June 04, 2007

Tizatlan Archaeological Site (Tlaxcala), 03.06.07

Map Navigation
: This dynamic Trackmap shows the GPS track (red line) and some geo-referenced photos (red dots) of the cycling tour. Wheel up and wheel down your mouse to zoom in or zoom out the map. Click on any point in the map to center it on that point. Or just drag the map with your mouse. To see the photos, hoover the mouse over the red dots. Click on the photo to go to the picture page.

Photoset Map

Photoset Show

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

GPS Cycling Data:

Distance: 160 Km, Total Ascent: 1400 m, Cycling Time: 7:28 hr, Avg. Speed: 21.4 Km/hr, Max Speed: 60.3 Km/hr, Energy Expended: 30 MJ, Cycling Power: 280 W.

Travel Report:

This ride started at about 08:00 (or 3 hours later than self-proposed). From the center of the city I took the Zaragoza Av. all the way to the eastern terminus of the city, but just arriving to the bifurcation between the free and paid highways to Puebla, the whole road was being blocked by the police, as reparation to the road were being made. Fortunately, as I was taking a picture of the gigantic traffic mess, the police opened the road, so I could say that I was the first one to take the free highway, at least that day. Why ? Because I, as soon as I heard the police order to continue, I was able to position myself in front of all the traffic that was just beginning to advance to the free highway :-) Life is made of simple things, isn't it ?

I continued inside of Ixtapaluca, where I could see several cars and pickups with cyclists waiting. I guessed at that moment they were waiting for more cyclists. And in fact, I was able to see them later on the highway, as they were part of a cycling race, which departed from Ixtapaluca and ended in the Llano Grande summit. At the end of the urban Ixtapaluca I could see more cyclists waiting.

Nonetheless, I started the ascent, passing firstly the town of Zoquiapan. On my way to the Llano Grande summit, I was reached by the cycling race that was taking part. Remembering my last week broken chain I reminded myself about the importance of a good cadence in cycling, so this time I was not able to match this cycling race. I had to accept the fact that those cyclists were better cyclists than me :-)

At my arrival to Avila Camacho, I was so hungry that I stopped for some bananas and apples. After that short gastronomical stop, I continued the ascent. Almost reaching the summit, I could enjoy the breath-taking panoramic views that the volcanoes that surround the Mexico City Valley offered to my eyes. In the crystalline air of the morning, and having shorted the distance to the volcano. it offered and impressive vista, with its top covered in snow.

At my arrival at the Llano Grande summit, I could have a glimpse of what a strong cycling group looked like :-) There were more than 50 racers that were celebrating their winning ceremony. I crossed some words with one of the racers, and after that, I continued my journey to the other side of the mountain, towards Texmelucan.

Arriving at Texmelucan, I took the 25 km long, plain road that would take me to Tlaxcala, the state capital of the Tlaxcala state. At my arrival at Tlaxcala, I took the deviation to Tizatlán, about 5 km north-east of Tlaxcala City. In Tizatlán I had to climb the steep hill where the town's church is located to finally arrive at the Tizatlán Archaeological Site. Tizatlán was the head of government of one of the four city-states that formed the Tlaxcalan Republic, etern enemy of the Nahua Empire. Xicotencatl was its ruler, and old and wise king, whose son, Xicotencatl Axayacatzin (the younger) fought bravely the spanish conquerors, until its execution by Cortes.

The point of this archaeological site is that it houses an interesting collection of pre-hispanic frescoes painted on several basements, which are in fact poly-chromated altars. You can have a look at these stunning paintings in the above linked photoset show. It is really interesting seeing how, in spite of having being painted more than seven centuries, the frescoes are still trying to tell us, its spectators, a story that still wants to be told.

Once finishing my visit to the impressive frescoes, I paid a short visit to the site museum, which houses several descriptions of the history and richness of the site.

In the same site, there is a beautiful open chapel, which also happens to have a lot of beautifully painted frescoes housed in its interior. The open chapels, which covered only the altar, and used no roof for the rest of the Cathedral, were erected in the first years of the colonization, with the purpose of being more attractive to the numerous indigenous population, still to be converted to the cristianism.

After taking some pictures of a monument erected to Xicohtencatl Axayacatzin, with the impressively beautiful La Malintzin volcano in the background, I started the returning leg of my journey, cycling firstly back towards Tlaxcala, by the paid highway to Tlaxcala. After that, I took the free highway to Texmelucan.

It was 18:30 when I arrived back at Texmelucan. Realizing that a cycling return to Mexico City would paramount to suicide (I don't want more nocturnal descents from Llano Grande), I took the wise (as in: coward) decision to abort the cycling return to Mexico and instead, I took the AU bus, which for 54 pesos took me safely back home :-)

Thank you for reading. Till the next travel.

1 comment:

Hollito said...

"Realizing that a cycling return to Mexico City would paramount to suicide (...)"

So true, so true! ;-)
Driving a car in the DF is an adventure, but it is nothing against riding a bicycle. :-|

Very interesting trip, thank you. I'm looking forward to you next entries in the blog.

Regards from Germany, Hollito