Passing Through Cuernavaca

We loved Taxco but after two nights there we were ready to move on. We had fried eggs, refried beans, and tortillas for breakfast at a stand in the Mercado. ($2). We asked for salsa picante and watched the owner put tomatoes, peppers, garlic, salt, and onion in the blender for our fresh salsa.

After breakfast we visited the Spratling Museum ($2). William Spratling was an American designer and silversmith who was inspired by prehistoric artifacts uncovered in the Taxco region. The upper two floors of the museum contain preHispanic objects and pottery and the lower level has many silver pieces that Spratling designed. Much of the jewelry that you see in the Taxco shops is derivative of his work.

We took a late morning bus to Cuernavaca ($5) since we must go through it to get to Oaxaca. We’ve avoided Cuernavaca on our previous trips because we heard that it is a crowded and stinky city lacking in the charm that it had 30 years ago. We decided to spent the night here to see the tourist sites and to position ourselves for a bus ride to Puebla.

We can confirm that Puebla is a congested and smoggy city. Unfortunately the major historic sites such as the Cathedral and Cortez’ Palace were severely damaged in the September earthquake which killed about 200 people in Mexico City. We were able to visit the Borda Gardens which are a wonderful oasis in the middle of a busy city. They seem to be falling into disrepair and the many fountains are no longer functioning. The Gardens also had an art exhibit containing the work of contemporary artist Javier de la Garda. He is talented and technically astute but we were amused by his themes. Judge for yourself.

After the Gardens we went in search of the San Anton waterfall, located in the barrio just west of Cuernavaca. When we finally found it after an hour of walking it was closed due to earthquake damage. Except the gate was left open so……. we walked down many steep steps covered with rubble to the spectacular waterfall. I have to include this photo of the canyon walls which show a textbook example of columnar basalts.

After climbing out of the canyon we stopped at a local restaurant for rehydration (beers–$2). We went out to a taco stand to have what is becoming our staple snack–tacos pastor–5 small tacos containing grilled pork with onion, cilantro, and pineapple for $1.50.

We’ve returned to our cheap and charmless hotel for the night ($15) to catch up on our Mexican TV watching.

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