Puebla is the capital city in the state with the same name. It is between Mexico City and Veracruz.
The state is very mountainous and heavily populated. I highly recommend the Autopista highway and pay the expensive price rather than the slower
free route. In the picture to the left, you can see the Autopista we just travelled over. We've just come from Veracruz which is about 3 hours over
the mountains in the direction this picture was taken.
In Puebla they say there are 365 churches... one for each day of the year. This is the famous place where Mexico won the "Battle of Puebla"
against the French. You will hear a lot about "Cinqo de Mayo" here (the 5th of May).
Don't forget... most of the pictures on these pages are clickable so you can see more detail..
Mexico and Mexico City
Mexico City (known as the Distrito Federal, or DF) is just ahead of Puebla as is a Federal District right beside the actual state named Mexico.
There is no good "ring road" to get around Mexico City. I want to turn north and try to avoid this largest city in the world
(20 million inhabitants). It took 4 hours on poorly marked streets to get around the "DF" and get further north to the state of Queretaro.
A cop stopped me in the state of Mexico... the only problem on the entire trip. He noticed my Quintana Roo licence plates and a "gringo"
driving. He checks my drivers licence, circulation card, 2004 sticker on the window and can find nothing wrong. Then he tells me I need
a "certificate of non-pollution" for the car. Of course in Quintana Roo we don't need such a certificate as they do around the DF.
His purpose is to try to get me to pay him 100 pesos or so to leave me alone but I refuse to pay the bribe. I know that the cop cannot
write me a ticket because cars from out of state are exempt and don't need such a pollution certificate. He tells me now I have to drive to a
special place that checks my exhaust and that "it will be expensive" hinting again that a small bribe might be better.
I agree to go for the emission test and the cop gives me back my papers and tells me "forget it... carry on."
After a huge 4 hour delay getting around the DF I am on the Autopista again and heading for Queretaro... about 2 hours north of the DF.
As in many states, Queretaro is the state name and has a capital city with the same name. From a travellers viewpoint, Queretaro seems to be
just another heavy industrial and agricultural state. Nothing much interesting for me in this place. Notice the huge housing development in the
picture above. Just down the highway there are large factories and the workers are all crammed into these houses... packed in like ants. Every
small house is identical.
Below is a picture of the "Green Angels" or Los Angeles Verde. It's a free roadside service that can be found on all highways in Mexico.
If your car breaks down just raise your hood and these guys will find you. They can do light repairs like change a fan belt, deliver gas,
water or arrange for a tow. You DO need to tip them.
I am rapidly loosing sunlight as Leon approaches. You will see these huge billboards all over central Mexico in the shape of a bull. It's
a highly effective add for a particular type of Tequila. Next stop Aguascalientes !!
Aguascalientes - finally
It's been 18 hours of non-stop driving today and I am getting very tired. Fortunately, the great state of Aguascalientes is just ahead and
my destinaton is the city of Aguascalientes swhich means "Hot Water." Many of the houses in the city have no need for a hot water tank.
The water coming out of the wells is perfect for taking a shower. It just "feels" a little funny using the toilet if you get my drift.
There IS no cold water and everyone only has one tap on all their sinks and showers.
The city sits at 7,000 feet above sea level in a fairly flat high plateu. The air is very dry... not like Cancun where it is hot an muggy
all the time.
Day 3: After a good rest in Aguascalientes
I took this picture of a blue tree in the central park of San Marcos in Aguascalientes. They bloom every April.
Above: A typical street in Aguascalientes. Nothing special here... just gives you an idea of what it looks like. I hate to take pictures of
only tourist attractions. The handsome guy below in the blue jeans is me, Scott Wilson. No that is not my real hair... it's a hat complete with
a wig for 8 bucks that they were selling.
(below) See! They really don't play all those tourist songs with the Mariachis. In Aguascalientes it is tubas, flutes, loud drums
and a unique type of dancing. I took this pix at the Fair of San Marcos in Aguascalientes. It's jam packed with Mexican tourists. The fair is
well organized with roller coaster rides etc in one part, bands like the one below in another, exhibits, Mexico's only authorized Casino on
another block, and miles of discount booths selling clothes, bedspreads, belts, candles, all for next to nothing as it is all manufactured in this
area. I was very impressed by the friendly and fiestive atmosphere. Sort of like a low cost "Marti Gras" without all the crazies. Very
safe, and various types of police officers in towers watching for the slightest of disturbance. Many people bring their kids.
Below is another of those blue flowering trees in front of another of the numerous churches in Aguascalientes. Click on it
for a 1024x768 image
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