Before I start I just wanted to highlight one thing about Mexico. Here, I am tall. Yes you got it, I´m like a giant. It is hilarious as even the men are shorter so Mexico is now crossed off as the place I find my future husband. Bring on Guatemala.
Just to make things easier (and because I cannot be bothered) this blog entry will form of two very diverse places within the same state being Oaxaca. To start off Oaxaca is pronouced as Wahaca like the Mexcian restaurant in London. We arrived after 6hrs of watching the on-bus entertainment of Up in the Air, some horror thing which we still don´t know the name of, some alien animated cartoon and a spanish version (I think) of Snow White.
The hostel we stayed at was nice, however the receptionist was a bit blond and useless. That afternoon we headed into the centre of town or as they call it Zocalo. The centre was full of people perhaps as Mexico was celebrating Mother´s Day but was so nice to see old and young hanging out in one relatively small sqaure. We sat and watched an orchestra perform as locals danced and weirdos stretchted their hands up to the sky for no reason whatsoever. Hilarious though. For dinner we tried the local delicacy of Tlayudas which in fact are just hard open tortillas filled with frijoles, avocado and cheese or for those meat eaters other varieties of meat. Really tasty though. Also, perhaps as it was Mother´s Day and they had left-overs or perhaps they thought that Katie and I had bore our own children, we each received a rose from the waiter.
The next day we spent wandering around the town, looking around the local markets and taking in all the city had to offer. Even tried some esquites for dinner (we felt beer wouldn´t suffice after all) which is sweetcorn served in boling water with garlic, chilli and cheese. Totally yum and totally cheap. The only streetfood we have dared to try so far.
On our final full day in the city we took the local bus to see El Tule which is the largest tree in the world. Here are some facts:-
- It has the stoutest trunk of any tree in the world.
- In 2001 it was placed on a UNESCO tentative list of World Heritage Sites.
- It is around 2000 years old.
So if ever it comes up on University Challenge you now know.
The next destination was Puerto Escondido, where the rich Mexicans vacation and expats flock to. It apparently has 330 days of sunshine a year so thought that was a good place to head to. We arrived after, and I kid you not, 6.5 hours of hairpin bends. Or curvas cerradas as we learnt on the way there. To top it all we had a driver who, as one guy in the van put it, un talento especial at driving. In that he overtook on blind corners, sped up when arriving at the bends and generally took a very relaxed approach with the oncoming traffic on the miniscual and pot-holed roads. Nice. It took a while to see straight again (normally an effect of too much rum, but not this time). The hostel seemed nice at first, however after I was bitten about a thousand times I came to realise that it wasn´t just the atmosphere but also the hostel. What first seemed to be a chilled and funky hippyish hang out turned out to be a scanky, old and rather disgusting place to stay. Luckily I didn´t peal back the sheet to look at the mattress until after we packed to leave. Unfortunately I still have the bed bug bites as a not-so-nice memory. Anyway I digress.
The beach was lovely and the sea was really warm. I think that was my first time swimming in the Pacific Ocean. Jo and I dipped our toes in once in Peru but it was too bloody cold to swim. We spent the two days lazing in the very hot and slightly oppresive heat but I enjoyed it.
So that was a short but sweet visit to the sea as now it is back to another town, San Cristobal de las casas.
Ciao for now xx