Life and Travel in Puebla, Mexico

Monthly Archives: March 2014

In an email, I got a question about running in Puebla. You can do just about any sport here, as there are myriad gyms and public parks all over the city, including two new public swimming facilities.

If your thing is doing organized sports like soccer or basketball, you can probably find a local team to join. Here at my job, for example, we have employees’ soccer and volleyball teams.

If you like running or cycling, then you’ll find many options:

Cycling

  • Parque Ecológico (3km paved loop)
  • El Bicentenario (5km dirt loop)
  • El Atoyac (5km paved path)

Running

  • Parque Ecológico (3km gravel loop, soccer fields, and a standard track)
  • El Bicentenario (5km dirt loop)
  • El Atoyac (5km paved path)
  • Parque del Arte (1.6k/1 Mile gravel loop, soccer field, and a standard track)
  • Laguna de San Baltazar (1.5k gravel loop)

Of course, you can always find your own routes within the city or outside of it. Many cyclists take roads that radiate out from Cholula towards the towns at the bottom of Iztaccíhuatl and Popocatépetl. You can also find endless paths for both running and mountain biking at the Izta-Popo National Park and La Malinche. Because Popocatépetl is an active volcano, you can’t go up it, but you can use all the trails on neighboring Iztaccíhuatl. La Malinche is at a slightly lower altitude and also offers many trails.

Lastly, Mexico City probably has more race opportunities than any other city in Mexico, and it’s only an hour and a half from Puebla.

The Mexico City marathon is an enormous race, but there are tons of smaller races there throughout the year.

The Mexico City marathon is an enormous race, but there are tons of smaller races there throughout the year.

Some yearly races in Puebla: the Mistertennis Duathlon, the Mistertennis 13k race in Atlixco, the City of Puebla's Marathon, Half-marathon, 10k and 5k races, and the Mistertennis Father's Day Half-Marathon.

Some yearly races in Puebla: the Mistertennis Duathlon, the Mistertennis 13k race in Atlixco, the City of Puebla’s Marathon, Half-marathon, 10k and 5k races, and the Mistertennis Father’s Day Half-Marathon.

Cycling, running, and dog-walking are all permitted at El Atoyac.

Cycling, running, and dog-walking are all permitted at El Atoyac.

Popocatépetl as seen from the trails on Iztaccíhuatl.

Popocatépetl as seen from the trails on Iztaccíhuatl.

Running on a road on La Malinche.

Running on a road on La Malinche.

Biking in Valsequillo, just outside Puebla.

Biking in Valsequillo, just outside Puebla.

The UPAEP's 5 and 10k race also occurs yearly.

The UPAEP’s 5 and 10k race also occurs yearly.


…Salsa!

That is, unless you don’t like spicy food. Having grown up in Texas and eaten a ton of Bob’s Jalapeño Chips, I came here ready to try all the salsas available! My first experience with salsa macha left me choking and almost crying in the middle of my host family’s lunch. That moment was later followed by eating a canned chipotle with nothing else, which also resulted in tears and near-suffocation.

I’ve since learned to moderate my salsas and this is currently what I have in my fridge:

salsas

That’s right. I’ve got nine salsas. This is what Mexico has done to me.

“Why so many?” you might wonder. Well, they all have different flavors and can be used in a variety of dishes:

“Búfalo” is like Tabasco sauce (vinegar-y) and is good on potato chips.

“Herdez” is for when you’re feeling lazy and want a fresh-tasting salsa, but don’t want to make it.

The “Salsa de Chipotle” is sweet and smoky, and tastes great on seafood.

The three “Kin T’iyat” jars are salsa macha– ground chilies in olive oil– and two are made with “chiltepin” pepper, while the third is made with “chile mora,” meaning each flavor is distinct. The bottom one also contains peanuts and pumpkin and sesame seeds. I will eat salsa macha on anything, but it is especially incredible on pizza and quesadillas.

“Chimay” and “De Boca en Boca” are Habanero salsas (only a few drops will suffice in any dish).

Finally, the “Nescafe” jar contains homemade chiltepin and peanut salsa. I also put it on everything.

As you can see, there is no shortage of opportunities to spice up your food here! If you can tolerate varying degrees of fire in your mouth, I suggest you try every salsa you find!