Oaxaca

Friday September 16th….

That 12:30 bell rang, and we were off, Elaine, Brett, Sarah, Harry, but where to? Another Mexican city, same streets, same routine? I always wondered how different another town could be from another? Oh, time would tell, but first the 6 hour bus drive! (But a scenic one each time I woke up!)

We did the usual get to the terminal, check the baggage, get the eats, get the drinks routine, and we were on. Anything unusual go on in between that? Not one bit ! πŸ™‚ On the way there, we saw “The Last King of Scotland”, among other forgettable movies, lol.

Arriving at the hostel in the evening was great as this HOSTEL was an absolute best pick, Don Nino. Review below when you click the link, but trust me, this is reasonable, the hostel part of it is WORTH it! – cheap and relaxing, and I could go on and on.

Restaurants were AWESOME, and the first night we were on top of the roof with fireworks an the best Italian food I had in awhile, the Mezzaluna! πŸ™‚

The fireworks celebrating Mexican Independence Day were great, and I received my first taste of carbonated water with lemon – delicious! πŸ™‚ I loved the rooftop and this was like a welcome to Oaxaca evening! We were able to catch our first glimpses of Oaxaca at night and realized the colonial aspects of this town definitely set it apart!

There is so much more to report on this trip, wow. I will take me awhile, but also go to the Important Bits of Info tab on this blog, and you will see direct links to the restaurants, the sites, all things you need to check out if you go…:)

AWESOME Hostel we stayed at, this is the place you want to stay for a cheap price and a GREAT all around place to stay, (Read the Reviews) Hostel Don Nino.

Thank goodness the hostel was comfortable as the first night we were dragging as the traveling caught up to us after a delicious Italian pizza and food caught up to us!

Morning of Friday surprised us with a delicious breakfast. The OJ was FRESH, the toast, eggs, and fruit overall beat any continental breakfast you could have at any restaurant! We were picked up outside the hostel and began our tour, first stop the mural of Benito Juarez. Awesome is he became educated from working under a bookbinder then went on to lead Mexico, the mural shows his life…

We moved on towards Mitla, but just before reaching Mitla we first came to what is known as perhaps the LARGEST tree and oldest, in the world!

Pictures do not do it justice, (2000 years old and the trunk was larger than most buildings!) but it was amazing as well as the colonial square surrounding this area.

After we toured this plaza, we were off to an authentic rug maker family. They showed us the process of gathering fruits and plants to make the dyes for the rugs, the loom process, and the rugs they had made in their family. Amazing! I bought one! I chose a rug that contained colors representing Mexico, overall this was my first bargaining situation, so I was able to discuss a price from 3000 pesos down to 1950 pesos, so I could have done better maybe but overall I was pleased I could actually learn how to bargain down. I also found out this location allowed stays overnight for 150 pesos where you learn how to make the rugs as well, definitely a come back location!

We traveled next to an original Mezcal production plant. They showed us how the Mezcal plant is cut, cooked, and processed down to the liquid that becomes Mezcal. They were notorious for samples and I knew that I needed to back off as my system would revisit Montezuma! However, they have this taste that resembles coffee, and fruit, crazy! Amazing to actually see this distillation process!

We ate at a good buffet nearby, then off to the oldest Zapotec structure in Mitla,

…this was my first tastes of ruins that are still preserved and existing. There is no way I can explain all the pictures in one section, but the overall view was amazing, and we did our share of climbing in and out of passageways. Seeing the mosaics, the tomb passages and going through them, and just taking in the view was breathtaking to say the LEAST.

We visited the local market, but not done yet!

We visited maybe the most beautiful Hot Springs/Hierve el Agua, we actually got in and swam too, and wow, the view was surreal! After all this we started back on our way to our hostel.

We were able to come back after a PACKED day, and then we wandered down to find another good place to eat in the evening. We asked a local resident and they suggested
Restaurante Catedral, wow. WHAT a PLACE! I had two desserts because it was just incredible! We were treated to fireworks due to an open roof overhead celebrating Independence Day. Wow, magical night! We wandered the streets on the way back, and were thankful to have seen so many great sights! Was it Friday already, time was zooming!

Saturday I woke up early to take in the sights of the courtyard/park outside of the hostel, wow. You will need to see my facebook account to see the pics we took of just the military, officials kicking off Independence Day, as well as group meeting to exercise, children, everyone made use of this beautiful park, it was nice to see so many different groups in a beautiful area!

Then, later in the morn, we wandered on our own to find a bus to Monte Alban, the epicenter of the Zapotec society. When we did arrive, wow. Amazing, this was a fortified view on top of a mountain, and more breathtaking than Mitla, and I thought that was impressive!

The surrounding view would take your breath away, and the steep temples that remained probably prepared us for the beauty we would see in the Aztec artifacts one day!

We spent at least 2 hours here taking it all in, then we came back to check out the markets! WOW! We found market #100 that had Moli (hot hot hot) as well as rugs, clothing, pottery, CHOCOLATE! – DELICIOUS chocolate making store (Mayodomo) and the milkshakes! YES! My first one since being here!

There is more so I will need to take a break and come back to this session of our adventure!

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About Harry Brake

Employee of ASF in Mexico City, Librarian, Media crazy! :)
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