Mentioning the name Xochimilco to someone usually conjures up images of green canals, colourful gondolas, mariachis, flowers and beer. Especially, perhaps beer. But the canals main purpose is the production of planty stuff. Legal plant stuff, mind you. This is Mexico City, not a border town. Mind you, one of the videos I’ve linked to below corrects my rather naive view there. Although, of course, it seems obvious now.
Xochimilco is a big place, and quite a drive south into the city. Or, alternatively, a fair journey down the full length of the Tren Ligero system, starting at Metro Taxqueña. If you’re just after flowers, or painted pots, though, then there is another alternative still. And one that’s very close to my home. A five minute drive on a good day – map.
I prefer this part of Xochimilco. The more well known Xochimilco, which attracts hordes of tourists, students, families and, unfortunately, raging drunks, isn’t my favourite part of the Distrito Federal. It’s dirty, dusty, full of peddlers trying to flog tourist junk or sell you a ride on a gondola. At rip off prices if you have a whiff of ‘foreign’ about you.
But I do keep meaning to get a boat to take me out to the Island of the Dolls. Everyone goes to La Isla de la Muñecas. Lonely Planet has been there. Anthony Bourdain, of No Reservations fame, made time too. Even Old Joe Meek, whoever he is, went, took some video, and probably has the T Shirt. The island is haunted, so it attracts the paranormal types as well. Destination Truth have done their bit for the ghost hunting industry – part 1, part 2, part 3.
Everyone’s been there, but me. So it seems. One day soon, I’ll make it. And see what ghosties I can find. Till then, you’ll just have to make do with the photos I took at Xochimilco Dos today – click here. Including several shots of some very cute little tortugas. Cute today, dead tomorrow, sadly. They sell them off with completely inappropriate water containers and no instructions on how to look after them. Paola wanted to buy one. Tempting…..but no. Ten is enough.