Mon 13 Apr 2009 - Fri 24 Apr 2009 35 °C
Tuesday 14 April 2009
After a 10 hour bus ride I arrived in Oaxaca. I went to get some breakfast and as I was tired I let my guard slip and ordered Mole (not the animal although this might of tasted better!). This is a chocolate sauce served with most food. I had it on a baguette that also had chorizo and cheese on it. And to make matters worse the chocolate sauce contains beans! Yuk, that is not right. No wonder they eat cow's tongues and brains, anything is better than mole.
Thursday 16 April 2009
Took the short bus ride up to the Monte Alban ruins. These are only a few miles from the city and are up on the hills. The view in the distance was too hazy (just looked it up in Spanish and it's "Neblinoso" that's my new word for today sorted) to get a good picture of the mountain range in the distance but you can see most of the city below. It was very relaxing to sit there for a while.
As for the ruins, they were impressive. These were at their most populated times during the Zapotec era of around 500BC to 500AD. They had a ball court so I guess they were my kind of tribe.
Friday 17 April 2009
Done a day tour of some of the surrounding places of Oaxaca. First stop was at Santa María del Tule. Here there is a tree that is the widest in the world. It looked like it was actually a few trees all joined together so I looked it up on wikipedia. Someone else must of thought the same as wiki says DNA test's were taken and proved it was just one tree. DNA tests on a tree! It's true! Read for yourself if you don't believe me:
Then we visited was Teotitlan Del Valle where they make rugs and clothes out of wool using the traditional Zapotec method, the lady showing us also tried to teach us a few words of Zapotec but I have enough trouble learning Spanish.
Next on to El Mezcal where we were shown how to make the alcholic drink. It tasted really sweet, like Baileys.
Finally on to Hierve El Agua (means water boils) which is near San Lorenzo Albarradas. On the way we had to pay a couple of towns "right of access" to get through, this is a good idea for poor towns making a bit of money but the people you pay it to looked quite drunk so I'm not sure the money is being spent wisely. Any how it's like 50 pence a time so not too bad. Hierve El agua was great to see, it looks like it is caused by just a couple of tiny springs and has built up over time. There were a couple of naturally made pools on the mountain edge if you fancied a dip but I gave it a miss.
Tuesday 21 April 2009
I arrive in Palenque after a 15 hour bus ride. There were only first class buses from Oaxaca so I am not happy about spending neary £30 on it. And I had to fork out £2 on a baseball cap to stop my head from burning. I might start wearing pants for 4 days now to try and get some savings on the Laundry. At least the food is cheaper here and you get reasonable portions. I think in the other places I've visited so far the food has been overpriced for what you get, accept the cow tongue of course.
Thursday 23 April 2009
I done a day tour, the first half is spent at the Palenque ruins which are Mayan. There are plenty to see and I was going up and down steps for hours.
At one point I saw a huge Lizzard and I was chasing it to try and get a picture, it was a fast mover and when I had it cornered it turned and started chasing me.
There are also some ruins amongst the forest which was good to walk round. The trees had some kind of berry type thingy dropping from them, the old ones on the ground that had started roting smelt like cider. In one of the rooms underneath a tree I thought I saw a bat. I was still a bit on edge after the lizzard incident, ok I was terrified. I came accross another person who had a look in and confirmed there were bats in there. I took a quick foto of inside and hurried away.
In the afternoon we went to see the waterfall Misol-Ha which wasn't that impressive. Then on to Agua Azul which was impressive. The river had many cascades along it. The tour driver was the most impatient Latin American person I know, 5 minutes after the meet up deadline we departed leaving behind 2 persons who hadn't yet returned.