Friday, September 23, 2005

Tepotzotlán and Cookin - Mexican Style

hey there, troops...

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This past week has been busy with school, homework and a few side trips to places like Tepotzotlán...pronounced teh-po-tzot-lan. The origin of Tepotzotlán begain around 1580 when a group of Jesuit priests arrived with the intent of converting the locals. We arrived at the city around 330 with the intent to see the church but needed to scoot because the pyramid on top of the mountain closes about 1.5 hours before sundown.

One of the things that I really like about small towns like Tepotzotlán are the narrow streets, the market where you can buy just about anything, the streets make of stone and the general feeling that everything slows down here. JP and Marcos in Tepotzotlan We stopped at the market to get a little something to eat and then made our way to the base of the mountain. One of the things that I do not like is the amount of stray dogs that wonder along the street looking for food. I like pets and I like dogs, but these animals are something that I am afraid of and want no part of. And of course, they followed us for quite some time because Annetta had a little bit of food in her back pack and the dogs wanted us to share. And of course there was someone in our group that wanted to give them some food. The name of that person has been changed...We shall call him Hectór.

The mountain ascent was a workout, in no time our clothes dripped of sweat and our lungs and legs were not ready for the initial pace. We took frequent breaks and lots of pictures. Hector forgot his camera so I was the designated camera errr...guy. One of the cool things about digital cameras is that you can retake pictures if you mess up and there is no cost of film. HOWEVER...taking over 100 pictures during a three hour hike is a bit much. I was tired of being the camera errr...guy. But its all cool now. The rocky road to the top was ummm, well, rocky and pretty steep.rocky road Annetta said in her British accent "I am not in form for this trek." We were worried a little bit about her because she said she was gonna stop and turn around, but she decided a little later to continue the trek up the mountain. It took about an hour and 20 minutes to climb the path to the top. The last 100 yards to the top was incredibly steep. The path zig zaged like a mountain switchback after a near vertical climb up some not-so-sturdy stairs. some pretty steep stepsWe all made it and could not believe some of the people we saw climbing this thing. There were people who looked more dressed for church then they were for a hike. We saw a coupla dresses and three or four women in heels! yaowza. Tepotzotlan Pyramid
The top of the pyramid was a great! We relaxed and enjoyed the view of the city below for about an hour. We met a coupla people from chicago and talked with them for a while and then met some people who were into Ben Harper a little too much. To each his own. The hike down was much quicker than the ascent and it was nice to be one of the last people on the trail because traffic makes climbing difficult. We all arrived at the base safe and sound and were welcomed by another stray dog that wanted a free dinner. Hector really wanted to feed him. I suggested taking him home and giving him a bath but comments from the peanut gallery were not being accepted.

I look forward to more mountain climbing expeditions in the future. One of which is my trek along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. I needed to pay my deposit yesterday and it took about 1.5 hours to send a hundred bucks via western union. This was my first experience with Western Union and I really didnt get a warm fuzzy from this legal form of loan sharking. Why loan sharking, because it cost 25 dollars to send 100 dollars. all i hope for is to get my spot reserved for my Inca Trail hike.

Now Were Cookin! One thing that I did do this week was attend a cooking class sponsored by our school. Students prepared a cheese stuffed chile that was dipped in a batter and was cooked in oil and served with spanish rice, beans, and salsa. This stuff hit the spot and is pretty simple to make. I have a copy of the recipe and look forward to learning how to cook some more mexica dishes. One of the things that I will definitely buy on this trip is a flanería. A flanería is a metal dish with a sealed top that is used to make flan. Flan is kinda like jello minus the gelatin. It is very rich and hits the spot. I look forward to making it for my friends when I return home. Like the commercial says "There is always room for flan" oh, wait...that is dont matter because this stuff is that great!

Well, im gettin hungry and my contacts are drying up after staring at this screen while writing this blong entry.

Drop me a message and lemme know how you are all doing. And say a little prayer for my sister and her family. They had to evacuate Houston yesterday...Hopefully the Hurricane Rita will be a waste of time will not take any lives.

Have a great day!

for more pictures of whats been going on you can click on the link on the right side of the blog that says "Spankin New Photos" - jp


rafal said...

I hope you told them about emeril and you did some BAMS! and kicked it up a notch. In case you didn't know the hurricane rita caused only mild flooding, it's not as bad as katrina was, majority of the people especially in houston area are doing fine. On the other hand New orleans is another story the rain caused 3 leeves to break making the corps look really good :) Since you are on higher altitude you probably have hard time reading this.
lator gator

Megan said...

Ain't nothin but a g-thang baby!

kelli said...

Hey! I'm jealous of this grand anventure. have some fun for me! put up some more pictures too.

Nick Seeba said...

You are living the life down there James. Has anyone said anything to you about your height advantage down there?

Mandy said...

Congrats on being the UNO Alum Fall centerfold...lovely're such a suck up :)

Amanda said...

Hey you!

I like the pictures of you standing next to the natives--you look freakishly tall instead of tall and mysterious. I hope you are taking my advice about Montezuma and wrapping in your adventures. Make it through this whole and come back to Chicago and visit me!

Heart you,
Hamilton's Best

Shelley said...

Hi James,
From the photos it doesn't look like you are studying too hard! We made it back from Palestine, Texas. No damage, but no power for about 12 hours. Back to normal now.
Take care,