Puebla - The eleventh step ... Mexico City to Cancun via Guatemala & Belize - CycleBlaze

September 7, 2021 to September 8, 2021

Puebla

September 7th, 2021

Trying to get breakfast in Cholula proved difficult this morning.  At eight thirty we walked into the town to look for something to eat but nothing was yet open.  So we went back to our digs.  We checked out just before ten and road into town to try our luck again.  The place we had eaten at yesterday was still closed so we ended up at a horrid fast food chain called Cafe Colibri.  At least I managed to get a cup of coffee.  I still haven't managed to sort out our stoves yet so I can boil water for tea and coffee on our own.  I have found some white gas for the MSR stove but I am loath to fire it up in a hotel room.  There are a few camping shops in Puebla so hopefully I will be able to find a gas cylinder there for the little gas stove I am carrying - much easier to use in a confined space and far less obtrusive than the MSR.

The ride to Puebla was short and the first part was on quite a nice cycle path.  Then we sucked it up for the last ten kilometers until we got to the historic center of Puebla.

First task was to find a hotel.  The one we had thought might be good wouldn't allow us to bring our bicycles in and wanted us to leave them at a parking garage a few blocks away.  Thanks but no thanks.  Less than a hundred meters up the road the Hotel Gala was happy for us to leave the bicycles in the courtyard.  Twenty five percent cheaper than the first place (Hotel Santiago), almost as close to the zocalo (which is where we wanted to be) and more than good enough for us.

After checking in and having the best shower we have enjoyed in Mexico so far we crossed the street to Taco Tony and had a great lunch of taco aribas with pork accompanied by some lovely chipotle and limes.  Just what we needed.

I remembered to take a photo before we had eaten all of our lunch. I'm falling in love with chipotle - the beer is there to take the edge off the chili.
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Then we strolled down to the cathedral, just a hundred meters away.  Its construction was started in 1575 but it was only consecrated in 1649.

The Cathedral of Puebla de los Angeles
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The alter of the kings.
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The dome above the alter of the kings. Painted in 1689.
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Later I took a short ride to the nearest camping store and bought an iso-butane gas cylinder and then found some CoffeeMate at the 7-Eleven across the road from the hotel.  At last I can now have coffee whenever I want it.  I brought 2 x 250g bags of really nice Yeigacheffe from the famous (in South Africa) Masterton's coffee roasters in Port Elizabeth and I have hardly had a chance to enjoy it.  It's a pity I'll be drinking it with coffee creamer and not fresh full cream milk but it's as good as I am going to get.

My coffee kit. The BrewSpoon is a new addition. It's smaller and lighter than my traveller's French Press and much easier to clean and works better than my Vietnamese coffee filter.
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We are spending two days here.  Tomorrow we plan to catch a guided bus tour around the city.

Earthquake Update !

Just as we were preparing for bed, doing our laundry as good cycle tourists do and in our birthday suits because we were washing the clothes we had been wearing, the building started shaking violently and the alarm sounded.  It was a mad scramble to find some clothes and gather on the pavement outside the hotel with the other guests.  It had been a magnitude 7.4 earthquake, thankfully for us, a few hundred kilometers away closer to the Pacific coast.  After fifteen minutes or so we were allowed back inside and we finished our chores.  All seems quiet now so hopefully we can get some sleep.

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September 8th, 2021

We woke up, after a surprisingly good sleep, to find that the earthquake had been downgraded to 7.0 but that was not enough to prevent the unfortunate death of a man closer to the epicenter who died when a pillar collapsed on him.    Many areas were without electricity afterwards but we weren't affected in any way.

A minute breakfast on the terrace of Hotel Gala, from which lovely views are on offer, was followed by a day's worth of full-on tourist stuff.

Looking southwards from the hotel terrace towards the cathedral.
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Northwards towards the volcanoes.
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First up was the Museo Ampora, the best part being the exhibits on pre-Colombian art and culture.  Most of the descriptions in this section were in Spanish but we were able to understand a great deal of them, although reading was slow and laborious.  The museum is housed in one of Puebla's oldest and finest buildings and the building itself is worth admiring.

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Rock paper scissors ???
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Fresco from Teotihuacan, site of the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon.
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Then on to the Biblioteca Palafoxiana, established in 1649.  The first and oldest public library in the Americas, it has more than 45,000 books and manuscripts, ranging from the 15th to the 20th century.

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Finally a slightly disappointing guided bus tour around the city.

A nice bicycle-themed mural seen while on the bus tour.
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Tomorrow we get back on the bicycles and head southwards.

Today's ride: 20 km (12 miles)
Total: 235 km (146 miles)

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