July 02, 2007

Tula Archaeological Site (Hidalgo). 01.07.07

Photoset Map

Photoset Show

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

GPS Cycling Data:

Distance: 152 Km, Total Ascent: 975 m, Time: 7:23 hr, Avg. Speed: 20.5 Km/hr, Max Speed: 51.8 Km/hr, Energy Expended: 31.51 MJ, Power: 300 W.

Travel Report:

Cycling from the center of Mexico City, I reached the center of Tlalnepantla at 08:20, rendezvous point with the fellow cyclist: Michaela Lochova, a determined touring cyclist from the Chezc Republic. Let me state that she was able to cycle the whole round trip, from Mexico City to the toltec Tula Archaeological Site (and back to Mexico City), without stating a single complaint, fierce desert sun and dilluvial rain notwhistanding.

We took the road to Cuautitlan, via the free highway, since It had been previously agreed to use as few high traffic highways as possible. We continued up to the Tepotzotlan deviation, but we took instead the road to Coyotepec, a beautiful town which I had always passed by the paid highway to Queretaro, without having entering in it once. I had now the opportunity to know its beautiful Cathedral and Convent, so we made a little stop at that location.

In order to arrive at Jorobas, we took a secondary road that circles the hill after Coyotepec. The road conditions were one of the worst I had ever seen. In fact, this road was closed to the traffic, as it was under maintenance. Some parts of this road had no asphalted carpet at all, as it had been removed to put another, I guess. So the floor of this road was sometimes plain ground. And as the previous night had been one of thundering storm, you can imagine the quantity of mud that covered this road.

Well, it was in this road that I broke my Dura-Ace chain ... just at our arrival at Jorobas. At least I broke it in a town ! Unfortunately, the only mechanic that was in town was an automotive one, and he was unable to fix the chain, as he lacked the right tools for the job. From here we weighted our choices, and decided to take a bus to Tula (via Tepeji del Rio), where I hoped I could find some bicycle mechanic.

At the arrival at Tula, and aided by the directions given by a fellow cyclist, in 5 minutes I had found a cycling repair shop, and in less than 3 minutes, my chain was fixed. Alas ! The wonders of civilization ! From here we could continue cycling to the nearby Tula Achaeological Site, arriving at the site at 12:45.

The site is really impressive. It houses several buildings: three pyramids, a whole palace, an immense ball game court, a tzomplantli (skulls wall) and also: two museums ! I think that the best way to describe you the site is to show you the photos I obtained there. You can have a look at them in the photoset show link posted above.

We roamed through the complete site. Some of the visited buildings were: the Burned Palace, Pyramids B and C, Ball Game Court, and of course, both museums. Of particular interest were the two museums of the site. Each one of these houses an impressive collection of
archaeological findings. Stone sculptures representing Chaac-Mol and Tlaloc (rain gods), atlantes (toltec warriors), reliefs, ceremonial pottery, stone stellaes, ceremonial flag carriers, etc.

Once the visit to the site was concluded, we started cycling the return leg of our journey. It was 15:00, and the sun was at its hottest point. At the exit of Tula we bought water bottles, as in front of us rested 40 km of desert, as we had decided to take the Refinery road, which drives back to Jorobas, crossing mountains in the midst of the desert, with barely a town along its route.

The desert has always been something that fascinates me. Its profound silence, its climatic hardness, its endless landscapes. I think I have started to love the desert, having previously disliked it a lot. But sometimes I believe to find poetry in its hardships.

At our arrival back at Jorobas we took a rest there, and enjoyed the town's speciality: ram barbecue. Not being great fans of eating lots of meat (neither Michaela or me), but being it the only available food in town, I think we could learn to appreciate the dish :-)

Resuming the ride, we took the paid highway to Mexico City (in order to save time), and branched out of it at Cuautitlán, where we paid a visit to its beautiful Cathedral and Convent. Taking the free highway to Mexico from there, we rode to Tlalnepantla, but at La Quebrada, the sky started to fall in pieces. What a rain, man ! And, worst of it: it didn't stop raining the whole night. From La Quebrada to Satellite City, we cycled an hour under a fierce rain. Well, it had rained so much that water was felling down from the elevated bridges along the route, fabricating occasional immense urban waterfalls, some of them felling above us.

Michaela and I parted ways in Satellite City, from where I resumed my way back home with a 50 min, 20 km long ride to Mexico City center under a dilluvial rain, arriving back at the safety of home at 20:45. All I can say is that this ride, performed under inclement weather conditions (heat and rain) was one of those rides that makes you remember why you are a cyclist: to challenge the elements ! :-)

Thank you for reading. Till the next travel.

1 comment:

Kamal said...

Nice and organized blog.