Mexican Independence Day Celebrations

Trip Start Apr 12, 2011
Trip End Apr 01, 2012

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Where I stayed
Casa Angel

Flag of Mexico  , Central Mexico and Gulf Coast,
Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fully refreshed we take the long road back to Oaxaca which takes 12 hours rather than the scheduled 10 (but we really should be used to bus companies lying to us by now) and arrive at our hostel at 3.30am and wake up our dorm, I'm sure we were not popular!

The 15th is the first day of the Independence Day celebrations and so we take a walk round town to see what’s happening. Everyone seems to be setting up for the night, lights are going up, the police have closed the roads and are checking all bags, there are metal detectors for all pedestrians to walk through (they weren’t actually turned on for most the day but I’m sure it’s the thought that counts) and the military bands are practising in the main square.  We watch the bands for a while, plus it means that Jonny can get some sneaky photos of the military fully armed. This is how they stand about normally on the street but we’re not convinced taking pictures of them wouldn’t lead to trouble

We also take a wander through the local markets which sell absolutely everything, it’s interesting to see all the food on sale - we never knew that there that many types of chilli’s and see what all the sauces (moles) that Oaxaca is famous for start like.  We then head back to Zandungas for a late lunch and siesta at the hostel to set us up for the night’s celebrations.  The hostel is holding a bit of a warm up celebration with beers, mescal and tostadas on the roof terrace so we spend a couple hours up there chatting to the other guests. After a few beers and we each managed one mescal (this one wasn’t so good) we all head down to the main square.  In true Mexican style we arrive about two minutes too late for the speech from the mayor but do arrive in time for the fireworks.  A little bit too close to the fireworks as it happens and we quickly move out the way as we feel the firework debris falling on our heads – we do realise that it’s not quite going to plan when all the Mexicans start running away... but it all ends up ok.  The square is literally packed with people and it all feels a bit like the end of school term as teenagers and adults chase each other with shaving foam and the music blares out from the stages set up.  We head to a club with the hostel crew called Cafe Central, owned by a local modern artist, which is well decorated and playing jazz music – a bit different from the chaos outside.  After a couple drinks here we head to the Mezcal bar (Case de Mezcal) where we try a few different types of mescal – they vary quite a bit and price doesn’t seem to indicate a better taste.  It’s about 3am and so we follow Scottish tradition by getting some street food on the way home.  Successful Independence Day celebrations even if we were a little late for the main event!
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