Oaxaca is different all together

Trip Start Sep 01, 2007
Trip End Sep 10, 2008

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Flag of Mexico  ,
Monday, September 24, 2007

leaving PV was a sticky affair. it was hot and humid already in the morning and we had our packs on.  we decided to try the local bus system.   holy crap.  itīs a good thing we have some cushion on our behinds!!!  the crazed bus driver was flying down the streets at a breakneck pace hitting, it seemed, every pothole possible----each of which would launch us airborne out of our seats with laughter.  no animals on the bus though.

we got on the bus to guadalajara, which was uneventful considering the morning.  when we arrived, we had a difficult time figuring out which bus to then take to the center of town. but we finally made it with the help of some people at the station and on the bus. apparently we looked pretty confused. after checking in to the hostel, we walked around the plaza and got some photos of the historical district .

the next morning we reversed the process to the station and got on a bus to mexico city.   this being a long ride, we splurged on a first class bus.  primera plus is the line to take, they have great buses and service.   arriving to mexico city is impressive in both size and pollution.   28 million people in one valley.   at the bus station, we purchased a map of mexico city and opened this huge thing in the middle of the bus station.  it took about 30 minutes just to find where we were at, let alone where we need to go.   good thing i have been doing those orienteering races!  anyway, once we got over that, the subway system was really easy to navigate and cheap too---$0.20 per person for all the riding you need.  we arrived in the historical center of the city where the plaza and the huge mexican flag flies.   as we emerged we were nearly overwhelmed with the sights.   the plaza was full of vendors, musicians, aztec dancers, a live concert and everyone off work for friday night.  

a word about the hosteling international location in mexico city:
if drinking and smoking all night long are your thing, this is the place to be. 
if not, like jason and i, you will need lots of sighs, patience and some industrial strength ear plugs.   not only that but the elevator, laundry and internet were all broken and the doors donīt really work well.  apparently, the staff are so busy socializing that they donīt maintain anything.   oh well

the next day we took a bus to the great pyramids (teotithuacan?).  having been to chichen itza, coba, and tulum, we can honestly say that this place is impressive.  the complex is huge and the pyramids are enormous.   the place crawls with humans---both gawking and hawking. 

when we returned to the hostel, we had our first mishap.   we were rushing to go out for some food---we all know how irene gets when she is hungry---and each of us locked our lockers thinking the other had the keys.   nope.  BOTH SETS of keys were now locked in our lockers.   jason finally had to break his lock with a frying pan from the kitchen.  needless to say, this did wonders for our moods.  

in the morning we went around the square looking for 2 stamps.  just 2.  hmm.  one would not think this difficult. but i couldnīt remember the word for stamps.   the book said estampe as in the verb to stamp something.  this is not it.   anyway, we walked all over the square and asked a bunch of people who said there was a post office "over there" that we never found.   they are called "timbres" by the way.  and i still donīt have any.

we got on the subway back to the bus station to find that we had missed the early bus and the next one to oaxaca was in 4 hours!!!  goodie.   when one sits in the bus station, you get hit up from beggars alot.    then we got on the bus to oaxaca which promptly hit traffic.  it took over an hour and half to get out of mexico city--a testament both to its size and amount of people in it.   when we got out of the city, the landscape was really interesting and changing.  we saw the volcano near the city, saguaro cactus, pine forest, canyons, high mountain passes, and plenty of road work traffic stops.

though it has only been a week since we wrote, it seems like ages.   we have already lost track of time.   we are now here in oaxaca taking a day off to do some laundry and stuff.   so far, oaxaca seems different all together.  not touristy like PV.  not european or trendy like guadalajara.  not party central like mexico city.  it seems-----mexican.  who knew it would take so long to find it?  the streets are narrow and there arenīt stalls all over the streets.  people donīt seem to be interested in tourists, just getting up at 6 am and getting on with the day.   we know it was 6 am because the colossal church bell gonged itself silly right outside our window this am and then again at 7 after we fell back asleep.   the shower is our first "suicide shower" so named for the electric water heater attached to the hose and the bathrooms are outdoors on the roof.   otherwise, just like normal.

our next set of adventures include going to guatemala.  we think it will be quite a bit different than mexico.  but i think we have had a good warm up so far.  photos to come when we can find a computer that cooperates with us. 
we are safe, unscathed, and healthy.   hugs, irene and jason
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pretzelytigger on

Irene and Jason,
I am sad that we didn't get to meet up in SF. Glad to hear that you are traveling at great speed and having lots of fun and adventures too! So...to make up for the fact that we didn't see each other in SF.. here's something---go to this restaurant called GIRASOL (means sunflower). eat there. sing karaoke there. then tell the owner(whose name I forgot) that you are related to Felicia and Leisette, the two women from the US that he put in touch with the private car to Mitla and to Monte Alban last summer. The driver is a very cool guy and will drive you two wherever you want to go for a very VERY reasonable rate. his gf is a journalist and sometimes she comes along for the ride. I think the driver's name is David (or maybe that was the owner). anyways, have fun in oaxaca. must eat taso and tlayudas (big tostadas, if you want veggie just ask) and eat cheese there. pass on the grasshoppers unless they are the salted ones without chile!! love ya,leisette

konatoni on

We arrived in Kona a few hours before Adele & Bert.. then picked them up and fed them. We were all wasted from all the packing and travel. (Glad we're not roughing it across Mexico right now! HAHAHA)

Just want to say 'Buenos Dias' and let you know we're hanging on your every word. Good job with the travelog so far! Too bad about the theft. Oh well... Sh*t happens and you weren't injured.

Via con dios!

XO, Toni & Mike

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