It looks like the TPR Tour was the push you needed to go back and re-visit. Besides Tijuana.
Great TR. And the food, the food..... <drool>
TPR definitely got me off my domestic ass. If anybody out there has been stalling on international travel because they have been waiting for friends to go with them or something like that, join a TPR trip! Never left the country before this year, and now I've been to Mexico City 3 times. 2014 is shaping up to be even crazier!!!
Thanks again everybody for joining along with me. This really was one of the (if not THE) best years of my life. Unfortunately I don't have much material left but there's still a little more!
So my last big update (for now) is Xochimilco. Back in the day, Mexico City was built on a lake and many of the streets were actually waterways. Most of this has been paved over of course, but a large chunk of Xochimilco maintains it's waterways to preserve history and naturally presents a tourist attraction. I wanted to visit on the initial TPR trip but after researching, it turns out that it's just not good to go on your own. The best way to experience it is with a group of friends. On this third visit to Mexico City, I brought a friend and we hung out with a group of our friends in Mexico City. Anyway, for a culture stop I have far too many pictures for TPR but whatever, it should be fun. Let's get going!
That morning we had crepes. Mine was pumpkin flower.
It's kind of a long drive from central Mexico City, but there is lots to see :)
Step one is to find the right embarcadero where you are not paying ridiculous tourist fees.
If you look up Xochimilco on Trip Advisor, you find a bunch of 1 star and 5 star reviews. Very little in between. Picking the right embarcadero plays a big role in this.
Prices range from $200 - $1500 pesos an hour, depending on what the boat driver thinks he can get out of you and the boat size.
The 'posted' rate is $350/hr, however many gringos fall for paying $350 per person, or just flat out more for the boat. Some sorry Trip Advisor person paid $1000 for an hour. Sucker!
The 5 of us got our boat for $250/hr ($19.25USD). We bought it for 2 hours but ended up extending for a total of 4. $1000 divided by 5 people = $200 pesos each ($15.50 USD)
Omar and I.
Every boat has a name or two. I hear you can plan ahead and get a specific name painted on your boat, but I couldn't imagine doing all that and actually hunting down your boat. No bueno. Ours was called Anal Aura ;)
So everybody floats around at about 1 mile per hour, and you just have a good time with whoever you are with. By good time I mean drink.
This is our driver. He was a quiet man that did not accept our offers to give him alcohol.
They propel the boats by hitting the canal floor with this stick and pushing the boat.
You can find anything you would see on the streets on a boat. Here is a boat with miriachis playing for the group.
Another shot of the miriachis. You can totally dance on your own boat to somebody else's miriachi. That's what we did lol.
There are birthday parties, wedding groups, groups of friends, families, basically everybody is here to party with their group and have a good time.
Sometimes, the canals opened up into big open areas, and there were docks everywhere.
It was fun taking in the sights.
There is a place called Isla de las Muñecas (Island of the Dolls), but it's really hard to get to, so this person made their own little doll thing closer to the docks.
There are also vendors on boats. I'm not sure what they were selling. Maybe plants?
Sometimes, traffic got bad. Every boat in this picture is trying to get somewhere, and eventually you do. It just takes some time.
This boat was definitely selling plants. We bought some for our friends.
It rained off and on throughout the day, but it doesn't really matter. We had shade, and lots of beer and tequila.
Boat Jam's were not uncommon. It was fun because for a brief moment you can share a good time with another group. Sometimes, the other party boats will offer you food. Mostly because everybody on the canal is drunk and in a GREAT mood!
It always cleared up eventually.
One of the guys needed a Michelada, so he yelled 'Michelada!' and this lady appeared on her boat, grabbed onto ours, and made micheladas.
There she goes! It was $50 for a michelada. Everything was quite affordable on the boats (haggling still applied to goods).
Another scenery shot. This was really a surreal day for us.
Miriachi, dancing on two boats, our driver; there was always some kind of stimulation to enjoy.
Hmmm....what's that boat selling?
Ahhh...corn! Yes please!
Panorama of one of the more open areas.
Headed down a slightly less congested canal.
A memorial of some type.
Floating along with lots of other groups. Everybody out here was having a good time. It was a Sunday, and weekend vibe was in full force.
Omar got us little mini Xochimilco boats! They were fragile but mine made it home safely and sits happily on my shelf!
Stray dogs are just kind of a thing in Mexico City. There aren't many in the central area but pretty much everywhere else, yes.
Here is a goods vendor, if you wanted a random doll or something. When you are floating along at 1 MPH and drinking, these things become very tempting!
When we extended again for another couple hours, he headed off into a quieter area of the canals.
While the mayhem is fun, it was nice to get off into a quieter area and just enjoy our own boat for a little bit.
If you had to pee, you had to find one of these WC signs, pull over, and pay somebody $5 ($0.40USD) for some toilet paper and access to the toilet. Extra paper was $3 ($0.25USD). Seemed to be standard pricing throughout the area even though these 'WC's' were in no way organized or classy.
Sometimes you had to walk through random scenes to get to the restroom. This one was definitely interesting. Another 'not in Kansas' moment if you will.
Surreal, in many ways.
"That was a weird WC, let's keep going!"
Scenery in Xochimilco.
Me and my friend Brian. I think I checked in here on Facebook 3 times just because it was so fascinating and I felt so lucky to be here...and be doing it RIGHT!!! Yes, I'm a little drunk at this point.
Well, the day wore on, and more and more boats were being parked for the night, so we slowly worked our way back to our dock.
Yes, I was actually at 'the' Xochimilco, not some weird impostor!
The time finally came to park the boat. By the time we returned, there was only room for one way traffic. We eventually just kinda stopped in the canal and climbed through other boats to get to the dock.
There they all lined up! What a cool freakin day.
We finished off by going to this CRAZY restaurant. They only had like 5 tacos on the menu, and you ordered them, and literally 20 seconds later they would be at your table. As soon as you finished, another guy would appear and be like 'what do you want now? tell me tell me tell me now now now.' We learned to just sit there with a taco or two on the plate if we wanted to take a break. It was the craziest fastest thing I have ever seen. Obviously, it was REALLY GOOD!
So I am going to upload a few more random pictures that didn't make their way into the Photo TR, but for the most part, this is the last big update! I hope it's been enjoyable!!!
Last edited by WFChris on Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:34 pm.
^Yeah, I somehow ended up clicking submit instead up upload photos. It's all fixed now!
Feel free to comment about this or ANY other post on this TR. My only hope in posting this is that it has inspired somebody to look at Mexico differently than perhaps they did before. If you have any questions about how to visit any of this stuff I would be more than happy to help with that as well!!!
But either way, if you enjoyed it, please COMMENT and let me know!
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