Well, it was time to say goodbye to Our Cabana. I got up early, had a shower, packed up my toiletries from the 4 basin stone vanity and went outside to experience the sunrise beside the cactus garden. The cool air quickly warmed as the sun spread up over the stone walkway and onto my face. The 7:00 a.m. bell was rung and I went into the cafeteria to get a coffee. It wasn’t quite ready yet so I waited a few minutes. They really need to purchase a tea kettle for those who like to rise early or cannot sleep in the night, and self cater a tea or coffee.
We were scheduled to leave at 10:00 a.m. while the remaining participants and staff were leaving at 9:15 to travel to Valle de Bravo for 2 nights to see the monarch butterflies in their winter home. In recent years the butterfly population had declined so I hope the group was able to see them this year
Hugs and promises of keeping in touch were made, and some of the British Guiders who live close to London are planning to visit us at Pax Lodge while we are there the third week in March.
Our transfer to Mexico City arrived almost an hour early, but he couldn’t get out of the driveway until the other 2 busses left. With gratitude, sadness and anticipation, we were off to the next phase of our journey, back to Mexico City.
The traffic was less congested going back to the city and we arrived back to Ticalli in about 2 1/2 hrs.
Sabina greeted us with her warm smile. We left our bags unpacked in our dormitory and set off to find food. One of the women suggested a taco restaurant and we all head off down the sidewalk avoiding the holes and uneven cement. It was a cute little patio restaurant that looked like it doubled as garage at night, the main part of the building had the wide cooking grill with 4 cooks standing behind it. Oh the aroma! Beef, chicken, onions and tortillas were cooked there.
They brought out a trio of condiments, guacamole that was creamy and wow! Hot! The salsa had visible chopped jalapeños with tomato, onion and cilantro. It was really good when you added the lime to the self built taco, but I ate too much hot stuff, the next day was not good ?
Some of the group went exploring the nearby market and it was great. The beautiful flowers, fruits and vegetables, little fast food stands, breads, meats, fish and natural herbs used for medicinal purposes were there. It was really neat to watch the automatic tortilla maker. At the top was an aluminum bowl filled with corn flour dough which was squeezed into tortilla rounds, then travelled on a moving belt into a hot covered tunnel-like oven that turned to the left and the baked tortillas were caught and stacked by a man.
Arriving back to Ticalli we pooled our light clothing and afterwards darks using the automatic washer, hung them to dry on the permanent clotheslines that were installed in the laundry room.
My suitcase was pretty full when I packed to leave on this trip and I discovered that I wouldn’t likely wear several items and we were mostly wearing uniform and a couple of extra changes of clothes. I decided that I should try and send them home in a package when we landed in Vancouver. Three of our participants lived in Vancouver and told me there was a postal outlet in the airport. How perfect! I sorted out the purchases and excess clothing and set them aside.
Several women went for a walk and we coordinated times to meet at a restaurant our tour company recommended. We met at 6:00 p.m. and it was closing for the day. Hmmm, we wanted to go to a nicer Mexican food restaurant and one of our group spoke to some locals and we soon head off to the Mall on 220 Reforma just up from the Angel statue. This mall is beautiful, bright and new! The restaurant welcomed us in as they put tables together for our group of 8. They brought over these 3- 3 1/2 foot high chrome stands with protrusions that we quickly realized were coat, hat or purse stands, something I’ve never seen before. The trio of condiments as usual was hot, but not as hot as the lunchtime meal. Everywhere you go, tortilla chips are set in front of you as soon as you are settled, pretty bland and hard enough to break a tooth, they are for slow nibbling or dipping. I ordered chicken soup and Mexican rice, it was soooo good. I saw some lime sherbet on the table, I had to get some for me too! Most restaurant give you one bill for the group for everyone to split up. Someone asked for separate bills, the waiter had a hard time separating and a few women went to cash to help him, we must ask for separate bills at the beginning. (I’ve never understood why they are called “cheques” or is it “checks” because we are giving money, not receiving. I call them restaurant bills.)
Four of us walked back to Ticalli in the dark, the other four were going to take a cab. We found out they had a hard time finding one, prices were a lot higher at night and when they finally took one of our ladies used her data for her map program as the driver seemed to not know where it was, even with the address card he was shown. Always an experience!
We discussed the following days group attire and and gathered up our dry laundry and hit the sack.