Huichapan

We all went off to Huichapan on Saturday morning for the weekend, seeing as Saturday evening/Sunday is was the biggest celebration in the Mexican calendar – Independence Day. It’s just a little town in farming country, a couple of hours driving north of Mexico City. Clean air, cool mornings, blue skies and lots of the freshest, tastiest Barbacoa (lamb) and Carnitas (pork) are the main attractions. Oh, and the party itself. Anyway, we had a great time, visiting an aquaduct and rodeo (posts to come) and a visit to little Tree Garden, my favourite place – they had a little pool with half a dozen little turtles living in it. Mexico is a colourful country, but never more so than in September, when everything is decked out in the green, white and red of the flag.

The evening, of course, was in the centre of Huichapan, eating a few more tacos, watching a Mariachi band play and waiting for El Grito. El Grito being the cry of independence given by Miguel Hidalgo nearly 200 years ago. It’s a spectacular event – the crowds are huge, even in a small town like this, and El Grito is recited with passion, along with the reyrning ‘Viva!’ from the crowd. And then the firework display, which happens directly overhead – EU health and safety legislators wouldn’t like it at all! Unfortunately, I didn’t have battery power left to video the El Grito I watched, so here’s a YouTube copy of the biggest party of them all. In the Zocalo, with the cry read out by President Calderon in front of hundreds of thousands.

Sunday was spent at El Arenal, a very pretty little water park, fed by the waters of local hot springs. And yep, it might have been a traditional Mexican weekend, but I added a little British tradition to it by getting a little burned! Still, at least it saved me painting my face red!

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