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Tashirat: Part Three

16 Aug

This is the third and final post in this Tashirat series.  See One and Two

As wonderful as my Tashirat experience was, half the fun of my trip was exploring the surrounding area.  Tashirat is a short bus ride up the mountain from Tepoztlán, a town in the Mexican state of Morelos.  There are few gringos around, but on weekends the quiet mountain town is flooded with tourists come from Mexico City to explore the market and hike up to El Tepozteco.

 El Tepozteco is an Aztec pyramid that overlooks the Tepoztlán Valley.  It can be reached by climbing two kilometers of stone steps–not an easy climb, but one that some of the women from Mexico City do in heels with a baby on their backs.

The real reward of this climb (besides the climb itself, which would be enough, beautiful as it is) isn’t the pyramid, but the view from the top.

When it comes to eating in Tepoztlán, there’s no place better than the central market.  There are a number of restaurants nearby (some of them tasty, most of them overpriced), but none beat the crowded stands in the center of town.  If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, most of them offer dried crickets.  If not, have a quesadilla or taco with fresh tortillas, local cheese, and your choice of fillings.

For desert, nothing beats Tepoznieves, a local ice cream chain with half a dozen shops around town.  They have dozens of flavors; rose and aniseed were my favorites, but I loved them all.

And the best place to eat your ice cream?  In the courtyard of El Exconvento de la Natividad, a world heritage site in the center of town.

Inside, the walls and ceilings are covered with beautifully painted designs that are over three hundred years old.

There were other adventures–a trip to the Grutas de Cacahuamilpa Caverns, a full-moon fire ritual, a festival in the tiny town above Tashirat where the locals fed us chicken mole with homemade tortillas and orange soda–but I have neither the pictures nor the memory to do justice to them here.  There will be more adventures and new posts, and I’m sure to make it back to Tepoztlán and Tashirat sooner or later, but I think it’s time to lay this particular trip to rest.