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Cindie's Travel Journal for the States of Mexico and Morelos, Mexico
Toluca to Amecameca, Mexico
(Aug. 23 - September 17, 2002)

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Aug 23 Toluca - Santa Maria.  We packed up and left Toluca today.  I will not miss the air pollution or the noise.  We went to the bike shop, Action Bike, and picked up some derailleur cable and paint for the bikes. George gave it to us free of charge.  George tighten Tim's left crank arm and had one of the guys test it out.  George sent another shop worker with us to show us out of town.  We stopped in Metapec for lunch, I could live in this town.  We rode on the three lane highway out of town to Tenango, it was mostly down hill and we had a tail wind.  We rode into the country side and the clouds once again started to build, so we decided to set up camp.  We camped between a cabbage patch and cilantro field.  I slept like a rock in the tent, it was quiet and the night air was fresh and clean.  The entire time I was in Toluca I did not sleep well.  Tim loved Toluca because of the great road bike club we rode with and the Velodrome. 20 miles
Aug 24 Santa Maria - Malinalco.  It was a misty morning so we took our time packing up.  A farmer went by and was cutting down what I thought were weeds.   It turned out the weeds were cilantro.  By the time we were ready to leave our cabbage patch campsite, the sun came out.  We climbed for the first hour of the day then we rode a ridge until we came to the town of Joquicingo.   We met a cyclist on the way into town, he was from Mexico City, he was riding a brand new Eddy Merckx bike with Campy Record, expensive.  Daniel was friendly and rode with us for a while.  When we got to Joquicingo we stopped for lunch and he rode on to Malinalco.

We stopped at a local restaurant for some tacos.  I always make sure my meat is cooked before I order it and the tacos were fine.  After I finished my lunch the owner offered Tim and I a taco for free.  I took a look at the taco and could not recognize what was in it.  Tim practically ate his in one bite while I nibbled on mine.  I ate half the taco and got a taste of something I did not like.   I had trouble swallowing my mouthful and I started to gag, my eyes watered and my stomach heaved some how I managed to get it down.  Everyone thought I had ate something to hot.  I put the rest of the taco on my plate and covered it with my napkin.  I was done.  What was in that taco, who knows, my imagination got the best of me and I could not eat anymore.  Luckily, neither Tim or I got sick from it.

The ride into Malinalco was down hill for at least 15 km.  We stopped three times to cool our brakes and once to pull a stinger out of Tim's neck.  He got stung by a wasp while we were being chased by a dog.  This dog did not have a chance because we were going over 30 miles per hour.  He sprinted and was gaining on me for a split second, by the time Tim came back to do battle, the dog was worn out. 

When we got to the town of Malinalco the roads were cobblestone and difficult to ride on.  Malinalco is an extremely picturesque town.  We walked all over town after we got our hotel room at Santa Monica hotel for 130 pesos ($13.60).  We visited the Augustinian convent located in the center of town that was built in 1521.  They are currently restoring the frescos within the church and the ex-convent.

30 miles
Aug 25 Malinalco.  We came here to tour the local ruins.  The ruins are built in volcanic tuff approximately 150 feet about town.  The temple of the Eagle Warrior was built by the Aztecs during the 1400's.  The temple was used to initiate warriors who proved their bravery in battle into the order of Eagle Warriors.   Their were spectacular views from the temple.  The signs were in Spanish, English and Nahuati.  The area was amazingly clean and we could wander through out the ruins freely.  
Aug 26 Malinalco - Mex. 4 Km 29.  Today classified as our steepest riding day yet and one of the most bizarre.  We left Malinalco around 11:30, we had to ride up hill out of Malinalco on cobblestone roads.  The next 8 kilometers were easy going and then we saw Chalma.  Chalma. is town where an imagine of Jesus, El Senor de Chalma., was found in a near by cave.  The image was moved to the church and the pilgrimage was started.

We got to the base of the town and it was the steepest climb I have ever done on the bike.  Locals pointed us in the direction of the church.  We stopped for lunch near the path way to the church.  Lunch was uninspiring but the amount of people and the excitement in the air was.  I took a walk down to the church through the market that sold candy, bread, religious momentous, and food.  There was a group of Mexican young people with backpacks heading to the church so I joined them for their final steps of their march.   A couple of the kids were carrying shrines on their back with pictures of Jesus, virgin Mary of Guadeloupe or baby Jesus.  When we broke out of the market and into the church plaza, people were milling around everywhere.  Almost everyone had a wreath of flowers on their head.  As they entered the church they would deposit the wreath on a tower of donated flowers.  Inside the church a type of mass was going on and everyone was singing, crying and making their way to the front of the church.   I chose to just watch from the back of the church.  I made my way back to the street and we decided to press on.  At the base of Chalma the elevation was 1520 meters and by the looks of the terrain we were about to climb a lot.   As we climbed out of Chalma we saw hundreds of people walking towards Chalma.  An hour and a half later we took a break from the pure up hill climb.  As we took our break, Miguel from Mexico City walked by, he spoke fluent English and explained to us that tomorrow was the birthday of Chalma.  He and his friend had been walking for three days and were eager to make it to their destination.   Apparently, his friend had to much pulque (an alcoholic drink made from the maguay plant, the same plant that tequila is made from) to drink so Miguel was carrying both their bed rolls.  We were tempted to turn around and ride down the hill to join the party.  However, we decided to press on up hill and came to another small.  The rain clouds started to form once again so we decided to look for a place to camp.  A restaurant owner suggested we camp up the street in the near-by parking lot.  We stopped, set up camp and Tim walked back into town to get some pulque.  We have never tried pulque but I have heard about it. Tim came back with two liters.  I thought we would be out for the night but pulque is not a strong as tequila or mescal.  Pulque is drank fresh, it goes bad quickly, has a bit of a sour taste at first with a fermented tasted that lingers behind.  The more I drank the more I like it. 

12 miles
Aug 27 Km 29 - Buena Vista.  We woke up to the sounds of buses coming down the hill.  It rained overnight so again we had to wait for the tent to dry.  A couple of local men came by and visited for about an hour.  This is always a good chance to practice Spanish.  One of the men told us that the road we were planning to take to Cuernavaca was dirt for a while.  Little did we know a while meant a long while.  We packed up and went to the town for lunch.  As we were packing we noticed that people on bikes were riding by.  We went to lunch in town and met hundreds of cyclists, religious pilgrims to Chalma, they came on every form of bike.   As we rode up hill we were passed by hundreds of cyclists, some carrying shrines and crosses.  They all seemed to look at us and wonder why we were riding to wrong way, up hill and away from the party.  After a 6 km climb we finally made it to the top.  We were back at 2462 meters (8,077 feet), in two days we had climbed approximately 3,000 feet.  We turned on the road towards Cuernavaca and rode on the pavement for 4 km and then the road turned to dirt as expected.  We rode up and down the dirt road, at one point the ground was so loose it felt like I had a flat tire and I could see the ground move under Tim's bike in front of me.  The road was rough in places and our speed was about 4 mph, we might as well be riding up hill.

I really wanted to make it to Cuernavaca but after riding for four hours I was starting to get tired.  Tim tried to convince me to stop and get water at the little one room school house but I was determined to make it to Cuernavaca.  Two kilometers later, I could not ride up another hill so we pulled over to camp.  Tim went back to the school house and picked up some water.  We had our emergency food, green chili stew for dinner.  The last of it, Tim carried that from Portal, Arizona.  We made camp and in the mean time the no see ums, nasty little biting flies (in my opinion worse then mosquitoes) attacked our sweaty ankles and hands.  Before night fall we were visited by a number of the locals.

4 miles Pavement

16 miles Dirt

Aug 28 Buena Vista - Cuernavaca.  We still had 12 kilometers to go to Cuernavaca, half dirt and half pavement.  The dirt section took us about an hour to ride. When we hit the pavement we were obviously in the rich section of town.  Their were gated communities everywhere and people were driving BMW's, convertibles and Lincoln navigators.  We could see the city below and it was at least 1800 feet below.   Down the hill we flew, we had to stop to rest our hands and cool our brakes.   After meandering up and down a couple of steep ravines we finally found the city center and went to the plaza for a break.

We met Mark from Canada, I checked out his hotel.  The room was on the roof and had way to many stairs to climb.  We finally settled on Hotel America.  We got a clean room with a bathroom for 130 pesos ($13.28).  We found an internet for 15 pesos an hour, but it was slow.  Food is cheaper here then we expected.  Breakfast ranges from US$1.80 to $3.50 and lunch ranges from $1.80 to $4.50.

12 miles
Aug 29 The museum usually costs 30 pesos ($3.10) however, we have student card from Casa Mexicana so we got in for free.  We went to Cortez's Palace today, it was built from 1522 to 1532 and Cortez lived in it until 1540 when he returned to Spain.   The palace was built over a existing Indian pyramid.  The stones from the pyramid were used to build the palace and the near by cathedrals.  Remains of the pyramid can be seen below the palace.   You can easily see why the Spaniards over threw the local Indians when you look at the armor the Spaniard wore, the Indians did not have a fighting chance.  An  excellent mural by Diego Riviera, a gift from the US Ambassador Dwight Morrow to the Mexican People, is located on the second floor.   It is a chronology of Mexico's brutal history.  
Aug 30 We basically did chores today like updating the web page (check out the new navigation on my journals, thank you Tim) and laundry. Boring.  
Aug 31 Happy Birthday Mom! 

First we went for a stroll on the Gorge Trail and then we went to Casa Maximilliano today, we really went to see the botanical garden located behind the house.  A beautiful garden with medicinal herbs, cactus and citrus trees.  A very pleasant area to be on a hot day in Cuernavaca.

We spent hours ordering supplies on the internet and shipping them to Patti so she can bring them down in three weeks.  What would we do without the internet, it has really made long term traveling so much easier.

Sept 1 Tim woke up sick today so we decided to stay in Cuernavaca for another day.  We strolled around the zocalo (the name of the plaza in this part of Mexico), like everyone else does on a Sunday afternoon.  The Mariachi players were out in full force and so were the dancers.  We started to pack up for the ride out of town tomorrow.  
Sept 2 Cuernavaca - Tepoztlan.  We knew we had to climb about 1000 feet today but we did not think it would all be in town.  About half way out of town the road was blocked off and a carnival was set up.  They were still setting up so we could still ride through, although we had to duck under tarps and weave around people and structures.  To make the obstacles all the more tricky, we were riding up hill the whole time.  The carnival was about 2 kilometers long and ended at a traffic circle.  We turned to the east and we rode on contour for a while.  It seemed like we were in the suburbs of Cuernavaca forever.  Eventually, we started to climb up again and into a valley surrounded by cliffs.  We arrived in Tepoztlan about 2:00 PM and sat in the plaza for a while.  We found a room for 200 pesos ($20.41).  We strolled town a little more and the impression I got was that it truly does have a hippie atmosphere.  There are stores here where they sell clothing from India, incense, give massages and have books on astrology, tia chi, and chakras.  Not something I expected to find in Mexico. 12 miles
Sept 3 Tepoztlan - Tlayacapan.  We were not sure how today's ride would go.  The road out of town lead down into a valley that we did not want to go down to while the Autopista (toll road) cut diagonally across the valley.  We crossed a bridge over the Autopista but there was no way on.  Then our rural road paralleled the Autopista and there was a type of on ramp onto the Autopista.  We jumped on and sailed down hill knowing that we would come to a toll gate sooner or later.  We covered 8 kilometers in about 15 minutes and the toll booth loomed ahead.  Our major concern was paying a bribe to get through.  As we slowly approached the toll gate the gate keeper waved us around to the side, whew! no toll and no hassles.  We decided to get off the Autopista and take the back roads towards Highway 115 to avoid traffic and maybe some of the climbing.

It was hot and we were at 1200 meters (3,937 feet), we climbed in the heat of the day.  We passed a field with a high wall and saw our first iguana.  His body was about as big around as Tim's forearm and he looked at least 2.5 feet long.  We camped behind a corn field, it was much to hot to sleep so we just laid in the tent until it cooled off enough to go to sleep.  We knew we had a big climb ahead of us.  We spent about 4 hours riding today.

18 miles
Sept 4 Tlayacapan to Nepantla.  We started riding a little earlier today to get out of the heat.  We climbed to the town of Totolapan, we have three maps of this area and it seems that we have to consult all three to try and figure out which road we are on.   We are on Mexico 2 that should take us over to Mexico 115 at the town of Atlatlahuacan (and no I can not pronounce this name).   It cooled off nicely but I could see that we were still in the foothills with more climbing to come.  We reached an elevation of 1800 meters and quickly descended to 1500 meters.  So much for climbing all day yesterday.

We had lunch at a little truck stop and started climbing up a new valley.  Since we have been in Tepoztlan I have noticed water trucks everywhere.  Yesterday when Tim went to get water he had to hunt all over town to find water.  It is a precious commodity here.  The terrain looks like it would be a good area for an aquifer but it appears that is not the case.

We are riding on the highway again with more traffic than I like.  Around three in the afternoon we stopped for a break in Nepantla.  We had to take refuge under the overpass to get out of the rain.  The rain passed in about an hour, the roads dried and we pushed on.  Since the town of Nepantla the road has been two lanes on our side of the road, so the riding is better.   We started to look for a place to camp and found a fruit orchard to camp in.  We asked a farm hand if it would be alright to camp, he said yes, and he tried to contact the land owner but they were not home.  There was a lot of foot traffic along the road and we were concerned we may be told to leave.    We made our dinner and was sitting there eating macaroni and cheese with black beans when Pancho showed up. 

Pancho invited us to his house to stay the night.  What a nice place, the main house was empty because the residents were in Mexico City.  The house looked like a summer get away, with saltillo tile floors and basic accommodations.  Pancho and his family Beatrice, his wife and two sons, Fernando and Javier lived in a smaller house some distance from the main house.  Beatrice made us dinner, chili Rellenos, rice with tortillas.  Hmmm.  We practiced Spanish and the kids practiced some English.   We discussed the volcano and Beatrice told us that they were in the highest danger area because they were in a canyon.  I asked about all the water trucks on the road and she said that when PoPo erupted in January 2000 the towns down the hill lost their aquifer.  Wow!! there was enough movement to remove the water and they have been trucking water to the towns for two and half years.  Yikes!  We soon grew tired and they let us take a shower and we went to bed around 11:00 PM.

15 miles
Sept 5 Nepantla to Amecameca.  I slept in until 8:30, everyone else was up and working by the time I got out of bed.  I was a little more than tired and it took me a while to wake up.  Beatrice made us breakfast consisting of eggs a la Mexicana, tortillas, rice, chili Rellenos, cookies, and orange tea.  Just the right meal for a climb.  Before we left I gave Beatrice our map of the state of Morelos (we did not need it anymore) and some colored pencils for Fernando and Javiar.  I was giving them these things because the entire family was so hospitable.  Well I forgot that when you give a Mexican something they feel obligated to give something back, this caused a bit of a strain.  Pancho gave us an ornamental tile from the wall in the big house.   We excepted it graciously but wondered if it was his to give since it was in the big house and they lived in the back house.  We were not sure what to do so I left the tile behind (it had a matching one on the other side of the cabinet) because it seemed like it belong there and not with us.  I just hope that I did not offend Pancho.

We rode out of the driveway and up the steep rocky road to the main road.  The rocky road was to steep for me to ride but the boys were quite amazed that Tim could ride up the steep hill on his loaded bike.  They truly had a look of awe on their faces.  A look I will never forget.

The main road climbed for about 10 kilometers and my legs could barely carry me.   I had to keep telling Tim to slow down.  We topped a rise and the road more or less leveled out.  We had a head wind also, if there ever was a day that I wanted a head wind this was it.  I got in Tim's draft and he pulled me all the way into Amecameca.

My first impression of Amecameca was a good one.  In a matter of minutes I found a restaurant, an internet cafe and the hotel.  After we ate we settled in at Hotel San Carlos for 90 pesos ($9.20) less than the price of lunch.  The room was a bit run down but we did not care, we had a clean bed, hot water and enough room for all our belongings.  Also there are bike taxis everywhere. 

The bike taxi is a trailer hooked to a bicycle where passengers and luggage fit comfortably.  Tim says he has to have one.

18 miles
Sept 6 Amecameca. We slept in this morning.  I was glad we did not have to get up and pack and ride.  I quickly got dressed and went out to the market to find some attole.  Ahh!! I found some and picked up two chocolate atolls and two tamales, dulce (sweet) and verde (chili).  What a great breakfast.  We got our first glimpse of PoPo this morning as we walked around town.  We also found other internet cafes, cantinas, and a medicinal spa that was closed.  What a combination the very old with the very new.  We took a nap and just relaxed the rest of the day.  
Sept 7 Amecameca.  We decided to climb up to the Santurio de Sacromente today.  It is a 16th century Dominican church located 300 feet above town.  We had great views of Ista and Popo but they were quickly covered in clouds.  We also checked out the market and had chili nogada, a poblano chili stuffed with potatoes and meat and then covered with yogurt and pomegranate seeds.  I returned to a medicinal spa today to see what it was all about.  In my rudimentary Spanish I asked for a pamphlet.  Of course they did not have one.  Luckily a women spoke fluent English and she explained the place to me.  The spa is a type of school where they teach people about regional herbs, their medicinal use, and how to make soaps, creams, and elixirs.  They also give a different types of massages and a traditional Indian sweat bath. The massage and sweat bath takes about two hours and costs 150 pesos ($15.30).   An excellent price, but on our budget a bit of a splurge.  Something I will have to think about.  
Sept 8 Amecameca. Sunday is market day.  The market flowed out of the Mercado building and into the streets today.  The variety of goods is immense.  It is harvest season and the air around the market is festive. People were selling everything from vegetables like chills, zucchinis, peppers, potatoes, string beans, to fruits like pomegranates, huge beans (I have not tried one yet), nuts, to fish including crab, clams, octopus, red snapper and three other kinds of fish.  I could not wander around the fish to long with Tim because the smell of fish sends him running.  Matter of fact, Tim does not fair well in the market at all, he is to big and timid.  He has been shoved by more then one little old lady and bumps his head on whatever is dangling from the ceiling. So Tim likes to stay home when I go to the market.  After lunch I spent a good 2 hours looking all over the market and getting food for the week.  
Sept 9 Amecameca.  We decided to go for a ride in the area today, but the weather was very hazy.  We stayed on the flats and rode to the town of Tenango de Aire.  It felt like we were riding down hill the entire way.  At the intersection we saw a huge Dominican church through an open gate.  The padre motioned us in to take a look.   They were in the process of rebuilding the 500 year old Dominican church.   Father Estevan was very hospitable and showed us around the church.  After the tour of the church we rode back to Amecameca and realized that the road was more or less flat and we got back to Amecameca quickly.  Tim felt like riding more so after lunch he rode towards the pass Cortez between Ista and PoPo and met some army guys up at 10,000 feet.  They said we could camp up in the pass if we had a permit.  So Tim has great plans for us to ride up to the pass at 12,000 feet and then down the other side to Puebla. 15 miles
Sept 10 Amecameca.  We decided to do a loop out to Tenango de Aire on to Cocotitlan and back to Amecameca.  The ride out was relatively flat, then it turned to rolling.  As we were riding through the town of Cocotitlan I heard the tell tale sound of a hissing tire.  Yeap, I not only got a flat, I sliced my tire wide open.   We had to us a sticker from Action Bike (a bike shop in Toluca) to close the gap in my tire from the inside.  Upon close inspection it appears that my tires are starting to fall apart, I still have tread on the tire but the rubber between the tread looks like it has sun rot.  I suspect that Bruce Gordon sold me some old tires.  The reason I suspect that the tires were old is because Tim bought his tires at the same time and even though his tread is more worn because he carries more weight, his tires do not have the same signs of age that mine do. 28 miles
Sept 11 Amecameca.  We attempted to ride up to the kilometer 12 where Tim met the army guys.  We got to kilometer 11 and it started to rain and rain hard so we reluctantly turned around and rode back down the hill.  We had climbed 1600 feet in 9 steep kilometers.  Tim wants to ride our loaded bikes up to Paseo Cortez, camp for three nights and ride the dirt road to Cholula near Puebla.  So instead of going around he wants to go up and over.  It would be a real push for me to climb to the pass with a loaded bike so I am going to think about it for a while and decide when we get back from visiting Patti in Mexico City. 15 miles
Sept 12 Amecameca.  The weather was dreary and drizzly.  Reminds me of Seattle weather, so we decided to stay indoors and catch up on things.  Tim worked on the web page and I studied Spanish.

Amecameca is in a valley and the valley is very flat, hence all the bike taxis.  However, Amecameca is surrounded by volcanic peaks, lava flows and cinder cones.  The topography is very similar to Flagstaff, Arizona where Tim and I both went to University, no wonder this place feels so comfortable.   Maybe Flagstaff should get themselves some bike taxis.  They are really quite fun, can be faster than a car in a traffic jam and hey they do not even pollute.

Sept 13 Amecameca  We met a group of climbers from Guatemala.  They all spoke fluent English.  This was their first trip above snow line. They had scaled at least fifteen peaks in Guatemala and on this trip the planned to scale Izta with an elevation of 5286 meters (17,342 ft.).  Their extra gear consisted of boots that looked like a combination of a ski boot and a hiking boot, an ice axe for emergency use if they slide on the ice and walking sticks for balance.  Their guide was Jaime, he has climbed the seven summits of the seven continents including Mount Everest.   Impressive!

We also signed up for a Dialpad account so we could call the USA when we needed to.  We called Patti, she happen to be working at home today.  Lucky for us because she received two packages for us, a box of bike parts we order from Bike Nashbar and an order of Nioxin shampoo I ordered off of eBay.  Funny, I did not know what to say on the phone.  My only communication with people has been through email.   With the opportunity to talk on the phone I was at a loss for words.

Sept 14 Amecameca. I awoke early this morning to see the climbers off.  I took a few pictures of their departure.  Since it was such a beautiful day we decided to ride up to Paseo Cortez at an elevation of 3,650 meters (11,975 ft.).  We started in Amecameca at an elevation of 2,315 meters (7,579 ft) and it was 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) to the top.  We climbed a total elevation of 4,396 feet in 15.5 miles.  We met Macileno and Uriel about half way up the climb and finished the last 13 kilometers with them.  It took us a total of 3.5 hours to climb from the flats of the valley, through the foothill and into the mountains to the pass of Paseo Cortez.   Even though we were standing between the peaks of Popo and Izta we could not see them from the pass because the clouds hung so low. 

While eating lunch at the pass Marcileno mentioned that they would be climbing Izta in two weeks.  Tim may go along with them if he can find the gear to use.  We plan to check at a place called Rubens in Mexico City, they rent climbing gear there.

We started down the mountain and it was a quick ride down. Once again my hands were sore from grabbing the brakes.  It took us only an hour to get back to Amecameca.

32 miles
Sept 15 Amecameca.  I was so tired today I slept in and I still had problems waking up.  Ah well, it is Sunday and I always plan on a lot of relaxation on Sunday.   We went to the market and ate enchiladas verde and mole con pollo.  The independence celebrations start today with a concert tonight and a parade tomorrow.   Everyone has September 16, Independence Day off.

We walked around the plaza and tried some punche. It is a hot fruit drink made with guayaba, apricot, and peaches.  Delicious.   We also met Mesael and his family.  They are a family of musicians who play Columbia Cumbra music.  They invited us to watch them play in Mexico City next week.

The music in the square started about 10 PM and continued until 3 AM.  It was a difficult night to sleep.

Sept 16 Amecameca.  Mexican Independence Day.  Everyone had off for this holiday.  The parade started about 9 am.  The youth of the town paraded though the streets in their school uniforms.  School is free to everyone until the sixth grade, (probably equivalent to our 8th grade) and after that it is a privilege to go to school.  The streets around the square were filled with kids in their school uniforms.  They all marched by to the beat of the drums.  My favorite part of the parade was the horses.  The men were dressed in Traditional Mexican cowboy outfits and the women rode side saddle.  
Sept 17 Amecameca.  We went for a wonderful two hour ride today.  We went toward Tenengo de Aire and turned left towards Tepetlixpa.  The terrain was rolling and we rode through little towns with strange churches and dilapidated fortress type structures.  We got back to the hotel and planned on packing for Mexico City.   Then we got a knock on the door.  It was Cristian, one of the Guatemalan climber.  They had just returned the night before and planned on going up again tomorrow because they had not made it to the summit.

We met them at a restaurant to hear all about the ascent up Izta.  They made it to the first hut the first day. Elevation around 4,800 (15,748 ft.).  Because it was Independence Day they were soon joined by 20 or so more people.  The hut was packed with people.  Personally I would feel claustrophobic at this point.  The attempted the summit the next day.  When they got approximately two hours from the summit the snow deepened to waist deep and they were trudging along at a snails pace.  Jaime, the guide for the group, decided to turn back before they came upon the glaciers because the snow conditions were bad for avalanches and it was difficult to see crevasses in the glacier.  They returned last night and plan on ascending up to Izta again today. Buenas Suerte! Good luck.

31 miles
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Tim looking for a place to eat in Chalma.

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Pilgrims on their way to Chalma.

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Tim ready to roll out of our cabbage patch campsite.

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Augustinian church built in 1521.

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Mexican man taking a quiet moment to look over town.

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Popocatepetl, the smoking mountain.

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The Santuario del Sacromonte.

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Bicycle taxi with a couple of nuns getting a ride home from church.

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View from our front door in the Mexican outback





INDEX #1: North and Central America
3-30-02 to 4-17-03

1North and
Central America
3-30-02 to 4-17-03

2 South America
6-3-03 to 6-17-04

3 SE Asia / China
11-22-04 to

4 Australia
9-15-06 to 9-15-07

5 New Zealand
9-16-07 to 5-2-08
6 Alaska, Canada, and the USA
5-3-08 to 4-30-10
7 India. Nepal, and the Subcontinent
5-1-10 to present

(see all 3 book)

(Before March 30, 2002)
Life in Prescott Arizona, USA

Cindie's Daily Journals
Life in Prescott Arizona

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Good bye Letter

Other essays by Tim
About Us
Our Bicycle Wedding
Riding In Prescott
Hiking in Arizona
Favorite Bike Movies
The Great Zorr Dog
Life in a $500 RV
The Plan
Good bye Letter


(March 30 - May 12, 2002)
The State of Arizona, USA
Prescott to Douglas, Arizona

Cindie's Daily Journals
Cindie's Journal in Arizona, USA

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Our first week Down the Road!
Enjoying Arizona
Heading into Mexico

Other essays by Tim
The Day We Left
Lost Dutchman Mine
Ghost Towns
Chiricahua National Monument
Portal Arizona
Backpacking in the Chiricahua Mountains
Apache Wars

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page for Arizona Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Pictures from the first day
- Arizona Photo Page #1 Prescott AZ - Tucson AZ
- Lost Dutchman State Park
- Arizona Photo Page #2 Tucson AZ - Tombstone AZ
- San Xavier Mission
- Arizona Photo Page #3 Tombstone AZ to Portal AZ 
- Tombstone Arizona
- Ghost Towns in Arizona 
- Chiricahua National Monument
- Portal Arizona
- Chiricahua Wilderness Area Backpack (Trek)


(May 13 - 31, 2002)
The States of Sonora and Chihuahua, Mexico
Agua Prieta to Cuauhtemoc, Mexico

Cindie's Daily Journals
The States of Sonora and Chihuahua, Mexico

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Greetings from Mexico!

Other essays by Tim
The Problems with the Border Area Between Mexico and the USA
Paquime Ruins Casas Grandes, Mexico
Barranca del Cobre or Copper Canyon

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of Sonora and Chihuahua, Mexico Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Mexico #1 Photo Page   Agua Prieta to Zaragoza, Mexico
- Paquime Ruins - Casas Grandes, Mexico
- Mexico #2 Photo Page    Zaragoza to Col. Alvaro Obregon, Mexico
- The Mennonites of Chihuahua, Mexico
- Mexico #3 Photo Page 
- Barranca del Cobre or Copper Canyon Photo Page


(June 1 - July 17, 2002)
The States of Zacatecas and Guanajuato, Mexico
Zacatecas to Guanajuato, Mexico

Cindie's Daily Journals
The States of Zacatecas and Guanajuato, Mexico

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Hello Guanajuato
Adios Guanajuato

Other essays by Tim
One Fine Day Down The Road
Learning Spanish at Casa Mexicana in Guanajuato, Mexico
Cindie's Car Crash: a Mexican Experience Guanajuato, Mexico

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of Zacatecas and Guanajuato Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Zacatecas, Mexico
- Central Mexico #1  Zacatecas to Ojuelos, Mexico
- One Fine Day Down The Road  State of Zacatecas, Mexico
- Central Mexico #2 Zacatecas to Guanajuato, Mexico
- Dolores Hidalgo, the Home of the Mexican War of Independence
- Guanajuato and the Mexican War of Independence
- Guanajuato, Mexico #1
- Guanajuato, Mexico #2
- Mineral Museum of the University of Guanajuato


(July 18 - Aug 22, 2002)
The State of Michoacan, Mexico
Guanajuato to Toluca, Mexico

Cindie's Daily Journals
The State of Michoacan, Mexico

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
The Great Secret of Michoacan!

Other essays by Tim
Into the Mist State of Michoacan, Mexico

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of Michoacan, Mexico Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Guanajuato to   Penjamillo, Mexico
- Penjamillo to Patzcuaro, Mexico
- Patzcuaro, Mexico
- Patzcuaro to Cuidad Hidalgo, Michoacan, Mexico
- Morelia, Mexico
- Into the Mist Mexican highway 15
- Cuidad Hidalgo, Michoacan, to Toluca, Mexico
- Toluca, Mexico
- The Velodrome in Toluca, Mexico


(Aug. 23 - Sept. 17, 2002)
The States of Mexico and Morelos, Mexico
Toluca to Amecameca, Mexico

Cindie's Daily Journals
The States of Mexico and Morelos

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
So Close to Mexico City Yet So Far From Anything

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of The States of Mexico and Morelos, Mexico Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Toluca to Chalma, Mexico
- Malinalco, Mexico
- Chalma to Amecameca, Mexico
- Cuernavaca, Mexico
- Amecameca
- September 16 Mexican Independence Day
- Various Extra Pictures


(September 18 - 27, 2002)
Mexico City Area
Including the ruins of Teotihuacan

Mexico City, Mexico

Cindie's Daily Journals
Mexico City Area

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Six Months Down the Road

Other essays by Tim
Looking Deep Into the Eyes of a Thief Mexico City Metro (subway)
The Velodrome in Mexico City

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of Mexico City Area Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Mexico City
- National Palace and Zocalo
- The Velodrome (bicycle track) in Mexico City
- The Ruins of Teotihuacan #1
- The Ruins of Teotihuacan #2
- Xochimilco
- Mexico City Zoo
- National Museum of Anthropology


(Oct.  12 - Nov. 8, 2002)
The States of Tabasco and Chiapas, Mexico
Villahermosa, Tabasco to Cuauhtemoc Chiapas, Mexico

Cindie's Daily Journals
The States of Tabasco and Chiapas, Mexico

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Our Final Weeks in Mexico

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of Tabasco and Chiapas, Mexico Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Museum La Venta and the Olmec Heads Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico
- Villahermosa, Tabasco  to Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico
- Palenque #1 Photo Picture Page
- Palenque #2 Photo Picture Page
- Misol-Ha Waterfall Chiapas, Mexico
- Agua Azul Chiapas, Mexico
- Tonina Mayan Ruins Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico
- Mexico's Day of the Dead Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico
- Ocosingo to Cuauhtemoc Chiapas, Mexico


(Dec 2 - 15, 2002)
Guatemala #1: The Highlands
Quetzaltenango to Antigua

Cindie's Daily Journals
Guatemala #1 The Highlands

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Guatemala: Riding Through the Highlands

Guatemala: From Paradise to Despair

Other Pages Tim Made
Escuela de Idioma Español Utatlan, Spanish Immersion School in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of Guatemala #1 Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- La Mesilla to Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
- The Indigenous Highland Village of San Andreas Xecul
- Climbing the Volcano Santa Maria.
- Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
- Quetzaltenango to Antigua, Guatemala.
- San Pedro la Laguna Lago (Lake) Atitlan, Guatemala
- Lago (Lake) Atitlan Santa Cruz to San Marcos Hike
- More San Pedro Photos Photo Page


(Dec. 16, 2002 - Jan. 6, 2003)
Guatemala #2: Northeast Towards the Caribbean
Antigua to Puerto Barrios, Guatemala

Cindie's Daily Journals
Guatemala #2
: Heading Northeast Towards the Caribbean

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Antigua, Guatemala to the Sea

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of Guatemala #2 Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- The Colonial City of Antigua, Guatemala. #1
- The Historical City of Antigua, Guatemala. #2
- The Active Volcano Pacaya, Near Antigua
- Antigua to Puerto Barrios, Guatemala
- The Mayan Ruins of Tikal, Guatemala
- Livingston, Guatemala


(January 7 - 31, 2003)
From the Guatemalan Border to the Nicaraguan Border

Cindie's Daily Journals

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Honduras: From the Guatemalan Border to the Nicaraguan Border

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of Honduras Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Honduras: The Border to Comayagua, Honduras
- Omoa, Honduras and Fortaleza de San Fernando de Omoa
- Parque Nacional Cero Azul Meambar, Honduras Page #1
- Parque Nacional Cero Azul Meambar, Honduras Page #2
- Comayagua to Tegucigalpa, Honduras
- Tegucigalpa, Honduras to the Border with Nicaragua
- Odds and Ends


(Feb. 1 - 19, 2003)
From the Honduras Border to the Costa Rican Border

Cindie's Daily Journals

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Nicaragua: Travels Through a Troubled Land

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of Nicaragua Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Nicaragua: The Honduras border to Esteli, Nicaragua
- Esteli, Nicaragua:  the Stronghold of the Sandinista
- Esteli to Granada, Nicaragua
- Granada, Nicaragua #1
- Granada, Nicaragua #2
- Volcano Masaya - Near Managua, Nicaragua
- Granada, Nicaragua to the Costa Rican Border
- Isla / Island Ometepe, Lake Nicaragua
- Ernie, The Entertainer from Jamaica


(Feb. 21 - March 14, 2003)
Costa Rica #1
La Cruz to Rancho Mastatal, Costa Rica

Cindie's Daily Journals
Costa Rica #1

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Costa Rica #1 (incomplete)

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of Costa Rica #1 Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Nicaraguan Border to Playa Tamarindo
- Liberia, Guancaste, Costa Rica.
- Playa Tamarindo
to Playa Samara
- Playa Samara to Playa Jaco
- Manuel Antonio National Park #1
- Rancho Mastatal, Costa Rica #1
- Rancho Mastatal, Costa Rica #2


(March 15 - April 10, 2003)
Costa Rica #2
Manual Antonio to Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica

Cindie's Daily Journals
Costa Rica #2

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Costa Rica #2 (incomplete)

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of Costa Rica #2 Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Parque National Manuel Antonio, #2
- City of Santa Elena and Monteverde
- Butterfly Garden, Santa Elena, Monteverde
- Finca Ecological, Monteverde
- Frog Pond (Ranario), Santa Elena
- Santa Elena, Cloud Forest, National Park
- Sky Walk, Suspension Bridge, Canopy Tour
- Sky Trek Zip Line, Canopy Tour
- Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve


(April 12 - 17, 2003)
Panama City, Panama

Cindie's Daily Journals

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Panama (Incomplete)

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of Panama Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Panama City #1
- Panama City #2
- Panama Canal

1North and
Central America
3-30-02 to 4-17-03

2 South America
6-3-03 to 6-17-04

3 SE Asia / China
11-22-04 to

4 Australia
9-15-06 to 9-15-07

5 New Zealand
9-16-07 to 5-2-08
6 Alaska, Canada, and the USA
5-3-08 to 4-30-10
7 India. Nepal, and the Subcontinent
5-1-10 to present
Where am I  now

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