Morelos is the second-smallest state in Mexico, but has played a very important roll in the Mexican War of Independence. The best thing of Morelos is the climate. It is warm, not hot, all the year around, even the nights can become a little chilly, but never cold. It also has the rainy season and actually I experienced it like it is written: Heavy rain in the evening for between half an hour and a couple of hours – that’s it. In addition to that, the earthquakes are not felt here the same way like in the surrounding states. They usually are not felt at all. Only the heavy one last year made some damage.
2nd August 2018
Coming from the state av Puebla I arrived in Cuernavaca, the capital of the state of Morelos, at 3pm by a first class bus. The bus company is called ORO (gold). The ADO buses are not servicing this area. My host Yuritzi (a maiden name in Mexico) was meeting me. She had ordered a car to bring us to her mother’s home, where they both live. Furthermore there are three houses or more in one, but each house is like an apartment for a part of the extended family. Though an aunt and the cousins are living there as well as her brother with family.
We stayed for a while at the home, before Yuri tog me out for dinner to the Colorini restaurant, where she recommended me a meal called “Cetina de Yecapitla”. It was a big minute beef with Nopales (the cactus) and originally beans, but I ordered it without beans. The waiter asked me, if I want to have Guacamole instead, which I was happy to get. Yuri had a soup and a fondue. We shared a jar lime drink with chia seeds. I tried to pay almost my own meal, but she insisted to pay for both of us. Yuri is a kind of manager, who is responsible for some different branches in the city.
We went home directly afterwards and had a chat about our travels. She also gave me the password for the Internet. She told me, that her mother never had traveled solo and that she would like, if her mother would to do it, because so far her mother only had traveled together with her or her brother. When her mother returned home from work (she is a principal at the education authority) we were talking more about the places I have visited in Mexico, especially about the archaeological sites. I also told them about my blog and they started to read it immediately.
When it was dark, Yuri tog me downtown by her mother’s car. The city center is not very big, but quiet beautiful at night. We were on the Zocalo, of course, but also the plaza close to it. Though we also have seen the Government palace and the Palacio de Cortés. Actually, when you see pictures from the Cortés palace on Google, they look different to, how the palace looks now, because it was damaged by the earthquake last year and the towers are missing. The palace is under refurbishment and not possible to visit for the moment. We were downtown for around an hour. Back at her home we were going to bed soon.
3rd August 2018
After I have been to the bathroom around 4am I was on twitter for a couple of hours, because I was looking for a tweet I had read some days earlier. I did not find it, but tired. Next time I was awake was around 8:30am, but I was still tired and did not get up before an hour later, when the bathroom was available.
After a shower and breakfast I was going downtown by bus. Yuri did bring me to the bus stop and explained also, how to come back again as well as she told me, that the fee for the bus is 8 MXN, though I could make the bus driver happy by having the exact amount ready.
I left the bus close to the Zocalo and walked to the park, Yuri had shown me the evening before. I first strolled a little between the stalls, but a dance group caught my eyes. I was standing there, watching them and taking a few photos for a long while, before I decided to take a seat in the first row. It was interesting to see. There were dances typical for the area, but they also danced some from Sinaloa (another state of Mexico, where I have been before). I think they danced for almost an hour. The dancers were fantastic.
I had a lunch close to the park. The restaurant announced a Menu Casero, which was a “comida” with soup, main meal, desert and water with taste like Agua de Horchate. When I asked for it, the waiter told me, that the main meal is Chicharrón – fried pork rinds. I told him, that I do not like it. He recommended me instead the economic lunch, which also contains of a soup, a main meal and a desert, but the drink is on the top of it. This meal also had better meat and the costs for it – without the drink, were for 99 MXN. I was too hungry for looking for another place and I also was thinking about, that I had not paid for the meal the evening before, though it was still in my budget. I ordered that meal instead with chuleta (pork chop). I have got a big bowl with soup, though I only ate half of it. The pork shops (two very thin slices, which were smoked and quite salty) came with a little bit rice and neither salad nor vegetables. The glass of Agua de Horchata was very small and for 30 MXN, which surprised me.
After the meal I was going back to the park and looking for, what the stalls had to offer. There were some nice things, even not for me. I continued to a neighbor market, where lots of stalls offered jewelry, most of silver. I looked a little around and actually found rings that I liked and also were in my size. Though I chose one and asked for the price. The seller first told me, that the ring is made of silver and the (small) stones are obsidian. Than he added, that the ring was for 100 MXN. I bought one – the ring has a stamp! It is a very small ring, but fitting me perfect. I do not like big rings on my small hands.
Yuri messaged me, that the bus home is going from the garden Jardin Borda. That was perfect, because I was looking for the cathedral and it is close to the garden. The cathedral is under refurbishment and closed. Damage from the earthquake is maintained. I took photos from the outside, even it is very hard to take a photo of the whole cathedral even with the panorama view, because of the big trees nearby. I also took photos of the two nearby churches and entered them. The first one had an interior in Baroque style. The other one was very simple inside.
My next destination was the garden “Jardin Borda” itself. On the way there I actually bought a dress I can use both at the beach or for the night. It was for 150 MXN only. In the related building to the garden there are exhibitions. The admission fee was 30 MXN and it was not possible to see the garden only without paying the fee. In one room of the building you also can see the older ruins under. It seems, that this building, too, were built on the top of indigenous sites.
On the way out there was a box for donations. I think it is a little too much to ask for donations, when an admission fee already has to be paid, though I donated my ticket instead. I hope, the manager of the place will understand, why I did that.
It started raining, when I finally was in the garden after I had seen the exhibitions. Before the big shower came, I already was under different kind of roofs and I soon entered the café Alondra, which Yuri the evening before had recommended for the coffee. I ordered a cappuccino with coconut rum and had a chocolate cake with walnuts and banana cream. These together were more expensive as most of my lunches, but I was in the mood to pamper myself. When I just had ordered these delicious things, I have got a message of Yuri, that it is raining and I should come home. She had added, that she still was at work, but asked me to apologize. Though I answered here by a message, that I just had started to try the whole menu of the café Alondra (which I actually would like to do). She recommended me corn pancakes. My answer was, that I already had chosen the cappuccino Havaiano and a cake. This time she answered, that I should enjoy it.
I was ready to go back to Yuri by bus after all those calories, even it had been better to walk, but it would have been more than an hours walk and even it did not rain anymore, there are some hills to force, which I am not happy about, especially not when I am full. I was waiting for the bus number 18, the bus number 3 were coming several times, the bus number 12 twice and also other buses arrived, before it was the turn for a bus number 18. I told the driver, that I will leave at “Domingo 10”, the stop at the nearby supermarket. Unfortunately the bus was not coming up that street, but I recognized, that it was coming the street I had taken the bus number 15 downtown. I told the driver, that he should stop at the next corner. Unfortunately he did first stop at the next corner, but one. It was anyway easy to walk the short distance to Yuri’s home.
Yuri was already at home, when I was coming. Her mother came soon as well. We had a chat about what I had made and seen. I also showed Yuri my new ring and asked her about the stamp inside. She told me, that it really is silver and recommended me to buy more silver jewelry in the city of Taxco in the state of Guerrero. I checked my itinerary, if that place is on my list and it is, because it also is a “Pueblo magíco”
When Yuri was leaving something to friends or relatives and her mother were going to her room, I updated my blog and continued with it until 11pm. Yuri and I also had a tea, before she were going to bed. We had earlier agreed about the following day, when we will spend time together and go to a nearby city, which also is a “Pueblo magíco”.
4th August 2018
We were going by car to Tepotzlan between 8am and 9am. It was around one hours drive. I already had to look for a bathroom, when we arrived there. It was such a day, I needed bathrooms quite often. Yuri tog me to a market, where she invited me for breakfast. I chose a typical food, called Icataces. That is a kind of bread with beans. The bread looks dark from the outside, but is lighter in color inside. Yuri had tacos instead. She paid for both of us, but was looking for coins for the tip, though I left 5 MXN instead. All together we gave a tip of 17 or 18 MXN. I was surprised about that high amount.
Afterwards we walked to the foot of the mountain of the archaeological site of Tepozteco. It was a long way to climb. There were stairs, but off and on, there were only stones, showing where to go and they were difficult to climb. Sometimes, these parts were so narrow, that only one person at a time could use it. I was polite and let people with children and elderly people go first, but a lot of younger people behind me, were passing me instead. By that I needed extra long time for the way up. Before entering the site, there were some iron stairs, which were difficult for me to force, because of the way, they were made. I concentrated on the end of the stairs and all was fine. Well at the site, I had to pay an admission fee of 55 MXN (for foreigners), even the signs tells 50 MXN. They have not changed to the new fee. I did not take a lot of time to walk around and see the site. The view was the best of it, but the site itself had a few interesting decorations. There is only one temple excavated. I was on the top of the temple and had to ask for a helping hand, to take the first step down again. It was no problem to get one. The same appeared by walking to the site respectively coming down from there.
While I was looking at the temple, Yuri sent me a message, asking me, if I am OK and where I am. She told me, that I am late. Though I started on my way back soon, but before I was asking for a bathroom. There were none up there. I was happy that I found a bathroom, when I was down again. On the way down I was faster, because I was following directly a family respectively an elderly couple. I was not waiting in other people, this time. Anyway younger people were passing and in some cases with very little margin. I did not like that at all. I think it is a shame, that people do not care about elderly and kids in those situations.
Down I had an ice cream, which I paid myself. I was happy, that Yuri did not insist to pay for me again. We went back to the car and Yuri was driving an uncommon, but faster way throughout the village for reaching the highway. There were nearly no traffic this route throughout it. Back at her place, I took my backpacks, which I already had packed in the morning. I thought I will walk to my next host, but Yuri insisted to drive me there.
My new host lives in the same area (they call all the areas Colonia and taxi drivers need to know in which Colonia a street is, that he will find it – unfortunately, the most of them do not have a GPS). Some streets had no name signs, though Yuri needed to use the GPS. By the way, the street my other host for Cuernavaca was living, had a name sign. Natalia, my new host, had sent me a good directions to the place, she lives, though we found it easily. Yuri did drive back home as soon as I left her car.
I knocked the door of the new place, but nobody opened. I asked a neighbor about it and she told me, that I had to ask the gardener, who worked outside. Though I did. He let me in and tried to call Natalia, but she was not at home. Therefore the gardener offered me a chair in the garden. I had sent a message to Natalia, that I was in front of her door, though she arrived soon together with her boyfriend. After the welcoming, she told me, that we will go to the Jardin Gorda for a play. It is for free and is about the earlier emperor Maximilian of Austria, who ruled Mexico before the Independence, and his wife Charlotta. We used the time before to get to know each other and where then going to town by an Uber (taxi), which Natalia had ordered before. I was not allowed to share the costs.
The theater play was for more than an hour. It was in Spanish, unfortunately the actor did not speak clearly enough, that I could understand most of it. Even the actress spoke more clearly, she had such a tiny voice, that I had problems to understand her for the crowd. Natalia did explain, when I asked her. I thought I will try to read about it on the Internet, but I need extra time for it.
When the play had finished, Natalia was going with me to a Pulque bar (pulquería). Her boyfriend was leaving us for his friends. The drink comes in different tastes. She ordered a Guayaba pulque for me and had another taste, which cames with cinnamon. I was allowed to taste both and after that to decide, which one I would like to drink. I took the one I ordered, even I liked the other as well. Not even this, but also the taxi home – it had started raining heavily, and the dinner this evening in a nearby restaurant, did Natalia pay for.
Natalia is working on her PhD and I was wondering myself, how she could afford to invite me to all these things. She gave the answer, without I had questioned her. She told me, that all students in Mexico get scholarship, though they can study, but there are less amounts of scholarships for master students. The scholarships are paid by the state of Mexico, because they need people, who study.
Natalia is very talk active and I really enjoyed it. We were to bed after midnight. I had a mattress on the kitchen floor and slept well on it.
5th August 2018
I had planned to visit a museum, but came not further than to the Zocalo again, after I had been for too long on the bus and had to walk a while before I found the city center. On the Zocalo where life similar like on the 3rd, but there were also a lot of Mariachi singers and players around. I loved to be a part of all this and walked around, had an ice coffee and later something to eat as well as a papaya water. I was waiting all the time for the Mariachis to start playing – part of the time sitting on a bench, but it became dark and they did not. Disappointed I took a taxi home to Natalia.
I actually do not remember for how long we were chatting this evening and what we were chatting about. I only remember, that she had asked me, how I liked the museum and was surprised, when I told her, that I have not been there. Furthermore she gave me advice about, how to go to the University in Mexico city, where I had to meet my new host. In addition to that she gave me a rechargeable Metro-Card for the capital.
For more photos of Cuernavaca click here.
6th August 2018
This day I left Cuernavaca by bus and was going to Mexico City, some years ago still called “Distrito Federal de Mexico”. Natalia had recommended me to take a taxi to the Pullman bus terminal, what I did, because it is so hard to get into the bus with my backpacks and it is much shorter, than by bus. I only paid 35 MXN and was surprised, when we arrived there quickly.
I tried to pay a bus ticket at the ADO desk, but was told, that only buses from the company ORO are going there and where I could find there desk. Well there I did not have a lot of waiting time either. I could directly go to the bus, because they are going almost one in half an hour. The amount for the bus ticket was 165 MXN.
To read about my week in Mexico city, please click on the name of the city.