In this section of the novel, Bolaño gives us a nice little tour of some of the tourist sites in Mexico City. The story that Alatorre tells the critics is that:
1. El Cerdo received a call telling him to go to a hotel near the airport.
2. El Cerdo meets Hans Reiter/Archimboldi there. Eventually El Cerdo asks if he’d like to take a drive around Mexico City or go out for a drink. It’s two in the morning. Archimboldi has a flight to Hermosillo at 7 am.
The airport in Mexico City is called Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juárez and it’s not on the outskirts of town: it’s right in the middle of things. It borders ten small neighborhoods and two industrial zones. There are several large chain hotels facing the airport or on the airport grounds: the Hilton, the Ramada, the Fiesta Inn, the Camino Real.
3. El Cerdo takes him to Plaza Garibaldi, a mecca of mariachi music.
4. El Cerdo takes Archimboldi to the Zocalo, Mexico City’s Central Square.
5. They wander over to the Plaza de Santo Domingo.
6. El Cerdo drives them down to the iconic Angel statue on Avenue Reforma, but it’s too dark to see the angel at the top of the monument.
7. They head back to the hotel and El Cerdo drops Archimboldi off at the airport.
Here is a map that shows roughly the route they take from the airport to Plaza Garibaldi, to the Zocalo, the Plaza Santo Domingo, the Angel statue, and then back to the airport hotel (I am doing some guesswork on the driving route here).
View El Cerdo y Archimboldi in a larger map