I'm on the road again and currently staying at a lovely little hotel adjacent to the entrance of Mexico's leading pre-hispanic archaeological site, Teotihuacan or more popularly known as the Pyramids. The massive Pyramids of the Sun and Moon are North America's version of Giza's pyramids.
Getting here was a combination of patience, prayer and stupidity. After flying straight from Anchorage via three flights, we arrived mid-day and decided to pick up our rent-a-car a day early. After all it is only a thirty-mile drive to our hotel.
This was our first mistake. We had planned to overnight near the airport and pick up the car the following day so we would be well rested and have plenty of daylight to make our destination.
Our cardinal rule is not to drive in any underdeveloped country after dark. No problem we thought as we arrived at Hertz at 3pm. Two hours and three cars later we were ready to depart in our red tin can on wheels. We got directions to the toll road that would take us directly here. I had already purchased a ten dollar map and the attendant drew us another as well.
Straight away we found the roads were poorly marked and the driving culture something out of a horror movie. Cars and trucks speed whenever they can disregarding speed limits. They dart in and out of traffic like crazy motorcyclists. If they need to turn, they do so making cars coming in the other direction slam on breaks. Nobody gives way to anyone.
After about 30 mins, traffic became clogged and stop and go, but that didn't stop anyone from jockeying from lane to lane. Finally when it sped up signage was obscure to nil. We made several wrong turns having to retrace our steps losing precious time until sunset.
Finally we ended up on Highway 85, but couldn't find the Highway 85 toll road. We joined the throngs racing through small towns and trying not to get our butts run over. Highway 85, the one to our destination, somehow became Highway 136, then Highway 132 and then Highway 142.
We were totally lost and it was getting jet black. I began having visions of pulling over and sleeping in the car as the areas we had traveleding through were industrial or non-tourist. About 30 minutes later we saw the sign: Toll road to the Pyramids. We got on and within about 15 minutes we took a off ramp and five minutes later we were at our hotel. The Gods were with us.
We made it to our destination after three and a half hours of potholed and rutted roads, insane drivers and traffic that makes any freeway in L.A. a cake walk.
I did say earlier that part of getting here was stupidity and I standby that! We never should have started driving in Mexico City traffic at 5pm. (Please don't tell my mother.)