Posted by Cila Warncke
My nearest and dearest have been shooting me dire warnings, sotto voce, about the presumed dangers of travelling in my own on Mexico. Apparently I should be on the lookout for everything from bandidos to human traffickers.
It seems, however, the only real danger is my own staggering ineptitude. Who else, tasked with the not terribly difficult task of getting from an airport to the centre of a very hard-to-miss city would wind up, two hours later, in a different state?
Egged on by a combination of exhaustion and unfounded confidence in my navigational skills I wound up, at 11PM last night, in a bus terminal in Toluca. I´d been trying to get to Zocalo, in the centre of Mexico City. This is misdirection on par with attempting to get from Gatwick to Victoria and ending up in Worthing. What can I say? I wouldn´t have lasted long in the Scouts, or the Army.
Dumb foreigners don´t seem to be a novelty here. The bus driver chuckled sympathetically, recommended a hotel and pointed me to the taxi stand. I was duly delivered to a boxy hotel behind a different bus terminal where I collapsed until awoken by a combination of sunlight and babbling traffic.
I now know Toluca is the eighth largest city in Mexico, the capital of Mexico State, and one of the highest cities in the country (over 2000 metres). It is pleasantly chaotic and, on reflection, probably a less daunting entry point than Mexico City. Where, with any luck, I´m going this afternoon. Provided I have better luck with buses.