. Soon enough we're on yet another bus headed to the ancient Zapotec city of Monte Alban. This civilization is believed to have lived here from 500BC until around 950AD and with 360 degree views it is spectacular. After a few hours exploring the ruins we head back to the city to wander round some of the markets. If you can get past the smells of the raw meat hanging everywhere (it was the chicken that almost made my stomach somersault) and into the hive of activity with colours everywhere it's fantastic. Oaxaca is known for it's textiles and many of the market vendors are passing the time with weaving, embroidering and making jewelery. A few cheap DVD purchases later of the latest blockbusters we head back to the Zocola to people watch at a café. So back at our cockroach infested pit (some call this a hotel) I'm far from happy and have Gareth running round stomping the little beggars out. As he reminds me it's only one night but I'm not taking any chances and sleep in my silk sleeping bag inner. Early hours of the morning the horrors continue with paper thin walls and some girl next door retching, get me out of here! I actually feel sorry for her, I can barely face using the bathroom. We're off to get our bus ticket out of this sess pit. On a more positive note our packs are now considerably lighter and actually have room in them after off loading more stuff. We've got a tenner on it not reaching New Zealand, it was hilarious trying to explain that no New Zealand was not part of Australia and that if she kept searching her system she would eventually come across New Zealand.
What can only be described as the worst bus trip so far (I'm sure we're in for many more adventures). We were awoken at some point as one of our fellow travelers had either eaten something dodgy or more likely to be the case, couldn't cope with the incredibly winding roads driven at a pace that would make Peter Brock proud. Unfortunately for us our seats were uncomfortably close to the loo and we could hear the full performance. Travel tip, keep your ear plugs handy at all times. We couldn't get off the bus fast enough in Oaxaca! The city instantly had a great feel to it as we trekked our way to the hotel we had been recommended. Obviously it's popular as it was full so we continued on until we found another one nearby. Wanting to make the most of the early start to the day we headed straight to one of the many chocolate shops to taste for ourselves chocolate the Oaxaca way. Mostly it's chocolate for drinking as it gets incredibly cold here in the winter but also they sell chocolate for moles (a traditional dish with chilli based sauces and a gazillion other ingredients including chocolate and nuts)