|A church in Cholula.|
When we arrived in the zocalo in Cholula (at 7:50 am), we learned that there was a marathon that day. Cole and Jason weren't as punctual, and had us scared that we were in the wrong Cholula (there are two), or the wrong zocalo (there are three; Puebla, Cholula 1, and Cholula 2). But we did eventually find each other, right before discovering that the streets in Cholula were closed due to the marathon, and our combi (mini van bus) that was taking us part of the way up the mountain was not running. This was a bit more of a defeat. The same thing happened to us in San Miguel de Allende, when a marathon had closed the highway to our hot spring. But, like in San Miguel, there was another way, and after much prying of the locals, we found our combi on the other side of the city, working the leg of the route beyond the marathon.
We finally reached San Nicolas, the end of the combi route, at about 10:30 am. And again, to our suprise, the bus (this next bus was really just someone's van) was not waiting, as it usually does, in the town square. Another man was also waiting for the bus to take him from San Nicolas to the other side of the pass in Mexico State. He told us that he had been waiting for two days...
|Our following of dogs.|
In 1519 Hernán Cortés, the Spanish Conquistador, and his men massacred an indigenous town in Cholula and traveled through this pass on their way to the valley of Mexico in order to fight the Aztec emperor Moctezuma. On the other side of the pass they found the bustling island city of Tenochtitlán, today's Mexico City, connected to the mainland by several large causeways. It was a city larger and more modern than any European city at the time.
|Popo from the trail.|
We hiked to a nearby waterfall; it was the clearest, cleanest, coldest water I've seen in Mexico, too high to be polluted by sewers and factories. In the forest we saw several interesting birds, including a red-phase Mountain Pygmy Owl, three Seller’s Jays, a Brown Creeper, a Hairy Woodpecker, Yellow-eyed Juncos, Mexican Chickadees and a Western Bluebird.
Luckily, transportation on our return trip home was punctual, although a little bit crowded. And, most importantly, Popo didn't get angry and we weren't added to a new layer of ash along the road.