As you may have read in the previous post, we had enjoyed a very pleasant night out with the KPMG ladies, and we needed a well deserved sleep to catch up on all the sleepless nights we’d had. But we still had things to do, and it was after only 5 hours that we were back up and on the phone. The main reason for this was that we needed to get hold of our spare components, including the replacement shock absorbers for the rear suspension.
We needed to pick up the shock absorbers from the local Radical dealership today as we needed to leave for Acapulco on Sunday. But after making some calls, it appeared that the components had been shipped to a race track in Mexico City rather than the Radical dealership, and as there was no one there to receive it, the package had been returned to the depot. Despite our best efforts, we could not retrieve the goods on Saturday, and as everything was closed on Sunday, it looked like the earliest we could procure the components would be on Monday.
This was a setback as we very much needed to push on from MC on time if we were to meet our scheduled stops elsewhere in Mexico and in Guatemala. Nonetheless, I would be lying if I said that we weren’t a little pleased as MC had really begun to grow on the team, and we were keen to experience more of it. As such, Saturday afternoon was spent walking around the central area and taking in the beautiful buildings and atmosphere. Come evening though, it was time to check out a different type of nightlife, so we headed for the Condesa district where there are many restaurants, cafes and bars spilling out onto the street. Here we enjoyed a sumptuous dinner overlooking the street, followed by some dancing in one of the many bars. It was a tremendously fun evening!
Sunday dawned and we felt it was time to delve into a little bit of local culture. So with Tania as our guide (Tania being an old friend of Clemens’ who lives in MC) we travelled out of the city in the support van to Teotihuacan where the world’s 3rd largest pyramid was situated. On the way over there was much talk about racing up the pyramid and who would win. In typical boisterous fashion, everyone claimed they were the fastest, and it was not long before we would find out because as soon we rounded the corner, the full scale of the pyramid was revealed. The people standing on top and walking up it looked like mere ants in comparison, and the task of running up suddenly looked very daunting!
With common sense failing to prevail, Clemens, Andy and I began the race to the top. It was not particularly dramatic I have to say; after about 15m of vertical assent all of our legs gave up, and we could merely walk up. The altitude (2,500m ASL) combined with the steepness of the pyramid completely demolished us, but it was Clemens who made it to the top first, followed by Andy and then myself. I can’t speak for the others, but that was probably the closest I have ever had to a heart attack…it was brutal!!
After having a look around and admiring the quite stunning scenery, the attraction was beginning to close, so we climbed the long way back down. There is little point in me trying to describe the scenes atop the pyramid; suffice to say that it’s definitely one of those things that has to be done in life if at all possible. Please take a look at the pics to see what I mean!
From the pyramids (there were more than just the one we climbed) we drove back into MC amid the most powerful rainstorm I had ever encountered. In comparison, the heavy rain we had driven through back at the beginning of the trip near Fairbanks seemed to pale into insignificance. The rain was so heavy that the road could no longer drain the water fast enough, and before long, the entire road was a gushing river over 30cm deep in places. It was a sobering reminder of what was still to face the SRZero as up until now, we had had very little in the way of rain. How would an open top car running off 600 volts fair in such an onslaught? Time would certainly tell…
Back in MC, the whole crew, that being RGE, Tania, Claudio and Jonathan from Von Planta Productions, Chris, Cynthia (the two bikers), and Jessica from KPMG, decided to go out for what we thought would be our final meal in this amazing city. So we went to the Gran Hotel de la Cuidad de Mexico for what we thought would be an delicious dining experience. While the old colonial-styled hotel was undoubtedly beautiful, and in an enviable location with fantastic views, the food was a disappointment. Regular readers of this blog may have become tired with my constant food praising, but that is only because the food has always been so tasty! On this occasion, the food was cold, the main courses came before the starter, the bread was stale…it was not the greatest meal to complete our stay in what has definitely been my favourite city so far! Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable occasion, and we went back to the hotel looking forward to receiving our replacement parts the next day, but also regretting the fact that we were not able to stay longer.
After getting up early the following morning, Nik was quickly on the phone with Radical and UPS in order to try and get hold of our spare components. However, due to a computer malfunction on UPS’s behalf, the parts where shipped back to the same incorrect address as before, and so we still didn’t have the components! In fact, while we were trying to locate them, they were circling the city in one of the UPS vans, and wouldn’t be back at the depot until 7pm. If we were unable to get these components today (on Monday), we would be unable to leave on Tuesday, and that would forever alter our schedule and would mean we could kiss goodbye to our fantastic plans for Guatemala and beyond.
Amazingly, over the next few hours, Tomás, head of Radical’s Mexican division, managed to track down the UPS driver, and got him to deliver all the components to the proper address. As soon as we had confirmation of this, Toby and Nik headed off to collect the components and service the car with them. Before long, the car had its brand new shock absorbers installed, and it was ready to tackle the rest of the Pan American Highway!
However, the 2 day delay meant that we had to change our route significantly to remain on time. As such, Clemens and the rest of us worked out how best to do this while Nik and Toby were fixing the car. With a new route planned, which unfortunately meant missing out on Acapulco and taking a more direct route down the original Pan-American Highway, we went to bed with a very early start scheduled for Tuesday morning.
Despite being delayed, MC was a fantastic experience, and the general sentiment among the team is that we very much want to return!