Alicia Sornosa at Expo Moto, Mexico City

I made a change in plans when I heard that Alicia Sornosa was going to be speaking at the Expo Moto in Mexico City. One of the advantages of not having a real plan, at least a detailed one, is that I can take advantage of opportunities when they come up. Hearing Alicia Sornosa was one of those opportunities.

Alicia Sornosa

I know most of you will have no idea who Alicia Sornosa is ha ha ha. But in the motorcycle adventuring community she is a rock star! So much so that Expo Moto in Mexico City invited her from Spain to be their keynote speaker.

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I have a lot of adventuring motorcycle heroes and she is one of them.

Alicia Sornosa is an adventurous, petite, infectious, attractive woman who has traveled the world on a motorcycle. She is the first Spanish woman to circumnavigate the world on a motorcycle.

The problem for me is that her website, videos etc are all in Spanish. The blog I use google translate to read. I watch her videos just to capture her energy and see where she is at. She is inspiring.

I was hoping that Expo Moto may have a translation system to English when she spoke there. No such luck. So I just sat back and enjoyed being in her presence and taking in the adventuring vibe of her talk. There was a short video of her adventures that played in the background while she talked.

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Obviously I have a bit of an infatuation with her ha ha ha. For me though, those bikini clad models on motorcycles don’t do anything for me. What I am attracted to is a real woman, who can ride and does it. There are many women adventure motorcyclist out there now and I think it is great.

I would have loved to have met her at Expo Moto, but since she is a rock star there were throngs of people around her afterward.

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I suppose I could have pushed my way in like everyone else, but that isn’t my style. Plus I was a bit intimidated to meet one of my heroes ha ha. I was disappointed afterwards that I hadn’t done that. Perhaps one day we will meet up and I can ask get all the knowledge she has about adventure motorcycling.

Alicia has accomplished lots, and I admire her. She is stronger than I am, but one day perhaps I will approach her accomplishments. This photo taken from her website Aliciasornosa.com.

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Expo Moto

The rest of the Expo Moto was good. There were the usual motorcycles and equipment on display.

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I need not riding boots and I looked at a few there.

One thing that was evident at this expo was that sex sells. There were lots of women at the displays dressed in “cat suits.” And presentations seemed to always have a good looking model off to the side.

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They even had what they called “moto fashion.” This consisted largely of models in bikinis. lingerie and skimpy outfits sitting on motorcycles. The guys raced to the front to snap pictures. What this had to do with motorcycling I don’t know. I guess it was an attraction and brought attention to products. I thought it was a bit weird. I didn’t see much as guys pushed past my seat and gathered in a frenzy along the stage to take pictures ha ha.

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The Rest of My Time in Mexico City

For the remaining 2 days in Mexico City I just relaxed.

One of those days was a Sunday so I spent it watching NFL football at Hooters. The place had TVs everywhere. I met this one guy from Oakland who smelled of marijuana and was going nuts over the Oakland Raider game. He was in Mexico city for the Oakland vs Houston game played in Mexico City the week before. It was actually a fun day of watching football.

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My Location for November 26 – 28, 2016

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Touring Mexico City with Urban Adventures

From Puebla I rode to Mexico City to take a tour with Urban Adventures.

Puebla to Mexico City

As I left Puebla I rode past the Popocat├ępetl volcano. It seemed to be having a bit of an explosion.

Volcano

It turned out that was just the start. The next day it had a significant explosion generating a 5 km ash plume. I really liked Puebla, but I am not sure I would want to live that close to an active volcano.

I took the free road into Mexico City. It was beautiful. Lots of curves through forests and around sort of mountains. The pleasure stopped when I reached the outskirts of Mexico City. It was gridlock. Eventually I got to my Airbnb.

Tour of Mexico City

The next day I had booked a tour of Mexico City with Urban Adventures. If I am in a big city for a day or two I like to take one of the hop on hop off tour buses. However, Tripadvisor reviews said the Mexico City one wasn’t very good due to the narrow streets that the buses couldn’t go down.

The tour started at the centre of Mexico City and I was at the World Trade Center area a ways away. But it only cost me 56 pesos by taxi to get into town first thing in the morning.

There I met my tour guide Adriana. It turned out I was the only person in the tour today!

The tour was about the history of Mexico City to present.

Old City

The fist stop was the ruins of the old city. I didn’t know that the city was actually created on a lake! The lake was filled in with sand and wood and pyramids and the city was erected. These building were discovered relatively recently during an excavation.

pyramids

Because the original city was built on a lake filled in by sand and wood, the ground is very unstable. The result is that the buildings in the city are sinking. You can see the building below is sinking to the right.

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Apparently, the sinking depends on what is beneath in the old city. If there is a pyramid there there ground is fairly stable. Although if built on the edge of a pyramid the building shift from side to side.

For that reason there are no tall buildings in the historical center of Mexico City. They are all in the outskirts away from where thee lake use to be.

Mexico City Cathedral

After touring the ruins we went into the Mexico City Cathedral.

cathedral

As expected this place is awesome.

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Just like the other buildings in the area, the cathedral is moving and sinking due to the soil. They believe the cathedral was built on top of a pyramid and so moves from side to side. There is a plumb in the middle of the cathedral to measure the movement. They have marked the position of the plumb during various years.

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Black Jesus

There was one place in the cathedral I was fascinated by. And that was where there was a black Jesus.

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The story according to my guide was that originally the statue was white way back when. There were two bishops in the church and the one bishop hated the other and wanted to kill him. After observing his routine he noticed the bishop kissed the feet of Jesus each day. So the Bishop put poison on the feet of Jesus. However, when the Bishop went to kiss Jesus’ feet, the foot coiled back and the statue absorbed the poison and turned black thereby saving the Bishop. After that the two Bishops became good friends.

I guess one reason I am fascinated by these stories is because of a philosophy class I had in college where we explored whether or not God exists. We looked at all the philosophers over the years and their reasoning for or against the existence of God. My professor was of the opinion that the the best way to prove the existence of God was to show that miracles existed. For this reason he was interested in the miracles articulated by the Roman Catholic Church. I suppose that all rubbed off on me and I have thought about that lots over the years. Soooo hence my fascination with the Black Jesus story. Phew …. ­čÖé

Cathedral Roof

Our next stop was the roof of the Cathedral.

plaza

My guide was saying that the main square below always has something going on in it. The believe is that the government does this to remove it as a place for protests. Protesters have to go to smaller confined locations that are easier to control.

Below is the President’s palace.

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While at the top were heard the ringing of the bells at noon. Pretty cool!!!

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Markets and Theatre

From there we toured the markets where I was “forced” to eat ants that I gulped vine with. No picture :-(. And Itasted lots of Mexican products.

We walked the parks and talked about various monuments like this Juarez one.

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We had a taco lunch. It was good. I wish I had someone like Adriana all the time to take me to the right places to eat.

And we had a nice coffee overlooking the national theatre.

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All and all it was a nice walking tour. It took 7 hours to complete. I would have liked to have seen more of the city though.

My Route for November 24, 2016

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My Location for November 25, 2016

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San Sebastián Xolalpa and the Pyramids of Teotihuacán

After killing the weekend in my inexpensive hotel in Toluca, I was really looking forward to going to San Sebastián Xolalpa and seeing the pyramids of Teotihuacán.

It was just a short ride threw Mexico City to get there. I was apprehensive about riding through the infamous traffic of Mexico City. It really wasn’t that bad though. Of course I just stuck to the freeway.

Mayahuel Restaurant

I arrived early at San Sebastián Xolalpa where my hotel was at. So I decided to ride the ring road around the park where the pyramids were located and check out restaurants. I had done some research on Tripadvisor and was on the look out for a restaurant called Mayahuel.

I wasn’t disappointed. What a cool spot to gaze onto the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuac├ín.

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I just sat there for a long time enjoying the view, tourists coming and going (many of these were Oakland Raider fans whe came up for the NFL game in Mexico City), and of course the food.

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Awesome chips and salsa. Observe the salad Carllee ­čÖé

Eventually it was time to go to my hotel. But I so much enjoyed relaxing there.

San Sebastián Xolalpa

The hotel I booked was in San Sebastián Xolalpa. The first thing you notice when riding through the town is that there are hardly any cars. I think I almost saw as many horses on the streets as cars driving. And the people just walk on the streets.

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The population is only 5000 people. Of course it has a little town plaza but with the requisite nice church.

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Telpochcalli Hotel & Temazcal

The hotel I booked as Telpochcalli Hotel & Temazcal. It is only a 4 room hotel. The owner Elizabeth was so nice. It had a huge yard with soccer nets and places just to go sit and relax.

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hotel

The room was nice even though the hot water was in short supply.

Like many places in inland Mexico, there was no heat of air conditioning in the hotel. On this particular night I could have used some heat. It got down to around 6 C. I was freezing and went to sleep in my clothes.

My Route for November 21, 2016

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