If by chance you ever happen to have a hankering for a boat ride with someone else doing all the muscle work and you're not near Venice (and you happen to be in Mexico) there's a place designed just for you: Xochimilco Aztec canals. Why would you want to go on a boat ride with someone else doing all the muscle work and undermining your masculinity, you may ask. Well, here's why: the canals are what's left/after some modification a preserved piece of the Aztec world. They weren't originally meant for leisurly drunken boating like one would think. Oh no, they were an ingenious form of agriculture, combining wet and dry crop growing.
Not for ferrying tourists around.
For growing food for an ancient metropolis.
Also, if your masculinity can't take someone else pushing the boat along for a few hours, possibly you shouldn't be getting on boats.
Besides seeing the canal itself, the fancy boats and local wildlife (the place is said to be good for bird spotting), you can buy plants, see Isla de las Munecas, visit museums etc etc all of which you can find more about in the very comprehensive Wiki page.
Now things you should know that they might not tell you but are still darn good to know about boating in general:
- DO NOT visit this place during a national holiday. It will be much like bumper cars only with less cars, more water and not quite as much fun. It's also much like Mexico City traffic in general only with less of a chance of getting run over/exploded/basically killed. There's a very good possibility that you will end up going in small circles in the canal with your condolier getting increasingly frustrated by the lack of maneuvering space and occasionally falling off the boat. But there will be plenty of refreshments and colliding musical numbers to keep you reasonably entertained if you'll follow the next advice...
- Getting drunk is a good idea, especially if you're not into all the history and ancient awe and stuffs. This will keep your spirits either high(ish) or your grasp of time appropriately muddy. It will also make you hungry for corn/tortillas/beer/candied apples and submissive to any of the myriad musical numbers being performed on top of each other by the musicians floating by. Make no mistake, these are talented people making a living and they will do their very best to entertain you. However, this does not include playing the same song at the same time as all the other bands touring the canals.
- Also know when getting a boat, you pay either BY THE BOAT or BY THE HOUR. If by any chance someone tries to tell you that you have to pay per person, know that they are a lying, scheming scumbag who will surely catch a horrible venerial disease from all the scammed pesos in their pockets that will make their balls turn green and rot away. Raybans and official badges do not mark a friend from a foe in this case. Just know that 200-300pesos per hour for a boat is reasonable. And that's all I got to say about that.
- No one seems to know what's up with the swans. Possibly an early onset of Oh-that's-nice-I'm-going-to-do-the-same-thing. They just are.
- Water is wet.
- Don't drink from the canal.
- Are you really still reading this?
- Fine then.
- Here's a picture of a tiny dog.