January 15, 2008

Xochicalco Archaeological Site (Morelos), 13.01.08

This ride started at the late hour of 08:30 having as target the visit to the Xochicalco Archaeological site, in the southern state of Morelos. Departing from the center of Mexico City, we (Gabriela and me) took Tlalpan to the south all the way up to the Caminero Monument, and then we took the free Cuernavaca highway. At 2700 m altitude we made a little stop at the El Mirador restaurant, but ir was still closed (since it was early), so we had to take a view of the city from a near location.

Once resuming our trip, we made another little stop in Parres to buy some water, and, in the up-downs that exist between Parres and La Cima summit my frontal derailleur felt down and I had to repair it. Thank God I was carrying some Gabriela's Allen keys, since I do not use to carry any tools :-) Being myself not the best mechanic in town, I lost precious time in that reparation, but anyways, we could continue our trip.

Another little stop at La Cima summit to take the compulsory photograhs and we were ready to descend to Tres Marias. Since neither of us had ever visited the center of Tres Marias, we decided to have a look at that picturesque town. So we deviated to the left in Tres Marías and got to its little center. A small yet precious church is all that stands up in the center. We also decided to make good use of the stop and got a delicious hot meal (in front of the church) of fish broth, with sea food quesadillas. Could you believe that: Sea food in Tres Marías ? :-)

Once armored with that hot meal, we started the descent all the way up to Cuernavaca first, and then to Alpuyeca, via the free Acapulco highway. As for Gabriela these are her firsts cycling rides along inter-state highways, she uses to descend very carefully, so I use to pass her on the descent, but in order not to abandon her, I make svereal stops in between, so she can pass me again. Meanwhile I am waiting for her, what better thing to do than to take pictures of her descent ? :-)

We reached and crossed Cuernavaca, passing also in our way to Alpuyeca the towns of Temixco, Acatlipa and Xochitepec. Once arriving in Alpuyeca, we bought some water, as the ongoing way to Xochicalco was one of pure ascent, and the worst of all: we had to make it against the clock ! We had less than forty minutes to make a 300 m ascent along 12 kilometers (grade: 2.5 %), since the site closes its doors at 17:00. Making an exceptional effort we were able to reach the site in only 35 minutes, arriving just five minutes before closing (with an average speed of 20.6 km/hr, in that steep hills). Nothing bad for Gabriela. My most sincere congratulations to her for that final fast ascent to the site :-)

Once inside the Xochicalco (nahuatl for House of Flowers) Archaeological Site, we proceeded to have a quick look of all the buildings that comprehend that precious site. I hope the presented photograps could communicate a better meaning than my humble words when I try to describe that fabulous site. So I would recommend to have a look at the pictures so you could have a better view of all the pyramids and buildings that are located in the site.

Once concluded our visit to the site, we proceeded to start the descent back to Alpuyeca, almost in the middle of the dark, as it was already 18:40. At the beginning of the descent there was some twilight light, but as we were descending, the dark became more and more present, so we had to carry out that final descent with no light at all. Fortunately, we were finally able to arrive again in Alpuyeca in one piece :-)

Once in Alpuyeca, we proceeded to visit its simple yet beautiful white church (located at the top of a staired hill) and the main Plaza, where a picturesque green clock tower stands. Once finishing that small stop we cycled to the junction where the bus stop is located. To our disheart, we discovered that the buses that passed there had only small boxes to carry the luggage. We were not going to be able to load our bikes in those buses. So we had to rely in a big taxi to get back to Cuernavaca (taxi fare from Alpuyeca to Cuernavaca, with two bicycles and two cyclists: 130 pesos, driving along the toll highway).

The taxi drove us to the Cuernavaca Cathedral, in the center of the city, where we had a glimpse of the last part of the last mass (merely five minutes). But we were able to have a look at the interior of that precious Cathedral. Once the lights were turned off, we exited the Cathedral and started a small turn around the exterior of that gigantic church. After having taken the compulsory photographs, we rode towards the Pullman bus terminal, just a block away, where we bought our return tickets back to Mexico City (ticket fare: 65 pesos).

As we had still half an hour free, we decided to pay a quick visit to the center of Cuernavaca, to have a look at the Cuauhnahuac (Cortes Palace), Government Palace, Main Square, Clock Tower and the Morelos statue. Once our free time expired we cycled back to the Pullman terminal, where we boarded our bus back home at 22:15. For some reason (mostly traffic) the bus arrived at 00:00 in México City, so we had to cycle back our ways to our final destinations: home :-)

As usual, all the pictures of this travel are available at the following photoset. And the GPS track is also available, in both formats: GPX or KMZ .

Thank you for reading. Till the next travel !



Thats great post and I liked it and I hope to read more about Cycling Tours
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Erasmo Perez said...

Hello Vechandra:

Thank you very much for your comment :-)

I am very glad you could have found attractive this blog :-)

I am looking forward to visit yours too


Unknown said...

Hola Erasmo,
Once again I enjoy your cycling photo journal, thankyou for making it available. Reminds me of the lucky times I have visited Mexico DF.

Que te vaya bien, dude!!

Erasmo Perez said...


Thank you very much for your really friendly comments :-)

I am glad you have found enjoyable this blog. I will try to make it worth of reading :-)