Oaxaca, etc

I took six days to ride from Chalmita to Oaxaca de Juarez. Some of this was beautiful, sometimes it felt slow going. Sometimes I stopped and talked to people a while and others were pretty solitary. There is pretty strong culture of food, such that in an area you may find exactly the same offerings at almost all of the kitchens, and these offerings were relatively friendly to your non meat and cheese eater in Mexico, Morelos, and Puebla. Not so much in Oaxaca. Oaxaca is full of cheese. I got a lot of weird looks, and an occasional, if we take of the meat and cheese it will be bad (and/or not much left). Just when I was getting the hang of the names of the things that I like, they change. Sometimes the food changes, sometimes it is just called something different, whatever, this is part of moving around and should be expected is all I’m saying. 

  

You know what is hotter than the air in the afternoon as heated by the sun?

  

One of many truckloads of sugar cane to teeter by me

 

entering the state of Oaxaca.

   
 

Just thought this was pretty

 
     

Just past this town I met a Polish bike traveler

I arrived in Oaxaca Friday afternoon and eventually found the mother of someone I once sat with at breakfast in Guadalajara, a friend of the people I lived with there, who grew up here and seemed excited to connect me with his family. His brother and his wife and kids live down the street and I hung out with them some too.    

I spent much of a day exploring the archeological area of Monte Alban, one of the earliest cities on our continent I believe. There is a lot there. It is interesting to think about how peoples rise and fall and take over and reuse space. What is left behind, what is sacred, how much we can gather about the way people lived from the pieces that remain long after they have been abandoned.

  

Monday I took a mini adventure out of town. First stop, Arbol de Tule.

  

Obviously it is a giant tree.

  

Much like cloud watching, if you are looking you can find all kinds of faces, shapes, figures, animals etc. I overheard a young girl (she was official) guiding a group, pointing out sleeping babies, legs of giraffes, face of gorilla, etc.

  

The route to Hierve El Agua is pretty easy until the last bit when you have to get to the other side of this mountain. That squiggling line is my road. I walked about half of the way up, and rode my brakes coming down on the other side. There is a shuttle service, which I opted to employ coming back.

  

Hierve El Agua is a site of petrified waterfalls, mineralful springs, generally lovely spot to visit in the mountains

      

It is neat to think about how the water simultaneously cuts and builds

  

It is a pretty spectacular spot to find yourself at the end of the day.

    

I had good luck with the skies this trip. A bit cloudy for a nice sunset, then cleared up overnight so to watch the stars, then perfectly overcast again for a great sunrise. Camping at the site is $40(mx) and they pretty much just tell you to set up whereever and then leave you to it. There were three other campers, I think, but we were not a social bunch

 

I got a ride back to the highway and had an easy bike ride back into Oaxaca on Tuesday. Hung out a bit more in the city, visited a few things, hung out with the family a little, ate many things, cleaned and repacked. 

Wednesday evening I got on a bus and today I am in San Cristobal de las Casas, staying with a friend from Bike!Bike! Visited their shop this morning and cooked together in the afternoon. I feel pretty good about all this. I had been planning to ride a bit further before busing, but at first glance it made as much sense to just go here in one shot. I was feeling excited to be in a community bike shop again, to hang out with people I knew at least a little, to be in a place and not to climb mountains in the heat to see all the beautiful country in between. I cannot do everything at once, and as I have suggested to other people so often, if you are doing something for fun, and it isn’t as fun as you’d like, it is time for a change. Or something like that. Bus with bike was sufficiently easy, no hassle about boxing or nothing. 

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One Response to Oaxaca, etc

  1. Michaela says:

    Thanks for stopping by the tree- I don’t know that I would otherwise have seen it ~ sounds like good times. Teeter is an appropriate word- I have seen them.
    Cheers!
    Michaela

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