Located on the outskirts of the City is a world heritage site and the one thing I was really keen to do in MC (after reading an article about this in The Times) is Xochimilco.
Xochimilco is a network of canals flanked by gardens that you see by catching a brightly coloured and decorated gondola.
I was excited about gong, my first MC adventure that would force me outside my comfort zone.
First I walked to the metro, negotiated my tickets with ease (it helps that all fares are the same price- approx 20 cents Aussie). Next i found my platform, waited about 3 minutes and boarded a metro train to the end of the line.
I was lucky to get a seat (all that London Tube training) and set about reading the newspaper in Spanish. I take great pleasure in reading the paper in Spanish- espically when at the end i have actually understood something. It is often hard to work out the words but when i concentrate it is possiable.
The cities metro is very clean, efficent and up their with the world's best.
At each stop, a hawker selling cd's enters the carriage with a ghetto blaster in their back pack and tries to sell you the best of some Spanish/ Mexican pop singer for a shiney gold 10 peso coin. It is like watching TV and i enjoy it.
Next i change into a 3 carriage light rail train and head to end of that line. More crowded than the metro there is no room for the entrepeners and we sit/stand like sardines till we reach Xochimilco.
As I exit the station a wave of dry heat hits me- i dig deep for my sungalsses and walk slowly to the wharf. I pass a Luhre Libre ring (wreastling WWF style) and a local market selling a bright array of fruit.
I am followed by some harmless boys on bicycles who i assume are trying to get a comission from me. Politley i ask them to stop following me about 5 times before i tell them to F&%k off in Spanish. It does the trick and I am free to wander the streets at my leisure.
At the wharf.. i am surprised to see no one but a few tour operaters and a Mexican family. I ask them in y best Spantalian if i can join their tour and am delighted when they oblige me.
The mother and father sit and smile at me and it is not long until Tanya their youngest daughter (age 16) asks my name. She is stunning, tall, slim and with cheek bones that you would die for. She is fascinated with me.
Her smile is bright and her eyes are clear.... and her english is better (marginally better) than my Spanish.
It turns out that they are from Chapis, my favourite state in Mexico. The family are taking a 3 day holiday in the capital- their first time and they are kinder than words.
After about 10 minutes the father treats us to some Maranarchi music. The band are on a boat similar to ours and they row up very close and belt out some classics for 70 pesos a pop.
It does not take long for Tanyta, Daisy (their older daughter) and Fernando (the son) to start dancing and before long i am joining in with them... busting our best moves down the river.
Mum and dad stay sitting but clearly they enjoy our fun.
After 2 hours battling to express myself i make a move to depart... but not before i am invited in a way it would be too rude to refuse to a taco luncheon.
The smiles and giggles my presence evokes is priceless... i feel privledged.
As i make my way to leave, Tanya asks me to come and stay and the father ask me if it is ok if the kids come for a holiday to Australia when they are older... could they stay in Sydney with me.
With a hug and kiss i am off... leaving my Mexican family for my amigos at the hostel.