Mexico City.

Trip Start Sep 28, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
St Angel

Flag of Mexico  , Central Mexico and Gulf Coast,
Friday, October 14, 2011

I feel oddly refreshed as we rise and pile into the transport. We thank our hosts for their hospitality, and get underway. It’s yet another behemoth drive as we head to Oaxacia, and a pre booked hostel. What starts off as me feeling ok from the night before quickly gives way to the realisation I was still drunk, and I sleep for a number of hours in the back of the ambulance.

My hung over slumber is disturbed by Murray as he calls from the driver’s seat. We’re coming into Mexico city. Now this wasn’t our original plan, but unfortunately Peter has decided he can no longer continue on the trip as he is missing important classes. He has booked a flight home and we need to drop him somewhere with access to the airport.

Thus begins our nightmarish attempt to drive in Mexico city. I wanted to stop here, but we really don’t have the time and it is a pretty dangerous place. Apparently kidnapping is big business here, so it’s best not to dawdle. Our more immediate danger is the traffic. Nobody has a clue. The bus drivers are drunk, or they appear to be, and no lanes, overtaking, cutting in and breaking hard ensures total chaos.

Once we (somehow) manage to navigate safely through the city, we come to understand just why this is the biggest city in the world. As far as the eye can see, in every direction, lining the hillsides, is the urban sprawl. It’s a tumbledown, dirty, crumbling assortment of shacks, breeze block structures, huts and washing lines. Winding down the window is not recommended. It feels unclean, it feels dangerous, it smacks of 3rd world poverty. There are no government regulations to build housing, so anything goes, and earthquakes claim many lives as a result. It doesn’t seem to end and in spite of it being hideously ugly, it still manages to take my breath away.

After what seems like forever, we reach city limits and power on towards our next destination. The road snakes up into mountains as it’s getting dark, and it is somewhat unfortunate as we can just pick out what appears to be beautiful views and scenery in the blackness. It’s probably the longest drive to date, but that still doesn’t stop us going out on the town when we finally reach Oaxaca. I opt for the kilt, it feels like a party town and it doesn’t disappoint. It’s 6am when my youth hostel key turns in the lock.
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