I know it is coming. Sweat beads on my forehead, my hands are clammy, and I am surely a pallid shade of green.
The bus lumbers its way into Mexico City, sloshing and jerking towards Taxqueña, the southern station that opens to the Mexican state of Morelos.
Three hours and two minutes after leaving Querétero far to the north, the bus mercifully pulls into the 29th lane of the station. I grab my backpack, mumble gracias to a passenger who defers to me.
I step off the bus, set down my backpack, tell AliSun to watch it and proceed to throw up in the parking spot next to our bus.
AliSun puts a hand on my back as I heave and purge the contents of my stomach. People claiming their bags from the hull of the bus, people waiting for other buses, people selling refrescos, people sweeping trash or carrying walkie-talkies – everyone watches then averts their eyes. I finish, wipe my mouth, look at my splattered shoes, apologize to the lady whose son steps in the liquid making its way toward the drain.
The whole scene is pretty gross and pretty embarrassing, and sometimes that’s travel for ya.
Maybe I should back up. We had left San Miguel de Allende that morning after nearly two months. Two really wonderful months in a beautiful town. We ate well, lived well, enjoyed the people, enjoyed our time. And now it was the time to return to the road, head south deeper into the heart of Mexico – el corazón.
So we sit in the bus station for half an hour as I sip a 7-Up. I eventually go find the Pullman de Morelos counter and purchase two tickets for the next bus that will take us up into the mountains.
The bus is crowded and cramped but tolerable – no chickens on this first class bus. More importantly, it is gastrointestinally uneventful. An hour passes, the first stop is ours. Three people disembark, the rest continuing on to Acapulco.
A ten minute taxi ride takes us into the heart of a vibrant, bustling town surrounded by the verdant, vertical mountains that contain it. We have arrived in Tepoztlán.
Our adventure has only just started as we would find ourselves two days later descending into the valley holding the waterfall that feeds the sacred baptismal pool of the Aztec feathered serpent god Quetzlcoatl…