Continuing Challenges

One of the things my journey with an Acoustic Neuroma has taught me is to experience life as much as I can, because you never know when it will be taken from you. For me a large part of that experience is traveling, immersing myself in a culture, meeting new people and…the food!!

So I’m going to take a little break from my story to talk about my recent travels. Early last year I flew to Mexico City to visit a friend. I spent a few wonderful days there taking in the sites and eating everything in sight. I ate tacos, so many tacos; tacos with carne asada, chorizo, pollo, carnitas, camerones, even escamoles and cuitlacoche. I ate steaks, tostadas, fajitas, pozole, and churros with different fillings. I also had several different kinds of Mexican beer, margaritas and some fine brandy as well. Honestly it’s a culinary dream in Mexico City. It’s probably best I only spent five days there or I may have come back a bit heftier.

And the sites and activities, there is so much to do there!! I visited Antigua Basilica de Guadalupe which is the central place of worship for their patron saint, Pyramides de Teotihuacan (Mesoamerican pyramids built in pre-Columbian Americas), the Plaza Centro Coyoacan, which is an outdoor shopping mall with cafes, taquerias, etc. I also visited Castillo de Chapultepec, which is the only royal castle in North America that was actually used as the residence of a sovereign, the Zocalo, which is part of the Centro Historico de la Cuidad de Mexico and is the largest plaza in Latin America. It also contains the Palacio Nacional (Office of the President), the Cathedral metropolitan, the Templo Mayor, and the Nacional Monte de Piedad building.

While the entire trip was a great experience,  I want to take a moment to talk about touring Teotihuacan and climbing both of the pyramids. There is the Temple of the Sun, which is actually the third largest pyramid in the world. Then there is the Temple of the Moon, not quite as large but still a demanding climb for any of us with a vestibular disorder. There are also many smaller pyramids such as the Temple of Quetzalcoatl, that are not as challenging if you don’t think you can manage the bigger pyramids. The pyramids, while in good condition, have decayed in places. This can make the climb a bit precarious, especially once you get past the base and the incline gets pretty steep. It’s even worse on the way down with many steps being different heights and widths. There are soft rails to help make the climb easier, but many people still find it difficult and they stop to sit down and rest. One of the things that gave me trouble was the number of people and the inconsistent climbing pace. I find it easier to manage steps if I am moving in one direction and moving at a good pace. Stopping suddenly or changing direction mid-step can kind of throw me off a bit. I was able to climb both pyramids without too much trouble, but they were both pretty challenging.

So there you have it. I would highly recommend paying Teotihuacan a visit, not just for the challenge, but once you reach the top of the Temple of the Sun there are some breathtaking views. You can see for miles with a 360° view of the entire city and surrounding areas.