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Published: June 21st 2009
28/4/09 = The Beautiful Puebla
Got up early today at 7:30am in preparation for early set off to Puebla. Got changed, packed and had breakfast at 8am. Not the usual awful toast, but a toasted cheese sandwich and a yoghurt instead - things had left over from yesterday. Finished packing process then and checked out at 9am for walk to tube station. Walk never bothered me before, but with 20kg bags, it was soon starting to. Did I mention how hot it is in Mexico!?! And why aren’t these bags ever getting any lighter? Glad when we got there, although not glad about having to put awful face mask back on. More and more people wearing them each day we go there. Got our 2peso ticket and the same 3 tubes to take us to bus station. Arrived early at 9:45 and had to float around for a bit to wait for 10:30 bus to Puebla. Had our first experience of the ‘flu form’ then. Doctors and guards stood at bus terminal and before could leave, had to fill in a little checklist to say whether we had any of symptoms. Obviously ticked no to everything; my achey body
and sore throat was just tiredness…I’m sure.
Got on bus at 10:20 and stored luggage. Really good labelling system in place in Mexico to stop luggage getting stolen. Got good seats next to each other on bus and buckled in for 2hr journey. Was a fine journey, except for cold. Talk about aircon. So cold, spent whole journey in foetal position desperately rubbing at arms and legs to try and restore some feeling of warmth. Don’t think it helped that we only had vests and T-shirts on. Won’t make that mistake again. Listened to music all way to try and block out the cold feeling of numbness and the Spanish version of The Mummy, which is a film I would love to have watched in English!
Stepped out of Icelandic bus and into Mexico heat just after midday. Had to then find a local bus to take us to hostel. Luckily found a really nice info lady who gave us a map and told us exactly where to go. Paid the equivalent of 25p to get to the correct street (with much help from the bus driver) and then got off ready to walk rest of
way. Only just noticed today how weird Mexican street names are. They are nearly all the same, just numbered differently. We had to find no.4 Oriente and the streets parallel to it were no.6 Oriente and number 2.Oriente. Each street was the same name, but the next even number. V.odd. Walked for ages up no.4 Oreinte, passed markets, passed shoppers, passed some beautiful buildings with amazing pillars and arches and passed and v.impressive looking church. Then finally arrived at San Domingo hostel. V.easy to find because all hostels and hotels marked with a huge letter H outside. Nice looking place. Walked in to a huge courtyard, which was the restaurant, and all the rooms were above on a mezzanine level looking down. V.nice. Pleased that lady at reception spoke English; meant could quickly check in, dump bags, then set off and explore.
Puebla = famous for it’s beautiful, colonial architecture and within 5mins of walking, it was easy to see why. So many different coloured buildings, but all with the same curves, same ornate windows and same polished finish. Beautiful. Walked down main street = 5 de Mayo and passed all the shops, shoppers and sellers. It led
out onto the Zocalo which was the best part of all. It was the most beautiful part of a town I have ever seen. A square of perfect buildings, with a huge, dominating Cathedral down one side and sprinkling fountain in front. Such a lovely place; instantly liked it and felt really comfortable. Walked down one side = really posh restaurants; way too posh for us…or so we thought. Looked at menu and meals were only £2.50. Wow. Sat down straight away; treat ourselves. Really felt like we were on holiday now, not travelling. Took a guess and ordered pollo quesadillas, then sat back and relaxed. Puebla = just like a posh European city…like I imagine Venice to look…but without the water I guess. Would be a brilliant place to live and work for the Summer, to be a waitress.
Food was really good and surprisingly mild. Ate, then wondered back through square and towards one of the many ice cream stands. Mr Whippy ice cream, in a chocolate cone, filled with chocolate, dipped in chocolate and then dunked in chocolate sprinkles. Wow…or at least it looked wow. It actually tasted v.cooking chocolate and ended up having to
throw lots of it away. No worries though; only cost 50p. Wondered along until the perfect, clean buildings changed to less perfect and more ordinary looking buildings, then decided to turn round. Were in search of a journal. Mine coming to an end and really needed a new one to start Mexico. Hadn’t seen one so far. Also in search of a statue of Jesus had seen on walk in, but didn’t find that either. Both me and Deb beginning to think I imagined Jesus street.
Went back to hostel to see if they could point me in right direction for a shop selling journals. Lady there marked a few things on a map, so we went back out in search. Still no luck…and the ‘craft district’ she marked on didn’t even seem to exist! Did find a nice looking church to have a nosey round. V.decorative inside; full of grand arches and pillars and statues crafted into the walls to portray different scenes from bible. Not like any churches might see at home. Having given up on hunt for a journal, switched to shoe shopping - in desperate need of shoes to replace wafer thin flip flops
am currently sporting. Lots and lots of shoes shops in Puebla, but all exactly same inside and out. Built in the same way, shoes shelved in the same way, even the exact same shoes in each shop. Didn’t find any! Headed back to hostel at 5pm absolutely shattered - shockingly unfit these days!
Tried not to lay on bed - so tired but desperately need to adjust to time difference still - so when spotted someone else on reception, went to ask him about journal shops. He marked loads more places on my map, so headed back out in last ditch attempt. Was already 5:30, so lots of places closed and even in the 2 shops did try, still no journal. How hard can it be? Went to use the internet instead, but even that turned out badly. Internet in hostel broken and as headed out of town to find a shop, soon discovered that not all of Puebla = beautiful…and especially not in dark. Was 7:30 at this point and as wondered into a darker side of town, started to feel unsafe, so wondered back. Blogging not worth our deaths…although it might be the death of me!
Went back to hostel and got a snack in courtyard. Nice sandwich. Tried internet to see if it was working again, then after 10 failed minutes, went up to bed at 8:30. Wish had a diary I could write! Chatted for a good long while, then tried to get to sleep at 9:30. Spent hours trying. We both seem to be having the same problems adapting to time differences lately…or just can’t switch brain off!
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