A simple bus ride north of the capital city can be a dangerous thing in Mexico. Not because of bandits, but bad drivers. On the way to our destination, we witnessed a flipped car and a person pinned beneath it- perhaps dead. How did the car flip? We could barely guess. Probable death notwithstanding, we arrived at Teotihuacan without problem. It is still a working archeological dig site. Real Indiana Joneses in sombreros sift dirt under tarp shades as the tourists mill around trying to avoid the aggressive trinket sellers. The whole site echos with the sounds of the flute doodlings and jaguar calls to entice people to buy. Bright red summer tanagers eyed us like little guards on duty, and seemed to give us their leave to come and go. Ants, not aliens may have build everything. A puppy certainly rules the city now. No sprained foot, no burning sunshine was going to keep me from BEING there. The light is relentless even on a hazy day and I did not complain about it once not even to myself. I am often inwardly grumbling about the stupid daylight. That voice was silenced. There was too much awe to so be grouchy, but not so much that we could not be silly. Walking the Avenue of the Dead to the Pyramid of the Moon, My Human and I joked that this was very place where our beloved and highly respected Moon Sherpas did all their intensive training. We cut off on a side road to check out the museum and have lunch in a shady spot. We dubbed that path Benito Juarez- because- it’s probably called Benito Juarez. Why? Well, there is one in every town in Mexico- like Elm Street.
When I got to climb up the Pyramid of the Moon and look out from the highest point tourists are allowed to go (not nearly the top) I found it aesthetically enjoyable. The Dead Road stretches out in a line before you and the other structures buried and unburied have their place along it. I still haven’t thought of just how the view struck me as enjoyable. Maybe it just agreed with my innate sense of mythic underworldly things.
Even when I hobbled my way up the Pyramid of the Sun, I made no vampyric hissing noises; nor did I feel faint at the extra altitude (233.5ft on top of 7,500ft anyone?). Black and yellow butterflies danced in the wind around us when we arrived at the top. Hugo and I were the only ones to acknowledge them. We just might have been the only ones seeing them. They are a symbol of the happy dead- free souls. I felt like I earned my right to stand there at the top with a foot still lame and healing.
For as long as I can remember, I have a thing for ancient places and it was deeply fulfilling to be in a place so ancient in the Americas. I was in a place I’ve seen only in picture books and tv. The place felt very interesting…-I hesitate to use the word ‘magical’ because of a brief encounter with Euro-pseudo-hippie-hipster trash. I came upon them all sitting atop the Sun and giggled and chattered (in endless English) self consciously as they attempted to gain the magical powers that are supposed to be inherent to the place. They failed. Miserably. Not only did they hog the summit, on the way down, one dude tried to sneak up on a couple of his friends while they were sitting on ledge of one of the tiers just below the top and scare them by shouting suddenly behind them. I happened to be sitting right there next to this prank. I was extremely alarmed by their thoughtless actions and wanted to leap up and throw them all off the ledge for their prickishness. Someone could have actually been startled enough to fall off! The only energy they received that day was my almost not so quiet enough wrath as I cursed their every step down the pyramid until they were out of my site. When they were gone, my thoughts were troubled with them no more.
Satisfied that we had seen enough of the ancient ruins, we waited for the return bus with kind tourist police who were willing to share their benches and chairs in the shade. And I, exhausted, snoozed as the bus drove passed yet another possibly fatal accident.
I guess blood sacrifices are still needed when travelling to and from the place where gods are born.