It didn't take long to drive to Cholula and Puebla, just south of Mexico City. Supposedly the Spanish built some 365 churches in Cholula. We only visited a few, including the one built on top of a hill, built in fact on top of an Aztec pyramid - The Great Pyramid of Cholula. While in Cholula I had my first taste of Mole Negra - a local specialty, dark sauce with chocolate. Something I'd definitely recommend.
Puebla was busy and full of life as it was the annual Cinco de Mayo festival, a celebration of the1862 Battle of Puebla. A cathedral, an amazing libray, La Biblioteca Palafoxiana, reputed to be the oldest library in the Americas, and still in tact as it was never a lending library. From the 17th century, It certainly deserves its UNESCO designation.
From Puebla we took a detour out towards the Parque Nacional de Volcanes. Despite a supposed 12km exclusion zone we were able to pass along the track between Popocatepetl and Ixtaccihuatl. Popo is very much active, but we made it through the Paso de Cortes and it was great to spend a night in the cold mountain air. the only disconcerting element was not knowing whether the distant rumbling was indeed thunder, or one of Popo's many grumblings.