Teotihuacan – The Badly named Pyramid of the Sun
How could we be so stupid? We even saw it coming! We could have bailed out but we didn’t, we had come too far. But now surrounded by crying babies and shivering bodies over 200mtrs (700ft) off the ground, the scene must have looked like a poor slapstick comedy with every one of us now regretting the last half an hour.
The day began so well getting to the subway and bus at a reasonable time. You know that time where you didn’t get up mad early but early enough to say that you didn’t abuse the lie in. We arrived out at the vast complex of Teotihuacan about an hour outside Mexico City greeted by sunshine. It was a pleasant sunshine that brings warmth and the shedding of a jumper but not the type that forms lakes under your armpits. We emptied our bladders and were all set for some archaeological learning around this huge 2000 year old site. We looked around the small structures that were closest but had our eyes set on the two huge pyramids in the distance. Even from a mile away they looked impressive. After a long walk and the huge Pyramid of the Sun getting closer all the time we finally arrived. It was even more impressive when you are under it gazing up. Not only is it reaching for the sky but the footprint is also massive. I had already made up my mind that we were going up if I could. ‘Imagine the great photos’ was all I was thinking.
My heart sank when we saw the queue, it was longer than the police list of Mexican drug dealers. It didn’t matter, we were going up. It moved along reasonably quickly and within 15min we were on the actual pyramid. A crucial part in this story is that the steps started off very wide but with each layer of the pyramid they got a little narrower and a little steeper. So by the summit the steps could only take one person at a time and were very steep. The routes up and down were symmetrical.
Another 10minutes later we were halfway up and my ears pricked to a low rumbling sound. Off to the not too distant distance was a very angry cloud with the rain all too clearly making its way to the ground. ‘It’ll be grand, it will pass by over there, not here’. Imagine the great photos from the top. Everybody in the queue smirked at each other and made weird/afraid facial expressions to those next to them with a nervous nod to the cloud. The two of us discussed the situation and whether we should turn back but nah, we would plough on like soldiers. 5 minutes later we were we on the home stretch only meters from the top when the air took a very cold turn and tripled in speed.
It started off with a few heavy drops making the steps slippy but then it poured just as we were on the summit of a 225mtr (720ft) pyramid. Poured as in buckets, as in cats and dogs! We were armed with shorts and a t-shirt each. There was a one way system on the top so everybody on top ran around the pyramid to get to the exit but there was a big problem. It was a one person at a time only opening and some people take aaaages! Then the lightening started and the winds picked up to gale force. We all looked like some bunch of idiots. In the worst possible location to be in, on a lightening conductor, in the middle of a thunderstorm wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Not only that but it would be 2hrs before we could change any clothes back in the hostel in the city. We were stuck on the top in the storm for 20minutes shivering between some other locals who felt equally stupid and a mother and baby who weren’t in the best humour. Just as we finally got off that God forsaken, badly named Pyramid of the Sun, the storm passed and it stopped raining.
We went to a cafe and because we were so wet people didn’t know we were wet which made it even worse. Our shorts and t-shirt had no tell tale signs wetness ie. Varying shades of the same colour. Because we were so wet my yellow t-shirt was all just a darker yellow. Hours later we made it back to the hostel just about in one piece. If you ever go to Teotihuacan just make sure to bring an umbrella.