Its Sunday and I finally arrived in Mexico City around 12:30 pm. I cleared immigration within a few minutes and then within the customs area I was told to press a button on some machine and a green light indicated I was able to pass through… not entirely sure what its purpose was because I was subsequently stopped and had my luggage searched followed by being patted down and asked what the bulge was in my trousers… at which point I had to remove the mobile phone from my pocket so the customs officer could take a look at it… eventually I was clear to go… thankfully I didn’t get stopped by his colleague who was wearing surgical gloves and had some demonic pleasure in his eyes over the fun he looked like he was going to have searching his next victim!
Once out in the main arrivals I had to wait for the TrekStudy Concierge who then took me to the coach station just outside the airport and and sorted out the ticket for my coach to Cuernavaca. It’s about and hour and a half trip… perhaps a bit longer – the film Taken was playing on the overhead video screens and started a few minutes into the trip and finished just as we arrived – so however long the film is.
Finally at the coach station in Cuernavaca I was met by Pedro, or was it Pablo, anyway he was another TrekStudy Concierge who drove me to the hotel where I am staying for the week.
The hotel is the Cuernavac Barcelo Ejecutivo. I guess it doesn’t look too much from outside but it is clean and tidy once inside. The rooms are also very comfortable. If you want to spend your time watching satelite TV television then there are a multitude of channels to choose from though you will need to catch up on your Spanish to stand any chance of enjoying them. In addition there is a very nice walk in shower. There is also also an outdoor heated swimming pool where I can see myself relaxing a little at the end of the day. Incidentally, I forgot to mention, there are no cooking facilities in the rooms, if you are into DIY! The closest you get is a coffeemaker and a bar fridge which, although well stocked, is locked – I’m guessing the key is available from reception if required.
After a well deserved shower I decided on a little walk around the area to get my bearings and also see if I could find something for a nasty headache that I had picked up during the day and by this time was threatening to become a full blown migraine. Thankfully I managed to find a chemist and picked up some paracetamol. A little further on I also came across what I guess was the local Walmart.. there weren’t any signs outside to indicate it being Walmart but once inside it had that Walmart feel to it plus the woman offering me a Walmart card probably gave the game away. [Since writing this entry I did learn that the store was named Bodega Aurrera and although there is an actually WalMart named store closer to the center of town it appears that the Bodega stores are also part of the WalMart family.]
I decided to stock up on a few essentials including a 5 litre bottle of water, some fruit and some snacks… with the headache I wasn’t feeling in the best of moods to eat but decided some light snacks would be ok. Then it was time to pay at the checkout. Trying to translate the cost of an item in Pesos back to UK pounds can be a bit of a nightmare however as I have a general idea of the exchange rate for dollars to pounds I was working on a rough basis of 10 Pesos = $1. You may have your own ideas but that worked for me… however I still managed to tip the girl packing my bags almost half what I paid for my shopping. No wonder her face lit up. It was probably a couple of months worth of pocket money!
Shopping over it was time to return to the hotel and by 7.30 pm I was ready for bed… the lack of sleep and 34 hours of travelling finally catching up with me.