The fam’s elected to spend Christmas with me, and over the actual holiday starting today, we’re in the municipality of Malinalco, en Estado de México, casi 2 hours’ south of Mexico City in a valley between the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt and the Sierra Norte mountain ranges.
We’re at a great house, a couple of kilometers south of Malinalco Centro in the trucha zone. Trucha means trout.
This is a big trout-harvesting region, which also means you can stop at a tienda for a meal of trout killed on-demand.
Tomorrow we should be checking out the ruins which are nearby, specifically the Cuauhcalli, or House of Eagle Warriors, who were an elite order of Aztec warriors. The ruins, of a temple established when the Aztecs conquered the region in the 1470s, are cool because it’s carved into the side of the mountain.
Then Christmas I hope to bring my family to Santuario de Chalma. Chalma was a black Christ figure whose apparition revealed itself to some pagans worshiping in a cave by the site. They mostly went there to worship Oxtoteotl, the “Dark Lord of the Cave,” but also according to Wikipedia, Tlazacotl, “the Goddess of Trash and Filth.” Which rules, obviously. Most Mexicans who have described Chalma to me tell me that it’s a huge for peregrinos (pilgrims– it’s the second-most visited site in Mexico, after the Basilica of Guadalupe in DF) and that the site includes a really old tree with a portion of the river running below it. The pilgrims have to dance when they get here. La Danza de los Vaqueros is the current visiting peregrinación.
So I hope to fill in with more, but wanted to get this information down and organized. We’re also going to Hotel Ámel for dinner tomorrow night (the big feast is on Noche Buena in Mexico). Fernando, the dude who runs the place, told me he just brought the prime rib in from DF today. Not sure what we’re doing for food on Christmas day.