*For some reason this was by far my most read blog on my travelblog, with well over double the views of all the others! I have no idea why!*
¡Hola! I’m in Puerto Escondido down on the Pacific coast, but this evening heading back inland a long way all the way to San Cristobal de las Casas.
(Firstly a quick thank you for all the comments, and to all my subscribers. It’s nice to know I’m not just talking to myself, as I do enough of that out here anyway.)
The last few days in Oaxaca were really good. One I went with a tour group to visit a lot of the local sites, and saw Mitla, an old ruin that means the Temple of the Dead in Zapotec, one of the local dialects. To be honest, pretty boring, not really that much to see but were some nice buildings.
Alas onwards, and we saw a nice Zapotec woman who told us how they make tapete (rugs), and went on a little circuit of their little house which doubled as a factory. We also went to a mezcal factory: mezcal is a drink similar to tequila that everyone drinks in Oaxaca state. I think it’s more of a home brew type tequila as they’re not allowed to call it tequila unless it comes from Tequila and is made in a certain way. We had some free samples, and it tastes like tequila, but a little more smokey. Very nice though.
And finalmente we went to a place called Hierve de Agua deep in the valleys, which apparently literally means Boiling Water. This place is so called because it has several natural springs, which bubble to give the effect of boiling water. Also there were mineral deposits that look like waterfalls where they’ve cascaded over the side of the valley to great natural beauty.
The next day I saw Monte Alban, which is like a Mexican equivalent of the forum Romanum in Rome, and well worth a look. I think it was from the Mayans (though possibly the Zapotecs), and the ruins of the whole plaza still pretty much remain, including the temples and bits with lots of big steps on it. As the name suggests, it was on the top of a big hill and it was absolutely BOILING
that from the TV show Coupling), being shdaim (or however it’s spelt), which is Hebrew for ‘breasts’. Naturally, in my mind once they said they spoke Hebrew, was just shdaim, shdaim, shdaim, which coupled with trying not to look at their shdaim, made conversation at least a little difficult.
I have to admit, that looking at the available hostels on hostelbookers I thought it was gonna be a nightmare, so only booked to stay one night before heading off again somewhere else. I got a map of the town from the bus station and sought out to find the hostel I’d booked, and lo and behold it was at the end of a dirt track in the middle of nowhere. I had actually turned round, given up and thought I’d go and find another one somewhere else in town when some guy on a moped pulls over to talk to me. My first thoughts were “nutjob” – the bastard turned out to be the owner of the hostel I was avoiding, so I had no choice then but to turn round and go taste that bitter pill of self-loathe at not thinking quick enough to say I was going somewhere else.
I spent the morning down on the lovely tropical beaches (not wishing to rub it in!) and got burnt and bitten to pieces. Upon my return to the hostel, some people had actually got up, and I met my first English people on the trip! Them and some Aussies had been at the hostel for over a week or so, and seemed like genuinely good people so I was a bit annoyed at myself at having been so judgemental at booking only one night. That passed when I found they were all planning on leaving the next day as well anyway.
That evening, we went to one of the longest beaches I’ve ever seen, and released some newborn turtles into the wild! Inspiring stuff. They’d only hatched about half hour previous when the guys brought them to us in buckets to put them on the beach, have a little run towards the water and wait for the sea to sweep them away. There were some who really went for it and were about 10m away by the time the waves came, and there were some little runts who obviously didn’t care about survival and just sat there slapping the sand with one flipper. Apparently only 1 in 1000 will survive, which seemed a bit extreme, but hey thats life.
Had another morning on the beach today, and am now just sitting around waiting for my bus this evening. Have about 4 hours to kill, then a 13 hour journey. And I can tell it’s just gonna fly by.