Tres Marias and ruins of Xochicalco (Mexico City)

Garry recommended a day trip to the ruin of Xochicalco, but first I had to get better!

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I was feeling horrible and exhausted when we got to Garry’s house. I had all ready been sick the last three days in Valle de Bravo, my body was hurting and I was cuffing a lot. Maybe it was not a good idea to visit the volcano Nevado de Toluca on the way to Mexico City, but I was convinced that I would get better quick. Well it didn’t happen and after 7 days of sickness Garry took me to the doctor. The doctor said that everything was fine and I just had the rest and prescribed some cough medicine. So the first week at Garry’s place I was just sleeping and enjoying eating Ivonne’s home cooked food with the rest of the family.

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Getting sick on the road is not fun. I can’t remember the last time I have spend so much time in bed. All I could think of was that I wanted to be at my own house in my own bed or couch watching TV, but it is not possible to go home, when you are traveling. It was amazing to stay at Garrys place, where I got the opportunity to recover. It was perfect for us to stay at a house, where I could make warm tee and keep yoghurt in the refrigerator. Staying in a tent when you are sick is horrible, and I can not recommend it to anybody. Staying at a hotel/motel would be an alternative, but usually you have to buy everything (drinks and food) and it is not possible to make an extra cup of tee.

I was finally feeling better, so Garry took us on a motorcycle ride south of Mexico City. We left in the morning and the first stop was Tres Marias, at small town, which is a popular motorcycle destination on Sundays.

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Everybody come here to hang out in the morning and go home in the afternoon. We had breakfast at a restaurant where Garry have been coming for many years, so many years that the owner knows what Garry wants for breakfast. Garry didn’t have to order, but Esben had to try a really greasy deep fried quesadilla with chorizo and cheese. It was good, but also a little bit too much for me.

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After the breakfast we walked around “kicking tires”. “Kicking tires” it is a Danish expression “at sparke dæk”, which means checking out all the other motorcycles. You are not allowed to kick all the other motorcycles wlEmoticon-winkingsmile Tres Marias and ruins of Xochicalco (Mexico City).

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We checked out a lot of motorcycle focusing on the models that we have never seen before. We also invented this new game: Guess the size of the engine on these motorcycles…

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Answer: to the left you have a 250 adventure Italika and to the right you have a 250 Tenere Yamaha. Here is the next two motorcycles…

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Answer: to the left a 300 R Yamaha and to the right a 200 FZ-S (Fazer) Yamaha. Love all the small motorcycles!

After breakfast and “kicking tires” in Tres Marias we continued to the ruins of Xochicalco. These ruins are less known and less overrun with tourist, but this day was different! We were lucky to visit on the 14th of May when the Zenith Passage were visible in the Observatory, and the sun shine directly through the vertical shaft.

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In the picture you see the direct sunlight furthest away in the circle of light

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This only happens on the 14th and 15th of May. The suns movement was used to trace the passage of time and to be able to schedule activities essential for subsistence related to seasonal changes. The orientation of the observatory toward the important position of the sun (the 14th and 15th of May) was used to recreate cosmic order and reset the peoples calendar. This meant that there was a lot of people just visiting the observatory to see this natural phenomenon.

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The direct light of the sun was only visible until 1:30 pm and that, all the other people disappeared. So we got the change to take a few cool pictures in the circle of the daylight.

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Xochicalco means “Place of the house of the flowers” and the white stone ruin covers approximately 10 sq km. Xochicalco achieved its peak between AD 650 and 900 and represented various cultures: Tlahuica, Toltec, Olmec, Zapotec, Mixtec and Aztec.

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Walking up and down the stairs – can’t live without my camelback filled with water. It is a lifesaver in the heat!

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Visiting the ancient “ball court” (one of three). The reasons for having three courts is unknown – as are the rules of the game. Carvings, paintings and models of the game that have been uncovered, indicate that the game was played by two teams of 1 – 4 players. The game was played with a large and heavy rubber ball – about the size of a man’s head. Because of the weight of the ball, the only way to hit it with any force without breaking any bones was to use the hip, which was well protected by a thick leather belt. The context and result of the game was deeply religious, with the game being symbolic of the battles played out by the gods of the cosmos. The game was often often used to settle disputes because the winners were deemed to have won by divine right (Source: https://uncoveredhistory.com/mexico/xochicalco/xochicalco-ballcourts/).

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On the way back we stopped for lunch at a local restaurant serving grilled goat meat served in tortilla. It came with a soup on the side, which was to spicy (In Spanish “pico”) that we had to give up eating it!

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Esben also got the taste the mezcal an agave based spirit

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Mexico City (MC) is known to some of the worlds worst traffic and pollution, due to the huge population. The city grew from 8.7 to 14.5 million people in the 1970’s, but the population in MC kept growing. Unable the contain all the new people, MC spread beyond the Federal District (DF = Distrito Federal) and into the state of Mexico. The latest count of the population in the Mexico City area counted a population of 22-23 million inhabitants. We stopped at this viewpoint over Mexico City, but because of the smog it was only possible to see a tiny bit of the city.

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Driving back through the traffic in Mexico City… yes, we are riding in the wrong lane.

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Still amazed how Garry could ride his big 1200 Super Tenere Yahama through the traffic. It seemed like it could fit everywhere

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Going through traffic with our motorcycles fully packed does make it more difficult, but if when you are stuck in traffic and it is more than 30 degrees Celsius, you what to find a way through!

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