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Zacatecas - Toluca (Mexico City) 5 - 6 April


It was a blissfully uneventful 2-hour flight at 11'500 feet from Zacatecas (elev. 7000 feet) to Toluca (elevation 8450 feet) and we landed at 10.45 a.m. before the thermals had time to raise their ugly heads! The TAF we checked on the internet the evening before had some low morning clouds and 3 km of visibility, so Flemming had anticipated joining IFR for the arrival near the Mexican center for air pollution. However, by the time we arrived, the visibility had improved to 5 km and sky clear, so we had no problem with a VFR arrival.  Our friend and fellow Earthrounder, Jorge Cornish, was there to meet us. Jorge was the first Mexican to fly a single engine aircraft around the world. He took us to his hangar to see his Rocket Mooney 'Aguila Negra' in which he flew round the world in 1997.  Sharing the hangar space was his other plane, a Stearman.

Then Jorge drove us to his beautiful home on the outskirts of Mexico city, designed by himself.  (Jorge is an architect.)  His charming wife Malu was waiting for us and showed us to our spacious bedroom with en suite bathroom.   It was just like staying at a five-star hotel.  A big treat for us!

They invited us to lunch at a superb restaurant with huge windows overlooking a lake with fountains and a backdrop of flowering jacaranda trees with their purple blossoms.

The next day Jorge and Malu gave us a guided tour of the centre of Mexico city.  Some of the old buildings are starting to lean to one side since the earthquake of 1985, reminding me of the leaning tower of Pisa. Most of Mexico City is built on the soft ground of a bottom of a lake. When the Spanish arrived in the 16th century, they discovered a city larger than any city in Europe, namely the Aztec capital Tenochtitlán. In two years they conquered and destroyed the Aztec capital. They wanted to hide all trace of the Aztec civilization, so they built on top of their houses and temples.  Since 1972 a section of Aztec pyramids and the most important temple 'Templo Mayor' has been uncovered near the central Zócalo (plaza) and preserved for all to see. That was my first introduction to Aztec ruins in Mexico.

Jorge drove us out of  the dense traffic of the centre to take us to the charming suburb of San Angel, where we had a delicious lunch at San Angel Inn, an old hacienda.

Saturday evening, Jorge and Malu had invited a lot of their friends to their house for a cocktail party. Most of them were aviators, so it was easy to find a subject of common interest. We enjoyed the party very much, had a lot to drink and went rather late to bed. This as well as some internet duties (preparing for our arrival and departure from Brazil) contributed to a late start the following day. We should have learnt from past experience with late departures in tropical, mountainous countries. But it was a great party!


Jorge and Malu Cornish

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Arrival in Toluca. It is so nice to be received by friends!
Photo: Jorge Cornish.

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Earthrounder Jorge Cornish to the left
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Jorge's Rocket Mooney 'Aguila Negra' with which he flew around the world in 1997. His Stearman behind.
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In the Toluca aeroclub. The routing of Jorge's around the world flight is on the map behind. Photo: Jorge Cornish
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This charming hotel in the centre of Mexico City used to be a department store
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The Aztec city Tenochtitlán was destroyed by the Spanish and Mexico City built on top. Excavations has uncovered a small part.
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The participants in the great cocktail party in Jorge and Malu's house Saturday night. Photo: Jorge Cornish
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Jorge and Malu, Anna, Flemming and Angela in front of Jorge and Malu's house.
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