Churches on Pyramids and Shipping Containers

Photo of a trumpet player seemingly sucking smoke from a volcano
Volcanic Trumpet

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.

  1. 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.

Continue reading Churches on Pyramids and Shipping Containers

A change of plans

We’ve suffered a pretty severe change to our plans.

Red Cross symbol
Red Cross symbol

During our time in Oaxaca, Vicki started suffering from stomach pains. Fortunately, Mexico has a health system that gives free access, without appointment, to everybody and next door to a lot of pharmacies there is a separate entrance that leads to a waiting room for the doctor on duty.

We went to the doctor’s on the block next to our house and he prescribed some over-the-counter medicines for Vicki. These didn’t have much effect and, by the time we had arrived at our next rental in Puebla, Vicki was feeling increasingly poorly, so much so that we phoned the insurance company and went to the Urgencias at Christus Muguerza Hospital on their advice.

By now Vicki was in excruciating pain. She spent a horrible night and morning in Urgencias with me trying to interpret between her and the doctors, as well as trying to contact the insurance company so that Vicki could be admitted, which finally happened at about five o’clock in the morning. At this time, one consultant had been and given a tentative diagnosis of kidney stones.

The following day the hospital put Vicki through further tests, bloods, an X-Ray or three and a CT scan, after which the diagnosis changed from kidney stones to diverticulitis with suspected peritonitis on the side. Continue reading A change of plans