July 23, 2007

Tepapayeca Archaeological Site + Izucar de Matamoros (Puebla), 22.07.07

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: 210 Km, Total Ascent: 1,600 m, Total Descent: 2,470 m, Time: 8:56 hr, Avg. Speed: 23.5 Km/hr, Max Speed: 62.7 Km/hr, Energy Expended: 35.76 MJ, Power: 280 W.

Travel Report:

This ride started at the very late hour of 08:45. From Mexico City center I took Zaragoza Avenue, and later the Puebla free highway, up to Ixtapaluca. From here I branched out to the Puebla toll highway. I cycled along it up to the Amecameca deviation (just before the Huixtoco toll station) and took the Chalco branch.

After reaching Tlalmanalco, I continued towards Amecameca. But I did not enter in town, as I preferred to take the bypass in order to save time. Riding south I reached soon the town of Tepetlixpa, last point before the descent towards Cuautla starts. Just before arriving in Tepetlixpa, the deviation towards Ozumba can be found in the corner of a gas station.

In Ozumba I paid a visit to the local market, a lively and colourful market place where I could purchase fresh fruit and a new litre of isotonic drink. The beauty of that place is remarkable. You can get a glimpse of this atmosphere in the photoset. I did also pay a short visit to its magnificent Church. Beautiful town indeed !

A little later down the road, the Atlaula town can be found. This is the last big town before Tetela del Volcán. So, if you need to buy food or water, please do it there. After Atlaula, a hilly criss-cross road starts. There were ominous signs of the previous day rainfall along the road. Fallen enormous trees, fallen big stones over the pavement, rivers crossing the road ... hair rising road conditions, indeed ! Along this road, I crossed the small towns of Tecomaxusco, Ecatzingo, Ocoxaltepec and Tlalmimilulpan. Each one of those curious small towns consists of no more than 20 houses scattered along the road, with no visible shops.

At my arrival at Tetela del Volcán, I was lucky enough to be present when a 15-year party was abandoning the church. There were lots of people, cheering and saluting the celebrated teenager. A northern (here ? in Tetela ?) music band was playing. The girl fancied a beautiful violet-white dress, with a big flower ensemble. She was being escorted by six young chaps, all dressed in black smart suits. Interesting arrangement, if you mind.

The purpose of my visit to Tetela del Volcán had been to observe the impressive vistas of the Popocatepetl volcano that this town is known to offer. Unfortunately, that day (and the day before) had been of a very pluvious nature, so those precious vistas were absent the day I were there, being replaced by an ominous white cloud that blocked the volcano view. Maybe next time I could have better luck.

At my exit of Tetela, I made a mistake that costed me 20 km of cycling. I asked for directions in town, and the locals directed me towards Cuautla, in spite of me having in the GPS the route marked directly towards Amayuca. Usually, I do prefer to follow the information given by the locals, over the route I have stored in my GPS, since the information received by the locals is usually better (owed to the fact that they actually live in the place). But this time, for an unknown reason, the locals directed me to Cuautla, and I forgot to check my route in the GPS. Obviously that was a mistake on my side, since I must always check both my path and the route of the GPS. But this time I forgot to enforce the proceeding. End result ? Cycling down towards Cuautla, instead of Amayuca, losing 20 km (and associated time). Man, I do promise to always check my course in the GPS !

From Cuautla, I cycled south-east direction, towards Izucar de Matamoros. On my path I crossed the towns of Tlayecac, Amayuca (where I could have a look at the impressive mountains that guard the Olmec Chalcatzingo Archaeological Site) and finally Tepexco, this last town already in the state of Puebla.

In Tepexco I purchased water and food, since this is the last town before the small sierra (range of mountains) that forms the geographical boundary between Morelos and Puebla starts. After crossing the towns of Calmeca and Rijo, I found finally Agua Dulce, a small house gathering, where the Tlapanala deviation stands. Five kilometers along this road I finally arrived at the Tepapayeca Archaeological Site, at 20:00 !

But alas ! It had already been closed ! Something fully comprehensive since the site closes at 18:00. But asking the locals I was directed towards the responsible of the site: Don Teófilo Hernández. So I went to his house and asked him I he could give me the chance of getting inside the site a few minutes, just to take the compulsory photographs. Up to my big surprise, he accepted and escorted me to the site ! My luck does not abandon me :-) Once inside, the guide insisted in escalating the pyramid, something I was less than convinced, since I was wearing only my carbon-fiber SPD shoes, and also owed to the fact that we had to make that ascent in the complete absence of light. But anyway: orders are orders ... and we climbed the pyramid, only to find a jewel on the top of it: the ruins of a christian chapel at the top of the ancient pre-hispanic pyramid.

Don Teófilo Hernández told me that those chapel ruins compose what is left of an intent of the spanish to erect a christian church over the pre-hispanic and pagan (in their eyes) pyramid. It was only the War of Independence (1810 - 1821) that avoided they had their way, interrupting the chapel construction. The building remnants is what is left of that unfortunate purpose.

Once finished the visit to the archaeological site. I had the tricky task of arriving cycling in Izucar (a 7 km ride), under the cover of the no-moon night, safely. In fact, this was easier said than made, but some how I managed to arrive in Izúcar at 21:30, in one piece.

I had already missed the last bus to Mexico City, which departed from the Sur bus terminal at 20:00. The next bus was an en-route bus that came from Tlapa (in the southern state of Guerrero). This bus pass at 01:30, in the outskirts of the city (1 km from the center). So I decided to roam across town meanwhile, taking photos of the Cathedral, Municipal Palace, the Red House and other Main Square buildings. To my surprise, the local market was still open, so I had the opportunity of palating the cocido, a local dish composed of meat, just like a barbecue, but obtained from cow meat (instead of ram), and at only 80 pesos per kg: a real bargain !

After that delicious delicacy, I continued roaming the center of the town, noting that up to midnight, the center of the town resembled like midday: lots of people walking and talking in the park, as if the next day were Sunday, and not Monday. Lots of people in the streets at midnight, just walking, chatting or laughing. Man, this was a curious town.

At 01:00 I abandoned my position at the Izucar Zocalo and cycled towards the bus stop, waiting for the Tlapa bus, in Mexico City direction. It arrived punctually at 01:30, and for 85 pesos (plus a 15 pesos unofficial fare for the bicycle, but anyway: who is going to argue at this hour ?), I could board the bus that would take me back home, arriving in Mexico City at 04:30. From the TAPO bus station, a 15-minutes ride and I was again back at home's safety, where a couple of sleep hours awaited for me, at last ! :-)

Thank you for reading. Till the next travel.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wow I never new people would find the snallpueblo of tepapayeca my mom an dad are from there and igo there alot