Chocolate and Grasshoppers for Dinner in Oaxaca

Trip Start Dec 08, 2004
Trip End Dec 07, 2005

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Saturday, January 15, 2005

Hola Amigos,

We decided to move out of Guadalajara, after another optician letting us down, at least we managed to get a couple of months worth of contact lenses for tash, so she can see again sin glasses. We decided not to risk more promises of Manyana (tomorrow by definition) and just move down south, to try and make up for some lost time hunting for contacts!

We are now in Oaxaca (Wah-HAH-kah) in the south of Mexico. The journey down took us 18 hours and 2 buses, the first like an freezer on springs (see previous entry), and the second like an oven on springs! Mainly due to us having the last seats, right at the back of the bus!

The scenery from Mexico to Oaxaca was amazing, with mountains, volcanoes, plateaus, valleys and beautiful forests.

Oaxaca is much different to the other cities we have been to, there is a much larger indigenous population, and no high rise buildings due a series of earthquakes, throughout its history. 70% of the city was destroyed 30 years ago, in the last big quake.

We´ve found a nice little hostal, called Hostal Santa Isabel, its a very laid back place with mostly spanish speaking bohemian travellers.

Last night we ate pig face tacos or chicharron as its known here. Its literally a whole pig face, chopped up and fried, sounds disgusting but tastes fantastic! We also tried the local especiality, hot chocolate with sweet roll, which was muy bien! Decided to pass on the chapulines which are fried grasshoppers with chili powder, onion and garlic, high in protein and supposed to be good with a squeeze of lime, maybe manyana!

Tonight we are going to cook our own food in the market. You choose the meat you want to cook, along with chilies, onions and whatever else you fancy, and then you BBQ it on the hot coals. Then help yourself to Tortillas and all the sauces/moles (description below) and tuck in on the wooden benches that line the sides of the market.

Mole Negro: The monarch of Oaxacan moles, sometimes called just mole oaxaqueno - a dark, spicy, slightly sweet sauce made with many ingredients including chilies, bananas, chocolate, pepper and cinnamon; usually served with chicken

Were hoping to start a spanish course on Monday, broken Gringlish and sign language is getting less effective the further we travel south!

We will probably be here for at least a week for the course. We also want to take some day trips out to the surrounding villages in the Valleys around the city, which are strongly indigenous still.

Will post some photos soon.

Love to all
Keith and Tasha
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