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Monday, March 24, 2014

I was in Toluca, Mexico recently, and I couldn't believe...

just how cold it can actually get in Mexico.  Of course it was considered winter when I was there, but come on, this is Mexico.  It was so cold that I had to wear long pants, a long shirt - and my hoody to keep warm.  What's with that?

Toluca is strictly an industrial town, and from what I was told, there are over 20,000 manufacturers located in the city.  Fortunately our hotel was near the Nestle plant, and the fresh aroma of coffee and chocolate helped reduce the dreariness of the city.  I must admit, I've never been in any industrial cities like this, and it was a bit of a shock seeing the constant pollution in the air and surrounding parks.  It was basically a very unattractive city.

But Toluca is famous for it's chorizo and also it's spicy cheese, and I made sure to stock up on both.  We spent two days in the city and also made a side trip to Valle de Bravo.  This was a beautiful little town with winding streets, located on the shore of a slightly polluted lake called Lake Av├índaro.  We took an hour boat tour of the lake and surrounding homes, and it was well worth the 200 pesos for two people.  Lunch was at the Hotel Avandaro Golf Course and Spa; and was fantastic and inexpensive.  But once we checked out the prices of the hotel and spa - inexpensive no longer applied.

By the way, did I mention that our drive from Cuernavaca to Toluca was through one of the most dangerous areas in Mexico.  Not only are the roads dangerous themselves with many mountain turns followed by speed bump after speed bump, but we had to navigate around cows, horses, sheep and dogs on the highway.  And, of course, there are the banditos to watch out for too....

We decided to make a northerly circle back home through Mexico City.  We went from leisurely rural driving with only wild animals to watch for; to wild animals behind the wheel in Mexico City.  Thank goodness I wasn't driving that day...