Monday, November 28, 2011

Don't Puke on the Bus!

We are now in Oaxaca. First, let me tell you how we got here. We took a bus from Zihuatanejo to Acapulco, first class all the way. We had a couple hours to kill in Acapulco and the bus station isn't really in any particularly special place, but it was night time and we couldn't hit up the beach, so we wandered around and found a taco place. We had five tacos each (they were very small) and shared a refresco. To our surprise they were running some sort of promotion so our dinner was only 32 pesos, less than $2.50, and quite tasty. We then took the semi-directo overnight bus to Puerto Escondido where we caught a "suburban" which was basically a big 15 person van for the seven hour trek through the mountains to Oaxaca. This was an EXTREMELY windy road. I don't really suffer from motion sickness, but there were times when the repeated warning signs of curva peligrosa and camino sinuoso made me less than thrilled. Not to mention the fact that two locals, who got on the bus halfway up the mountain, and who are somewhat frequent travelers of this route, vomited for about two hours while we were driving. Luckily they came prepared with their own barf bags as the suburban did not provide them. The driver's reaction was exceptional, as he heard them, he would look back, roll down the window, and not even think about slowing down. The local sitting behind me really got a kick out of the suffering of our fellow riders. I gave them what was left in my water bottle when they got off in Miahuatlan. Luckily, we made it to Oaxaca without incident. (Sarah got the coveted front seat next to the driver with fresh air in her face - or she may not have survived!)

Yesterday, we arrived and hunted around for hotels for a little while. We decided on hotel Maria Teresa which seemed to be a good value, however we encountered three minor issues. The first was that the Internet didn't work, the second was quantity of cucarachas living with us, but what was really problematic was the bell that went off every time someone came or left the hotel. This woke us up repeatedly last night. We decided to move elsewhere this morning. After we checked in last night we wandered to the zocalo where there were two separate concerts going on as well as what was called a puppet show, but seemed to be acted by people. Possibly I misunderstood the puppet part. We had dinner which a light dinner, which consisted of guacamole and chapulines. Chapulines are grasshoppers. Yes, we ate a bowl of grasshoppers with peppers and onions. They were quite tasty.

This morning, after we found a new hostel, which so far seems fine, we had a quick breakfast of champurrada (a hot chocolate drink) and a tamale in a bolillo, sort of a tamale torta. We then embarked on a guided tour of some local sights. We went to Monte Alban, a series of pyramids, tombs, and a place where they played ball which was sort of a sunken soccer field with stone bleachers and goals. These were constructed about 2500 to 1900 years ago by Zapotecs. We then went to an Alebrijes woodshop. Alebrijes are a local type of carving with very bright colors painted on them. Some were fairly simple, skulls, small guitars, etc. Some were very intricate, two headed dragons with lizards climbing up their necks, really anything the artist can imagine. After that we went to a church without a roof, basically abandoned during construction because the church in Oaxaca proper was more popular. We had a buffet lunch where we had all seven different types of Oaxacan mole, a mezcal mousse, some more chapulines, and a variety of other local foods. Last we went to alfareria doña rosa where they make pots out of black clay, but it looks so smooth it could almost be polished metal. They also make a variety of different animal shapes, geometric shapes, and other clay trinkets. Here we are, back at our hostel, relaxing after a busy day, ready to drink some mezcal tomorrow!


  1. Oh to be with Matt and Sarah in Mexico! I just paid $9 for two small fish tacos and a diet coke!

  2. Life's tough, you're welcome to come visit anytime. The top bunk is available in our hostel...