I always catch the bus from Mexico City to Xalapa when I visit Elissa. I get a window seat on the right. Over the broad mountain pass and then down into the high plains, skirting the northern edge of Puebla, near Cholula. Great  views of Popocatépetl and Iztaccihuatl when it’s clear.

This time the bus took a different route, through Texcoco and Tlaxcala. I saw these ruins from the bus. I think I know them.

It was 1994. Robb, Sara and I were tracing the route of the conquistadors, as best we could in two weeks. (See The Conquest of Mexico.) We were staying in Tlaxcala and set off to visit some archaeologists who were excavating a site where 16 conquistadors we captured and sacrificed. I think we met them at the ruins I saw from the bus.

The archaeologist were not happy to see us. They were pretty hostile. We were shook up. On the way back to Tlaxcala, we passed a shed that said “Pulque.” (I’m sure I saw it this time from the bus!) We stopped.

Maguey cultivation


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