December 11, 2007

Xochitecatl Archaeological Site (Tlaxcala). 09.12.07

This was a wonderful ride since I had the opportunity to take a lot of pictures of several multitudes of pilgrims that were travelling in a pilgrimage to pay homage to the Lady of Guadalupe of the Tepeyac, main devotion figure in whole Mexico, whose main celebration is carried on every December 12th. People were walking and cycling along every pasable trail, road and highway from the eastern part of the mountain pass that separates the Mexico Valley from the Puebla and Tlaxcala states. Just bear in mind that this mountain pass climbs ... ¡ one thousand meters (up to an elevation of more than 3200 m) ! And people were walking carrying not only their personal belongings to pass a night, plus water and food, but also ¡ big and heavy religious icons (made of glass and wood) ! Certainly it is not factless that saying that goes: the faith moves mountains.

I had the opportunity to observe the Pilgrims since I took the free highway to Puebla, in Ixtapaluca. From this point on, countless pilgrims on foot and cycling could be observed in a human chain that climbed all the way up to the Llano Grande summit, and descended later to Texmelucan, like a human river. I really think that the photos of this human spectacle will have a more lasting impact that my humble words.

Once in Texmelucan, I took the road to Villa Alta, Tepetitla and Atoyatenco. Mistakenly, I continued cycling to Xochitecatitla, but had to return over my footsteps, since the gruesome climbing that is the entrance to the Xochitecatl site was just after Atoyatenco. In fact, I arrived at the Cacaxtla entrance, closed now for restoration (heavy rains had damaged the gigantic roof that covers the whole Cacaxtla site).

After a gruesome 8 % grade, 200 m climbing I could finally arrive at the Xochitecatl Archaeological Site. For the first time (I had been there at least twice) I could enter in the site's Museum. Very rich indeed. Lots of fine ceramics and religious pottery.

I proceeded then to the visit to the Xochitecatl Pyramids, including: the Spiral Pyramid , the Serpent Building and the Flower Pyramid. The spiral pyramid has at the top of it a big white cross, a prime example of the religious syncretism that is commonly found in Mexico. From the top of the Flower Pyramid, the adjacent closed Cacaxtla site can be observed.

Once concluded the visit time, I cycled my way back to Texmelucan, where I could take some photos of its magnificent Cathedral and not less interesting Plaza and kiosk. At 19:00 I went to the AU bus terminal, where I could take my bus back home to Mexico City (fare: 60 pesos).

All the photos of this travel are available at the following photoset. And the GPS track is also available, in both formats: GPX and KMZ.

Thank you for reading. Till the next travel :-)

1 comment:

Brooks said...

I really like your blog and am trying to do something similar. I already have Geotagged pictures and GPX/KML tracks and an API reference code. I can get maps to show up on the screen, but wondering if you have any advice or tutorials on loading pictures and tracks. Any help or response would be appreciated,

Thanks, Brooks