A Travellerspoint blog

Mexico (Oaxaca / Palenque)

sunny 35 °C
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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.
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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:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%81rbol_del_Tule
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Posted by Marcos92uk 12:25 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Mexico (Mexico City / Teotihuacan / Puebla)

sunny 30 °C
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The flight to Newark was pretty smooth and I even managed a few hours sleep at the airport. The flight down to Mexico was bumpier due to a child behind me banging the seat, this seems to happen to me a lot. i got my revenge though because when I got my hand luggage out after landing I accidently, honest!, banged his head. What goes around comes around kid.

Arrived in Mexico City on Tuesday 7 April, found out where Cruz Azul's Stadium was worked out a route there then decided I'd better find a hotel. Managed to find a really cheap place that was falling to bits, perfect!

After watching 90 minutes it was equal on aggregate over the two legs so I presumed there was a replay because the crowd had started leaving. I left too. I found out next day the match had extra time and penalties. The ground itself has been dug into the ground so when you enter it you begin at the top.

On the Thursday I got a bus up to the ruins at Teotihuacan, these are pre Aztec I am told. On the bus I was sat next to a Mexican girl who spoke good English. She was with two teacher friends who are from the USA but also working in Durango where she is from. So I tagged along with Sandra, Jeannine & Julia for the rest of the day. The pyramids were amazing and I got sun burnt, especially on my head. Some of the steps were steep and it was like climbing a ladder. The girls must of enjoyed my company (or pitied me) as they invited me out for a couple of day trips, we were now the four Musketeers. I couldn't do the Friday though as I had lined up a second division match.Teotihuacan_05.jpg
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Friday, got to the Aztec ground where there reserve team Socio Águila (Eagle) also play. Play behind closed doors that is. I couldn't even bribe the guards to let me stay and watch. Not fair! They did let people in for a quick tour and I met a couple of locals called Edwin & Rubens. After the tour we headed to a museum and a view of what remained of the Aztec City, which aint much. The Spanish destroyed most of it to use the bricks to build their own colonial style city, muppets! Edwin explained a lot of the history to me in Spanish but I'm sure I've understood most of what he said.

To eat cheaply you can visit a Taquería, which is like a Kebab stall. They'll eat any part of the cow here. Tongue, Brain, Heart and that's just the pieces I could recognise. I stick to Chorizo tacos.

Saturday and we four Musketeers headed to a city called Puebla. I found the city to be much better than Mexico City. I was really tempted to go back and stay there for a week. I decided to let the holy book decide, yes the football fixtures Listing! There is no games on this weekend in Puebla so I will have to return there another time. Later that night I said goodbye to the other Musketeers (not sure which one of us came up with the name, I hope it wasn't me!).
Puebla_10.jpg

Sunday and I now had to try and get two games in. The first was the Pumas playing at the Olímpico Universitario. This is the Stadium where the famous Black Panther salute was made in 1968 and the fans and players still do it today.
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The match wasn't great but the half time entertainment was. They got members of the crowd to do a mini asault course then span them round on chairs and they had to then try and score a goal. This may be the same technic used by Wales! Next off to the Estadio Aztec to watch Club Ámerica. The capacity is over 105,000 but I guess it was only half full. The match was great and so were the Corona girls
(The photo might explain better).
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Anyway I am off to Oaxaca next, hasta luego.

Posted by Marcos92uk 13:24 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

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