I am now in the magical town of Cuetzalan in the Sierra Norte de Puebla after a bit of a circuatous (sp??) route - I went from Xalapa to Puebla yesterday, and from Puebla to here though I am geographically now much closer to Xalapa but a) wanted to see Puebla and b) could not figure out the bus route - ticketbus did not have a link though am sure you can do it through a combination of 2nd class bus (which I took here) and regional collectivos.
Cuetzalan is one of the Puebos Magicos on the tourists brochures, and from the little I have seen it certainly is - while at a much lower elevation than Puebla (just under 1000 metres I believe), you feel that you are in the mountains, driving over twisting mountainous roads - and it is green - high humidity - almost in the clouds, with a mist and fog at times - is grey but brings out the colours. And this place is build on hills - with steep narrow cobblestone streets where the sidewalks have stairs (it was fun walking down from the bus depot with my bag). And it is small - I think the city has about 6000 and the larger area about 45000 - hear birds, kids playing etc, mainly indegenous - the Nahua people - and have many waterfalls and caves in the area. It was so nice crossing over the tall mountains from a more barren brown landscape to green - went through one area that was so lush but some areas are cleared to make way for agriculture on steep slopes, but seem to be smaller plots that the big areas in the brown plateau, and some cattle grazing. There areof course two wonderful churches here - on th eSantuario de Gaudeloupe which provides views of the area and you cut through the town cemetary with its raised graves to get there
Only drag here is that they are painting my hotel (cheap at 100 pesos) so it smells of paint fumes - I booked in for one night but unless I really hate it, will try to stay several more - i hope as I see there is an ecotourism conference here this weekend. The town attracts mexican tourists as I understand there is a telvision show filmed here. .
Tommorow I hope to explore either or both ruins and waterfalls.
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