December 6th 1981

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
Cholula

Val not feeling too well this morning – the return of Montezuma’s revenge.  Nonetheless, she did a batch of washing, + then we set off for Cholula, the site of the biggest pyramid in the world.  Barbara gave us directions as to which bus to catch, + where from, so there was no trouble there.  Arrived in Cholula, + could immediately spot the pyramid, or rather…  I’ll explain.  The largest pyramid in the world is the most unimpressive structure.  As I understand it, when the local Indians heard that Cortes was on the rampage, and was pulling down pyramids, they covered the whole thing with earth, so that it resembles nothing so much as a hill.  Worse, the Spaniards then built a very ugly church on top.  We strolled slowly out to the edifice, stopping for a couple of cokes – it was a lovely warm day.  Up the hill to the church, but didn’t bother to go in, especially since there was a service going on.  Instead we wandered round the back, + had a grandstand view of a football match going on below – reminded me of Grange Road.  Also, could look out over some excavated ruins, which looked a deal more interesting, so strolled down there.  Then discovered that we had to buy a ticket from a place elsewhere in order to look around.  Fortunate really, since in looking for it we happened upon the tunnels, going under the pyramid.  They were totally amazing – narrow, arched, + low, + what seemed to be an incredible network.  You couldn’t get lost – the way thro’ was lit – but it was still a bit spooky + claustrophobic.  You could imagine some bejewelled Aztec running thro’ with a burning torch.

The rest of the town was not particularly interesting, so we took a bus to Huyotzingo(?), a town Barbara had recommended.  We didn’t think it was very exciting, tho’ it had the best blankets + ponchos we’d seen, + a fine old convent church.  Bussed home, then later a splendid meal, +, of course, Cosmic Encounter.

In case you were wondering how I managed a photo of Cholula, when all the others from that time were lost… well, this is a modern image, plucked from the internet, but our recollection, and the description in the diary, indicates that it has changed little.

Grange Road, for information, was where we lived in East London before the trip.  And it looked out over playing fields, which had previously been used by Thames Ironworks – the club that later became West Ham.

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