During the time we spent in Puebla I was desperate for a decent day trip out of the city. Fortunately the neighbouring city of Cholula has a quite spectacular church sitting atop an ancient earth pyramid. Oh, and is if that isn’t impressive enough, there is a view of the ever-so-slightly active Popocatepetl from the top.
I got there early in the morning, as that is when the views are best. Unfortunately, it was a cloudy day and so I didn’t get that clear a view of the volcano. As it turned out, going straight to the top probably wasn’t the best way of touring the site. Unless you are eager to get to the top for the view of the volcano, I’d strongly consider doing the site in the following order.
Zocalo – main square
Cholula claims to have the largest Zocalo in Mexico (and in Latin America) and it is certainly a decent size. It’s worth starting here to have a coffee and snack under the (longest in Latin America, honest) arches that line the far side of the square. You can also pay a visit to the Casa De La Cultura. This has recently opened, as of October 2015, and I was given a free guided tour round the exhibition which included the photo of the trumpet player at the top of the post. The Ex Convento de San Gabriel, along the east side of the main Plaza is an enormous complex of three religious buildings. From the Zocalo, walk along Morelos to get to the site.
Well we are here, finally. After months, possibly years, of preparation we are finally here. I can’t explain how difficult the exit was, leaving everything felt really hard, especially leaving J,J,& T but someone said to me,” it’s only the mothers that feel it not the children”and that really really helped how I was feeling.
So we landed in Cancun, it’s a bit of a dive, I knew it was going to be and we’re only here for two days, so instead of fighting it, might as well jump right in!.
Within about 2 hours of landing, I was lying in a small pool surrounded by palm trees with the sun shining and for the first time I thought, it’s going to be ok.
The hotel is a little like the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, it’s not crumbling, but the rooms are like little bungalows off twisty staircases and rickety landings. When I walked across the landing before my room an old lady was watering her plants with a watering can, and couple were chatting as they lay in their hammocks and the stress began to fall away. After a swim I sat at the table in my room and started to write my travel journal (on paper with a pen!) and I felt like I really had started an adventure. This is in stark contrast to how I had been feeling over the last couple of days, when I felt like I was going to do 6 months in prison before being allowed home.
So this trip will be an adventure. Feelings will turn on a sixpence and in order to win the battle of emotions I need to learn how to ride the waves.
The evening was perfect, after a fairly long walk, we went into downtown Cancun (which seems to centre around a giant bus station) and found a restaurant that contained all of Mexico. We sat at a table where a Mariachi band played right in our ears, we ate fajitas, I drank margaritas. It was over the top and cheesy – but sometimes you’ve got to jump right in!
The planning over the last year is all really falling into place. Nearly completed my training as an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher, told my family, seen the estate agents, sold my car and started the packing.
When I started to push around the idea of leaving my job, renting my house out and living in another country, I don’t think I really believed I was actually going to do it. I talked about it wistfully, maybe endlessly, but I still didn’t have to do anything.