Mexico Vacation - Day 4
February 15, 2006
Mexico City to Valle de Bravo

This was the first day we rented a car and actually drove around. For each car on the road back in the 1960s, there are probably 20 cars today - so it's very crowded! The only thing I could think about while driving in the city, was to get OUT of the city. So we didn't see much by car in the D.F.

We drove up Reforma into the Lomas, found the site of the house at Virreyes 205 and Antonio de Mendoza 155, the stores at the foot of the hill (Monte Athos), and found the house at Sierra Fria 384. Spent a good part of the day driving to Valle de Bravo, and then over to Temascaltepec, looking for a deal on a hotel. Eventually made it back into Avandaro.

From the corner of Antonio de Mendoza and Monte Athos, looking at the intersection with Prado Sur. The "Casa y Jardin" store would be just left of this view.
The site of "El Bosque" and on the left, the doorway to "Lou and Vic's" (later Vic's) butcher shop. Neither is there, the shops look like trendy flower stores or botique somethings.
Looking a little further up Monte Athos, toward where "La Selva" used to be. Monte Athos is a one-way street now.
Up the hill, Antonio de Mendoza, our house was at the top on the right. That silver VW Jetta parked there was our rental car for 6 days... nice machine, perfect size for the job.
Intersection of Virreyes and Antonio de Mendoza. Double street signs, what? ... in case you don't see one set? The white wall hides the ugly house that replaced our nice Jorge Del Rio 1939 masterpiece. Don't even think about slowing down or parking on Virreyes.
The Union Evangelical Church, site of many Easter services, and social events.
Sierra Fria 384, our first house in Mexico. Hard to get a better picture than this, it looks very different, yet somehow you can see things you remember about it. Wall replaces hedge. Parking lot replaces front lawn. Figures.
Ok, that was enough of Mexico City for the time being. Didn't even shoot any good pictures going over the hill to Toluca, nor all the way across Toluca valley. Here's a scene taken on the old and familiar highway towards Zitacuaro and Morelia.
Countryside scene.
And another.
This is where the road turns off to Valle de Bravo (take a left!). Was that statue there? Might be Morelos. I don't remember all those stores there.
Click on this image to see a larger panorama of the lake at Valle de Bravo, taken from just beyond the site of the old "Club Nautico Avandaro" along the north shore of the lake. I didn't locate with certainty where the old yacht club was. Yes, those are houses all over Monte Montiel, the big mountain out on the lake. Cerro Gordo in the back.
Scenes from "downtown" Valle.
Scene two, Valle.
Scene three, Valle.
Our weekend house at Valle. This photo is taken from the site of the smaller detached building with a garage (watch the doors, Dad!) and where Foro had a room. That building's gone, and so is the driveway that ran down behind the house and into the carport.
Leaning over the fence between the poinsettia plants, the lawn-side view.
New gate and parking spaces between the kitchen and street. New doorway there.
Scenes from the road in front of the house. Notice the fancy "S" shaped paving bricks in the road, and the fully engineered gutters alongside the road. This view looks to the southeast, up the hill.
Southwest, towards the Club de Golf Avandaro.
Northeast, up the hill toward the glorieta where we used to rent ponies.
The Club de Golf Avandaro. I had to talk my way past the guards at a checkpoint under the old archway. This shows the cottages and the old offices. It's all a "Spa/Resort" theme, very expensive/exclusive looking. Jose Luis Chain still runs the Golf Club and the resort up on the hill, Rancho Avandaro.
Looking the other way, Golf Club parking lot... nice eucalyptus trees.
Arroyo Gonzales - this is downstream from the Golf Club area, towards a waterfall called "Velo de Novia". Anyone remember hiking down there? I think I only went once.
Bougainvillea hedge in Avandaro.
A well-flowered front fence, also in Avandaro.
Poinsettia plants, through an iron gate in Temascaltepec.
Some pretty bluebonnets next to the road. We actually stopped to take a picture of a mountain, but this was right out Sharon's window, so she took a picture of them too.
The mountain. Late afternoon lighting. It's far larger than this picture suggests. One of those scenes that just said, "Stop. Enjoy. Take a picture." One of several such nice scenes along the highway between Temascaltepec and Avandaro.