a bar to watch the USA-Mexico soccer game (2-2) after dropping my stuff off at hotel San Francisco in the historic downtown district.
Mexico City seems to go on forever. Lots of street vendors and shops. Crowded but friendly people. Good public transportation but shoddy infrastructure. In my brief 24 hours, I managed to go for a run in a downtown park, visit the mescal tequila museum, and a few markets, watch the sun set through a fog of pollution from the top of a skyscraper, and see a bunch of the downtown.
The next morning, after 3 hours of sleep, we made green smoothies and took off at 4 AM (I promptly left behind the base to the bullet blender in the hotel room… maybe we can get it shipped to us?). We left early because there are pollution restrictions that didn’t allow us to drive between 5 and 11 AM on weekdays, so we needed to get out of town before 5. It was about a two and a half hour drive to Zacatlan, a town to the east of Mexico City. The drive has been between 2,300 and 2,700 meters in elevation. We stayed with a friend, Jason Berner, who is living there during a one year water assistance peace corps assignment and on leave form the US EPA.
Zacatlan was a beautiful small Mexican mountain town between soaring peaks on the edge of an enormous valley/canyon. Despite our exhaustion, we ate and went to the university to play soccer with Jason and his team. Unfortunately after warming up, Zabrina and I were not allowed to play, so we hung out and watched, and I ran around the track, until Jason’s team won their first game of the season 2-1. Jason showed us a few of the rain water collection and water conservation projects he was working on. Fun to see his work and the positive ways americans are helping the world. We could use some more of these ideas implemented in our own country…
We stopped by the oldest clock factory (and museum) in Latin America and ate lunch at a shop with two tables where a family cooked a family meal for us. Gotta love the personal nature of this culture. We also hiked down into the canyon before just about collapsing with exhaustion (lack of sleep + elevation + lots of sun exposure) back at Jason’s house in town. After a relatively full night if sleep, Zabrina, Bart, and I are back on the road, headed to Oaxaca for a night or two. We plan to camp, visit ancient ruins, bathe in hot springs, and explore the town.