The morning of the second day, I woke up feeling, well “ugh”. I cannot believe it. How am I sick already? I didn’t think I drank that much last night. I was good. I stuck to XX Amber and Negro Modelo. There’s no way I’m hung over, which only means this feeling was more than just the bottle-flu. In hopes that getting a few more minutes of sleep would do the trick, I chose to skip breakfast and take a shower. Unfortunately, I still wasn’t feeling up to snuff and barely managed to pack with enough time to walk down stairs and catch the bus.
Once on the bus, I started to feel okay. Sitting was a good option. Today’s journey would take us about 3 hours from Puebla to Cuernavaca though Pueblo Magico of Tepoztlan, a longtime home base among precipitous cliffs and temples of the Nahua people and according to myth, the birthplace of Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent-god nearly 1200 years ago. Unfortunately, in 2009, Tepoztlan title of Pueblo Magico was revoked in 2009 for noncompliance. It didn’t take the town long to fix whatever issue it had and regained the title approximately a year later. This town is famous for two things; 1) remains of a temple built on top of the nearby Tepozteco mountain, and 2) the exotic ice cream flavors prepared by the townspeople. While in Tepoztlan, standing in the zócalo (town center), we were educated regarding the agriculture most commonly grown in this region, maize and a variety of other grains. A very sweet and adorable elderly woman, allowed Ish to use her plethora of grains brought to the market for sale as our classroom. (see pictures here).
At this time, my flu-like, dehydration symptoms were becoming more prominent the longer I stood in the sun and wandering through the market with the very potent perfumes of fish, chili, and raw meat did not aid in my survival of the day. Once through the market, Ish brought us to entry way of Ex Convento Dominico de la Natividad, which looks more like a fortress than a cathedral. The entry way was completely compiled from grains and maize. (see pictures here). This was our second UNESCO World Heritage Site, inducted in 1994. I was struggling to comprehend exactly what Ish was explaining regarding this cathedral, but I believe he mentioned that this was the location where the Spaniards did all but force the local indians to convert to Catholicism. However, I wouldn’t quote me on this fact. My brain could barely function and focus on taking pictures.
Before our trek back to the bus (as the bus was unable to drive us to the town), we stopped in t Tepoznieves, the ice cream shop for a little taste Mexico or as they say, Nieve de Dioses- Ice Cream of the Gods. This local shop has more than 120 flavors of ice cream and sorbet, ranging from the typical strawberry, chocolate, and bubble gum to beets, maize, and even the exotic tamarind. I selected pistachio (favorite), cappuccino and mango. All three were exceptionally delicious!
We continued our journey onward towards Cuernavaca and at this point I’m fading fast. The ice cream was probably not the most intelligent of decisions, but it’s ice cream and I wasn’t going to say no.
Cuernavaca, located in the state of Morelos, was established by the Olmec over three thousand years ago. It is nicknamed “the city of the eternal spring.” because of its stable, warm climate with abundant vegetation and the nickname delivered. It may have only been 80 degrees but this chick was on her last leg and felt as though I was going to pass out standing in the middle of the city center. Thankfully, we didn’t have a walking tour scheduled as were provided with free time to gather lunch and do a bit of shopping. I joined majority of the crew at a local 100% Natural restaurant and most of the initial portion involved my head face down on the table. I remember hearing Ish say “I think we’ve lost Nicole”. At this point of the day, I was still going off an empty stomach and knew I needed to eat so I chose a bowl of fruit with lemonade for some natural sugar.
Once our free time came to an end, we ventured off to our hotel, which was the brand new Holiday Inn Express and instead of hitting the pool like everyone else, I showered in freezing cold water (my core body temperature was ridiculously high) and PASSED out hard for a solid 2-3 hours. I hate missing out on the fun, especially this early in the trip, but if I couldn’t get rid of this icky feeling, it was only going to make the rest of the tour more unenjoyable.
I rallied awake and got ready for dinner, which included my glasses. If there is one thing you need to know about me, I NEVER wear my glasses in public unless absolutely necessary. This shows how icky I truly felt.
Dinner was included tonight and was a delicious spread of salad, veggies, chicken mole and a select few beverages. Some of my fellow travelers enjoyed their very first Squirt and tequila. If you are unfamiliar with Squirt, let me educate you. Squirt is a grapefruit flavored beer and is delicious both solo or when combined with tequila. Once dinner was completed, it was back to the hotel for a room party and more laughs and stories than I’m allowed to share. I mean we went from “Heads or Tails” to “Never have I ever” and well you get the picture. It was all fun and games until security was called and off to bed we went. Tomorrow’s adventures included jetting off to the beach resort town of Acapulco.
Pictures of my sick filled day two here