Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Desierto de los Leones

Many DFeños with the means leave the city limits on the weekends to escape the noise, traffic, pollution, and masses of people. During the evening rush hours on Friday, a stream of cars radiate out in all directions-- to Hidalgo in the north, Cuernavaca or Tepozótlan in the south, Puebla and Veracruz in the east, and Toluca or Valle de Bravo in the west. They're all going to their weekend home in the "country". Well, we don't own such a place and many times we actually enjoy sticking around Mexico City on the weekends because the noise, traffic, and masses of people are surprisingly absent. It's one of the few days I enjoy opening all the windows in the apartment without fearing the sound of drills, honking horns, police sirens, and cars. 

This past puente, or long weekend, we stayed in Mexico City and made our way to the national park on the southwest edge of town called Desierto de los Leones. Not a desert at all but a lush 1,867 hectares of pine forest where one can recalibrate the lungs and remember what fresh air smells like.

Take a hike

Throw some meat on the grill

Wonder at nature's beauty

At the northern edge of the park sits a 17th century Carmelite monastery where you can stroll the grounds like the monks did and just be amazed by the serenity of "the desert", a term the monks called their isolated dwellings away from the heathens. 

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