I still remember that day in Tepoztlan, Mexico.
After 3 months living in Mexico, our family was exhausted. My work was hyper demanding and just then I was able to control the situation and get a free weekend.
Fernando, the first co-worker to reach out to this newly immigrated Argentinian friend with the boss.
He said: “Hey Jose, my wife and a few friend are going to spend the weekend at our in-laws house in Tepoztlan, do you guys want to come?”
I thanked and quickly called my wife.
- “Honey, we have been invited to a weekend getaway, should we go?”
Tepoztlan is a small town in the hills around Cuernavaca about one hour south of Mexico City. It is known for being a great place to sight UFOs, a lot of pre-Columbian ruins and a rich Colonial architecture.
We barely know Fernando, never met his wife before but were very thankful for the invitation and with no other family than ourselves in the City or even the country, we embarked on the weekend trip.
We owned a large Ford Windstar minivan so Chucho, another coworker, traveled with us to meet Fernando and his wife at destination.
When we arrived, they were waiting for us to greet.
“Hey, Jose. Thanks for coming. this is my wife!”
It was a modest home but we were all comfortable accommodate, and then we all sit for a great lunch.
Wife’s mom was there,
-Get some Pork tamales, she rushed to offer.
In the afternoon, a walk through the historic downtown was a must.
A thin road full us business, the convent, of course the church.
A wedding was in progress. We stayed until the end and walked out with the bride and groom and once we got out there he was.
-“Now the party continues at our house!” – said the father of the just married wife to us.
We explained we were just tourists looking around but he insisted.
- “It is a tradition, whoever comes to the wedding, comes to the party”, said an old German woman that moved to Tepoztlan to retire and was accustomed to all the local traditions.
Unfortunately we couldn’t go, we had big plans for the next morning.
What is best than a party?
-Climbing the Tepozteco!
The Tepozteco is a small archaeological site with a temple to Tepoztecatl, a Aztec mythological God of an alcoholic beverage called pulque.
The locals have told me:
-“Be prepared, it is a long walk over small trail, climbing the mountains, walking on water strings sometimes and climbing vertical stairs”
and Chucho then said:
-“Come on Miori, let’s no go there, let’s just eat breakfast and then lunch while the others go up”
That got me a little concerned but I walked a lot back then, to beat Mexico City traffic, many times I walked to work. About 3 miles. 2-3 times a week so I thought:
-“Let’s do it, we will climb the Tepozteco”
Lucila, our 8-year-old daughter was pure energy that morning. – “Let’s go dad, faster, faster!” she yelled while leading the pack of about 8 adults herself and Priscila our 3-year-old baby.
The expected time to do the whole excursion was about 5 hours. 2 hours to go up, 1 hour to rest and another 2 hours to descend.
Ten minutes in the trail, Priscila said:
-“Daddy, would you carry me on your shoulder?”
Daddy couldn’t say no and there we were, walking the trail, climbing the stairs for 2 hours.
Finally, we got on top of the mountain. I got some rest while the girls were running around.
-“Look those dogs Daddy, they have a long tail.”, she said while observing a group of raccoons.
“WOW, what a magnificent view.”, my wife exclaimed looking at the valley.
It really was. A strategically located place. Worth a visit if you are in Mexico.
When ready to start the descent, Priscila was wondering around me and when we starting to walk, she run to me and climbed to my shoulders.
-“Ok, come on Priscila”, and we started the walk down.
Funny thing happened ten minutes before arriving to town.
Priscila sighted: “Ahhh, I am very tired”.
A massive laugh erupted from the trail. Everyone saw her riding along my shoulders the whole way.
Besides the fun, I learned the exercise I did going to my job walkin paid off.
I was in shape to do that big trekking trail and some more with a three-year old riding along.