After Hidalgo we headed down to DF or Distrito Federal to visit Mexico City and our first major ruins of Teotihuacan. We arrived at the campground in the late afternoon and had our first internet in over ten days. As I opened my email I found out really sad news, that my 97 year old Grandma Janet, who has been a huge part of my life and was healthy as a horse when I left, was diagnosed suddenly with stomach cancer and had only a few days to live. I was shocked, and as I sat in the XP sobbing, Sam told me I had to fly home and be with my family, and he was right. I got online and booked a flight and was in Los Angeles at 9am the following morning.
I feel like the stars aligned to get me into Mexico City where there were so many flights. I was very lucky it worked out. My sister flew home from Africa (she works and lives in Uganda) and we had two really great days with my grandma before she passed. The one thing about life on the road is that it is never easy being away from the people you love. Sometimes you just have to go home.
So while I spent time at home, Sam went to the ruins with our friends Toby and Chloe Carpe Viam, who we first met in San Francisco before we left. When I returned, he visited the ruins again with me and Sara and Hani Adventures in Skyhorse, who we first met in Alaska. I love all the new people we are meeting on the road, we are never lonely (unless we want to be) and are making such great new friends from all over the world. And everyone was really wonderful about supporting me during the death of my grandma. I am glad we were all together during this time.
Once you hit start hitting the major ruins of the Aztec and Mayan empires in Mexico, you can pretty much keep yourself busy until Honduras visiting archeological sites. Having visited many Mayan ruins in the Yucatan on past trips, I have found I can get a little overwhelmed trying to keep track of the rise and fall of civilizations in the Americas. Even with a Masters Degree in International Relations, and having taken some really good Mexican history courses, I often find myself walking around the ruins saying deep things such as “Wow, this is amazing” realizing in reality I know very little about the people who left these pyramids behind. The best you can do is try to take it all in and learn what you can, hoping that before you get to Honduras you will be able to say something a little more interesting than wow.