Trip Start Sep 28, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Mexico  , Central Mexico and Gulf Coast,
Saturday, October 15, 2011

We're out for 1am and an exciting day is planned as we head out to the Myan ruins of Monte Alban. The ruins have been here for thousands of years, cut out of the top of a mountain.  I have been looking forward to seeing these sights since leaving home.  Winding up the mountain road, I gain a sense that the rally has just begun and the trip really starts here.

The ruins are simply stunning.  You cannot imagine how these people, by all accounts very small in stature, managed to crack open this mountain like an egg and build the structures before me with the rock.  It’s enormous.  Its grandeur and power you can almost taste on the air, blustering around the vast open green spaces and the massive stone steps, leading to remnants of temples.  It is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen, and this is only the beginning. 

It is quite an effort to climb the towering stone blocks which have become the signature of such archeological sights.  You can’t help but wonder how such little people managed it.  The views at the top are well worth the climb, and it feels like you can literally touch the sky if you just reach up high enough.  The shutter button on my camera never stops clicking, but I make sure I spend time quietly contemplating just about everything.  Standing among these stones, it makes you numb with awe and wonder, and although they are silent, you become lost in the vastness of life.

I am disappointed to see the guide finally tell myself and Murray that our time is up and the sight is closing for the day.  I could quite happily spend the evening here, capturing as much as possible as the light changes.  I wish I could see it at sunrise or sunset.  Perhaps I’ll save that for another day.

The team heads back into Oxaca to see the city.  There is a European feel to the centre, with its many churches, colourful stone buildings with balconies, and a beautiful leafy square in the middle.  We are lucky enough to see a mexican wedding in the cathedral, and spend some time drinking coffee in the open air; among street vendors, balloons, fireworks and spanish guitars.

Some bad news awaits us as we return to camp.  Peter’s father had just passed away.  It is really upsetting to hear, but we are thankful that he managed to get home to be with his family.  I send my condolences and support, but regardless of my own experience with my dad, there really is little you can say.  The team raises a glass at the end of the day.

We are due to be up early in the morning, but as ever the promise of a party with a load of Australians I don’t know is too much temptation to turn down.  Everyone decides to call it a night and stay in the hostel, but I hit the town and find some wonderful bars and clubs.  The evening does not disappoint.
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Travis on

I'm a little shocked that the guide didn't bother to tell you the Monte Alban was occupied by Zapotecs, NOT Mayans. You're in completely the wrong part of the country for Mayan ruins.

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