Travel Reference
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lasted close on twenty hours, after which began a continuous round of banquets, fiestas , and
excursions which continued for three solid weeks.
Mexico City
Mexicans are born horsemen and lovers of adventure and the open air, and therefore our jour-
ney appealed to them and, without meaning to boast, I must add that, as a nation, they were
the ones who best understood the significance and valued the merit of my undertaking, and
showed their appreciation accordingly.
Of all the banquets I have ever attended, the most brilliant and picturesque was given to
me by the Asociacion Nacional de Charros. It was very appropriately given in the Don Qui-
jote hall in one of Mexico's finest hotels. The diplomatic corps was well represented, and all
the participants who were charros wore the typical costumes of the different regions to which
they belonged. The value ofthe sombreros alone must have represented a fortune, forall were
embroidered in gold and silver, and some were even studded with precious stones. The fam-
ous Mexico City police band delighted everybody with music, and when the banquet and the
al dance, the Jarabe Tapatio , was executed by various couples. To describe all the receptions
I was honoured with would take up too much space, so I must limit my remarks to the most
and had the honour of meeting Ex-President Calles in the old castle of Chapultepec, being
it is obvious that he has a strong and inflexible character, there is a kindly look in his dark and
penetrating eyes.
Probably the most popular act was the bullfight, the taurine art being almost frantically ad-
mired by the masses. I was requested to partir plaza , or, in other words, to ride into the arena,
halt in front of the president, and ask him for the key, after which I had to return, open the
gates and lead in the cuadrilla , riding in front of the colourful procession. The cuadrilla con-
sists of the bullfighters and helpers. People who do not know the Spanish language usually
call a bullfighter toreador , a word that does not exist in that language. Bullfighter in Spanish
is torero , and the man who does the principal work; the playing of the bull at close range, and
the killing, is called matador (killer) or espada .
An amusing thing happened whilst I was performing the opening ceremony, the request to
do which being the greatest honour that can be bestowed on a person in a Mexican bullring,
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