Valparaíso bound

Mexico City Volcano

We said a sad farewell to Zipolite early this morning, taking a ‘free-spirited’ taxi with no seatbelts down windy jungle lanes before hitting what passes for the main coastal road. We clocked something en route you don’t see every day – a cowboy on a horse galloping alongside speeding cars and pursued by a pack of barking dogs…. I had to look twice.

A fleeting glimpse whilst traversing a topes (speed bump) so I’m afraid no pic.

I think we mentioned before that there’s a new freeway connection going in between Oaxaca City and Puerto Escondido that is set to cut the driving time from 7 hours down to 4, but I think this is someway off, so for now it’s a long torturous switch-back journey, though plenty of people choose this option, as well as the twelve-hour bus journey to Mexico City.

We chose to fly on Aero Mar to CDMX, a propeller aircraft that had perhaps ten passengers – we were spread out so as to even the weight on our one and a half hour flight.

Finally arrived for our overnight stay in the surprisingly good Fiesta Inn, an airport hotel set beside the runway on a busy freeway – but weirdly silent inside. We were given a huge King Suite beside the pool – no aircraft noise whatsoever, with a surprisingly packed buzzy restaurant, apparently a government shindig.

Flying into Mexico City you realise just how enormous this mega metropolis is at something like 25 million people and ever expanding into the surrounding hills and mountains. It’s vast and super high at 2,250 metres – so upon arriving here you do feel rather light-headed and occasionally, kinda woozy.

The city is set in the high plateau centre of Mexico in a valley locally known as the ‘Valley of the Damned’ and ringed by massive snow-capped volcanoes that tower over the city at just over 80ks away* – Popocatépetl and Iztaccihuatl – which regularly erupt, the last eruption being in Feb 2018!

Flying down to Chile in the morning – will next report from our home in Valparaíso where spring has just sprung, so that heavy suitcase packed with warm clothes will finally come into its own.

* This is not my photograph, alas. Just illustrating how huge and imposing Popocatépetl is over Mexico City. So, for a city famously wracked with frequent earthquakes, they have the added omnipresent threat of this giant active volcano right above their heads. I took some photos of Popocatépetl flying in this afternoon but they didn’t turn out so great, so apologies for lifting a much more dramatic pic from the net, taken earlier this year actually.

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