February 12, 2006

Tepatlaxco Archaeological Site + Texmelucan (Puebla), 12.02.06

GPS Track Video

Photoset Map

Photoset Show

GPS Track: GPX (MapSource, et al.) or KMZ (Google Earth)

GPS Cycling Data:

Distance: 86.61 Km, Ascent: 1060 m, Time: 4:30 hr, Avg Speed: 18.6 Km/hr, Max Speed: 63.7 Km/hr

Travel Report:

This ride started at the late hour of 10:30 at the sub-urban train eastern terminus La Paz. From here I took my usual way to arrive at the paid highway to Puebla. Along the route on the highway I could observe several trucks with big religious images. This trucks belonged to a religious pilgrimage from some towns in Puebla to Chalma, in the Mexico State.

I cycled my way to the Llano Grande summit (alt: 3200 m), descending later to Texmelucan, where I branched out of the highway to Puebla, riding to Texmelucan.

In that city, I took the free highway to Mexico City, in order to reach the town of Tepatlaxco, 4 Km east of Texmelucan. I arrived at Tepatlaxco with no problems at all, but the ordeal hadn't still begonen :-(

The archaeological site of Tepatlaxco is located far far away from the town that bears the same name. In fact, the road to the archaeological site starts where the town ends. The track to the site is a tortuous road covered with a 20 cm deep, fine powder-like dust layer, that rendered futile any attempt to cycle in the road. So I had to walk in this almost incredible fine dust with only a pair of light sandals ... and pushing my bicycle :-( That was a nightmare. How in hell this 20 cm deep layer of fine dust could have appeared here along all the way to the site ? Only God knows ! But I was here and I didn't plan to retreat :-)

Adding insult to the injury, this road was a climbing one ! Hell ... I continued pushing my bike in this ascending path what seemed to me to last about one kilometer, until some label appeared from nowhere stating that the site was only 200 m ahead. The good news was that the terrain on the new road was firm, i.e. without that cursed dust layer. A dirt road, but walkable. My heart was obliterated with happiness now :-)

After following a zigzag altitude-wise road along rocks and other amenities, I did finally arrive at the archaeological site. This site houses two main pyramids. One is called The Palace, and the other the East Slope. Between both buildings stands an area that was probably used for the Ball Game. I would kindly recommend you having a look at both beautiful pyramids and also at the Ball Game area in the following photoset.

Curiously, when I was roaming over the site in order to study it and taking some photographs of it, arrived at the site about five youngsters in bike, I supposed from the nearby town. They just had a look (at a respectful distance) of me and my activities in the site. As I was the only one visitor in the site, I think they find it wise to act as chaperons while I was still in the site. As soon as I finished my visit and abandoned the site, my chaperons departed with me :-)

Arghh, the same way back, that bloody 20 cm dust layer track ... but at least it was downwards now :-) When I reached the town of Tepatlaxco, I headed for its center, and when I reached its church ... I was rewarded by a grateful surprise: a cycling pilgrimage was arriving back to the town, after having made a pilgrimage to Chalma ! This was really a superb experience !

I don't know exactly how many cyclist arrived at the Tepatlaxco church in the very moments I was photographing its facade, but I guess they exceeded one hundred. When they start to arrive at the church, the bells were singing uninterruptedly, as if the sky were falling to earth :-) In some instants, the whole church atrium was full of bicycles, its owners going inside the church to give thanks for the pilgrimage and the coming back to home.

Once the cyclist started to abandon the church, I left the town, cycling my way back to Texmelucan, the last 5 km leg of the travel. In Texmelucan I took the bus back home, arriving at Mexico City without complications.

Thank you for reading. Till the next travel.

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