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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Day 42 Thursday June 6, 2013

After leaving Xilitla Monday morning, it was a long, tiring, and very scenic ride to Ixmiquilpan. I had not planned to stop there, I had planned to travel to Hidalgo State but when I reached Ixmiquilpan, which is in Hidalgo, it seemed the perfect place to stop.  The town of Ixmiquilpan is noted for its parish church, Church of San Miguel Arcangel, which contains a large series of murals done in the 16th century by native artists depicting Eagle and Jaguar warriors in battle, along with other pre-Hispanic imagery.  It has a beautiful plaza and a magnificent church and convent adjacent to the plaza.  I found a good hotel one half a block from the plaza, and like all of these colonial towns, I was in a room with the bike secured within 30 minutes. I spent Tuesday exploring the city and taking photos.

Ixmiquilpan has the largest market that I have seen so far in Mexico. The part I saw covered three large rectangular blocks. There were hundreds of vendors selling what ever you might need. I think these are pig skins...there was a large section devoted to these.

There are many hand implements available and I see them being put to work everyday. Notice the blue implements, with the handle on top, on the right side of this photo...they are tortilla presses and  they are in constant use in the market.

It appears that Coke is more popular here that in the States. I can not remember seeing a Pepsi...?

This is the church on the plaza. Ixmiquilpan is typical of colonial towns in Mexico...the plaza is the center of power with the church at one end and the government palace at the other.

This is the plaza with the municipal palace at the far end.

And this is the plaza with the church in the background.

On Wednesday morning, I left Ixmiquilpan and headed south to the Pyramid of the Sun about 20 miles north of Mexico City.  The Pyramid of the Sun is the largest building in Teotihuacan and one of the largest in Mesoamerica.  Found along the Avenue of the Dead, in between the Pyramid of the Moon and the Ciudadela, and in the shadow of the massive mountain Cerro Gordo, the pyramid is part of a large complex in the heart of the city. I arrived about 2:30, went to the complex of the Pyramids, and climbed the Pyramid of the Sun and took these photographs.

After leaving the complex at about 5:00, I was headed back through San Martin just like I had come into the complex but the city was doing work on the main street.  I was going to turn around and figure out a detour around the work and, in that moment, while my brain was processing what was going to take place, a man pulled up beside me, rolled down his window, and asked where I was going. I, being still in that in between place still looking at the GPS and thinking about a detour, told him that I was going to Pachuca, the provincial  capital of Hidalgo. He then said, "Why do you not stay here?" I answered, "I have not seen any hotels in this town." He introduced himself as Gabriel, an archeologist at the pyramid complex, and said that his home was about two blocks and there was a hotel on his street. So I turn around and followed Gabriel two blocks and parked behind him on a narrow street, dismounted, and introduce myself. Gabriel said that he had noticed me riding into the complex earlier in the afternoon and he also is a motorcycle adventurist.  When he saw me leaving town he took the opportunity to meet me. We talked in the street for a few minutes and Gabriel offered to let me keep my bike locked up at his house and I could go to the hotel or I was welcome to stay at his house as well. I opted to sleep on Gabriel's couch. He and I rode our bikes to the complex this morning and I was given a personal tour of the current digs going on at the five square mile site. Gabriel has been here at this site for 14 years and has worked on sites in Peru and Canada. He also has a brother that is an officer in the USAF stationed in San Antonia, TX. I am simply amazed by the kindness and friendliness shown to me by the Mexican people.

After my personal tour of the pyramid complex this morning I rode about two hours north to Santa Maria Regla to see the prismas basálticos.  The basaltic prisms Santa Maria Regla is a rock formation on which falls a little jump which is located in the municipality of Hidalgo of Huasca de Ocampo.  They are the result of slow cooling lava millions of years ago.  Thus formed basalt columns 5 or 6 sides, each other vertically and horizontally.  These basalt columns decorate the canyon walls Alcholoya by falling four cascades of water from San Antonio Dam Rule (old Hacienda San Miguel Regla).  They have an approximate height of 40m and a diameter of 0.8m.

At the main dig site this morning where a tunnel is being excavated that runs under a pyramid and the site.

This is the pyramid where the tunnel if thought to be going. At present 76 meters of the tunnel has been excavated, it is known that the tunnel extends 102 meters and is believed to be 120 meters long. That would put it at the center of this pyramid.

Me with the Pyramid of the Sun in the back ground.

 This is Gabriel and myself this morning.

The before mentioned pyramid.

These are photos of the prismas basálticos. These rock formations are only known to exist here in this location in Mexico and in one location in Australia.

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