After leaving what might have been the Zona de Comida --- there wasn't anything to eat there, but there were places people could quite reasonably eat --- I was left with the question of just what to do, then. Keep walking along trails, I supposed, and trust that I'd somehow find my way back whenever I needed. I passed signs about the transmission tower(?) at the top of the hill, and I formed the loose idea of, well, why not go up and find that, then?
So I started climbing. At least, walking what looked like uphill. And it was leading steadily uphill. I saw fewer and fewer people; there was one T-intersection that did prove to be the last point where I saw anybody. It had a sign for another Wi-Fi hotspot, though. Have to credit them with making the place accessible for people like me without cell phones.
And I walked. Kept on walking. I didn't see any signs of the transmission tower. Not even from afar, which seems odd for a transmission tower at the top of the hill I was on. You'd think ``looking up'' would give me a hint, but there were a lot of trees around there, and most of them were also very tall too. I wondered idly if I had walked up to the same level as the Hotel Royal Pedregal. For that matter, had I climbed high enough to reach the level of Six Flags Mexico? It turns out that Bosque and Six Flags Mexico touch one another, although how far I might have been from the park was a mystery to me then, and to me now. The main thing is I had walked long enough, and uphill enough, that I was getting exhausted. For a while I tried walking zig-zag patterns in the trail, so as to have an easier time going up. And tried walking backwards, to be easier on my ankles. And yet, still, I didn't seem to be getting any closer to the top of the hill. Or to getting any proof there was a top of the hill. I was just alone in the woods, with only a strip of asphalt running above and below me for guidance.
I sat down on a fallen log that might have been set there deliberately as a bench, and thought about what might be my ne plus ultra. I had avoided looking at the time and didn't know when it was, past a vague understanding of it being not too late in the afternoon. I did think how I was sad not to have a sketchbook and pencils with me; the light and the shadow and the colors struck me as something that I ought to commit to fixed form. I did have my iPod with me, and I knew there were a couple of drawing apps that I had put on it and never learned well enough to do anything useful. I gave it a try, messing around with Paper and trying to just get the dominant vertical lines of tall green grass and distant background of tree trunks and tan leaves grey walkway behind it. And I failed, but I tried at least.
Having gone as far as I would I started my way back to civilization, I hoped. Going downhill worked, as you might expect; I started to see more paths coming in, and more groups of people, and more everything there. Finally I got back to the entry spot of the park, and the light crowd of people just doing stuff. A row of food kiosks. Bunches of squirrels being fed against the orders of the park signs.
With the woodlands explored enough for my tastes I poked into the Casa de la Cultura Tlalpan. It's a good-sized building. But it was nearly empty; there was just the one gallery up front, showcasing photographs from a single artist whom I trust is from the area. There was more floor space, with a stage, and with temporary steel bench seating out front. No hint what they might be showing, if anything. I was just surprised there wasn't more there.
While I'd gotten a candy bar I was still hungry, and returned once more to the little mall with the Best Buy and all that. I poked around the Best Buy to see what it might be like. It wasn't very different in content to a United States Best Buy, but it had a smaller footprint spread across several floors, rather like what I might have encountered in Singapore. And went to one of the other restaurants, the pizza place we'd considered, where I had a small personal-pan pizza while watching soccer play itself out on TV. And got through that with surprisingly little communication difficulty, thanks to my ability to point at things on the menu.
I went back to the hotel to putter around and read and wait for bunny_hugger, and to hear all about her day. I think this was the day we found out that the conference did arrange for a vegetarian --- nearly vegan --- dinner buffet at the hotel restaurant, and we went to that. It was a really good spread, something that seemed like authentically Mexican food, but that didn't have any meat and only had a bit of milk or cheese in the mix. I'm not sure if this was available the other nights of the conference; if it was, we missed out. But we got there at least once and good for that.
And that would be our last day apart.
Trivia: The first Olive Garden restaurant opened in 1982. Source: Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine, Sarah Lohman.
Currently Reading: The League of Regrettable Superheroes, Jon Morris.
The Dragon's Inn, the food stand right by the Iron Dragon roller coaster and which we keep figuring is going to be renovated out of recognition in the off-season because it seems out of step with the park in that area.
We wanted to get on Iron Dragon and experience its Virtual Reality incarnation so go ahead and guess what we completely missed because I kept us poking around something else after 6 pm, until the park closed the ride for the night?
Tree growing out of the dirt on the thatched roof of the Panda Express over at the start of the Frontier Trail. Also a lot of the moss growing on that same roof.