“These paintings say Mexico is an ancient thing that will still go on forever telling its own story in slabs of color leaves and fruits and proud naked Indians in a history without shame. Their great city of Tenochtitlan is still here beneath our shoes and history was always just like today full of markets and wanting.”
~ Barbara Kingsolver
Sincere apologies to you, my sporadic and few readers. I haven’t posted in several weeks as I’ve been so busy what with missing flights and reuniting with international amigos, but I’ve found myself with several hours to write as I sit on the Greyhound to San Francisco. It was a last minute decision to come here but I decided to splurge, do some touristing for one day and also visit the weird and wonderful Alcatraz. I’m excited for that. Then I’ll head back to LA for two days before commencing the long journey back home, down under.
So after Mexico City…
I travelled with three girls from school to Puebla, Oaxaca City and the immensely touristy beach town of Puerto Escondido. A big highlight for me was the Hierve El Agua (which means boil the water) in the mountains outside of Oaxaca City, otherwise known as nature’s infinity pool. We rode in the back of a pick up truck with a bunch of families on the hot dusty trail, feeling very out of place and foreign, when the truck got a flat tyre on the side of an empty mountain. After much ado and a brief photo shoot whilst we waited for a kind soul to change the flat (the driver did not know how!) we finally made it and boy was it worth it – the view was magnificent and something I will never forget. The water could not be far from boiling, it was in fact freezing, but we swam nonetheless and one of the girls ran into a friend from Australia, so we had a nice little Australian gathering over a can of pringles.
We played a lot of soccer in the streets of Oaxaca which led to me developing a new love for the game. I first got into the game when I worked at a summer camp in Germany and of course, all the kids wanted to do in their free time was play soccer, so I had to flail around the field too and pretend I knew what was going on – but after Mexico I truly love it. It brought our group together even though we had been spending so much time together, everybody was always keen for a game and it also allowed us to interact with the locals even though our Spanish was pretty dismal at this point! We spent a lot of time at the beautiful artisan markets in Oax., and bought many beautiful blankets; some silly tshirts and several bracelets (I’m still wearing them) then headed to the beach at P.E, where we were to spend Christmas. We ate breakfast on the sand every day; got a lot of reading and drunk a lot of peanut mezcal (it’s like tequila but not from Tequila – like champagne that’s not from Champagne). On Christmas Day we ate an abundance of fish tacos, drank many beers indeed and made new friends from Germany.
We spent 5 days in Puerto, where we swam all day in the clear water shared with many tourists and a few stingrays… and we walked home along the sand every night with full bellies and happy hearts. Aside from my usual travel staple of falafel kebabs I also had my fair share of ice cold Coconuts which were around $1 a pop! Puerto is a beautiful place but I have heard that other beach towns are less populated with tourists and thus, a little more authentic. This was my final stop in Mexico as I had a small amount of time and an even smaller budget – so I hope I can get back there soon to see more of this beautiful country and hopefully with some more Spanish under my belt.
A final note about Mexico: being a vegetarian is very hard there. It’s time for a nap – this bus ride is taking it all out of me.
Stay tuned for my border crossing, missed flight and California road trip. X