Hammock-Sutra....such a book does exist

Trip Start Dec 21, 2009
Trip End Jul 17, 2010

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Flag of Mexico  , Central Mexico and Gulf Coast,
Wednesday, December 30, 2009

We left Puebla and moved on to Oaxaca (pronounced wah-hah-kah) with an 8 hour trip by bus. During the trip, I felt a scratch in my throat which eventually turned into a full blown cold. Tiredness, aches, pains, blocked nose and the lot. It takes a holiday for me to get sick.

So the one line description about Oaxaca is that it's supposed to be the modern art capital of Mexico while also being a nice melting pot for handicrafts across a few different indigenous groups. I don’t really get modern art and we’re very early into a 7 month trip so buying handicrafts to cart around is also off the agenda.

We arrive at the hotel to find out that we don’t have an ensuite, the bathroom and toilet are the same room and we have to share it with at least another 8 people. We’re offered upgrades to rooms that have ensuites for an extra A$50 per night (and we’re staying here for 2 nights). Now when the room that we’re in costs in the vicinity of A$25-30, paying nearly double that again for a bathroom just didn’t really make sense, so we had to bear it. On the plus side, another couple took the upgrade which meant that we only had to share the bathroom/toilet with 6 people. Yay....a consolation prize.

We left the hotel and went for a walk around Oaxaca and grabbed some lunch. There is a beautiful central street that’s blocked off from cars where we saw the most tourists we’ve seen to date. Of course with the tourists came the peddlers. For anyone who watches the Simpsons, the episode when Scorpio mentions a hammock district, well, I’ve found the real life one. In fact, I think Mexico is the hammock nation. Apparently there’s a book here called Hammock-Sutra and whole families are conceived in the contraptions.

Getting back on track, after lunch we went to the monastery that adjoins Inglesia Santo Domingo church which is the Museum of Oaxacan Cultures. It’s set in an old monastery and each room houses a separate display taking you back through ancient artefacts into the Spanish era. After walking around there we also checked out the church next door. More nice church stuff in here. Took plenty of pictures. A quick trip to the central square which was packed with people getting ready for the New Year’s festivities and enjoying the holidays then it was back to our hotel.

I had a torrid night’s sleep and woke up feeling like crap. We were due to go see some ruins but I bailed out to get more sleep and rest. There were plenty of other ruins coming up and I was also in a race to get rid of this cold and is effects before getting in a dive at Playa Del Carmen. We really want to get a refresher dive in before heading to the Blue Hole in Belize for a dive there.

Skip ahead a few boring hours and we spent New Year’s even in the main square with the locals. Our Spanish tour leader gave us each 12 grapes and we had to eat them in the last 12 seconds of the old year while counting down. It’s supposed to signify the 12 months of a year and I think it’s meant to either celebrate the 12 months that have passed or the 12 months that are coming. By that stage, I was a few drinks into the night so you will forgive me any inaccuracies.

The next day was a tour around to see some textiles, had a hike around a stalactite that sort of looks like a waterfall, more ruins and learnt how they made Mezcal, a drink made from a cactus that is famous in this region and famous for having the worm in the bottom of the bottle. It was fun going for a long hike and getting some fresh air in the country. Mountain scenery was stunning. It was back to the hotel in the evening for some food before boarding a night bus for San Cristobal de las Casas. Nothing like a 13 hour bus ride at the end of a long day. The first half it was hotter than a summer’s day in hell then the second half it was a like a freezer as our sweat from the first half turned into icicles.

Geek Peek: The Nikon D90 is a truly awesome camera. I am completely in love with it. It is performing extremely well and the bulk of the photos are being captured with it. Unfortunately I have to compress down the images so that they upload to the blog easily but if you were looking at these images here pre-processing, you’ll know why I’m in love. Thanks to my mate Andre at work for his advice on lenses and Adobe Lightroom. It’s fitted with a Sigma 24-70mm lens with an aperture of f2.4 which is just stunning. The battery goes on forever and we’ve got a Tamrac Velocity 7x sling back which goes with me everywhere. More info available if you want o message me about it, but it’s too boring for everyone else to listen to me going on about it and besides Nic would probably roll her eyes and delete it all out when she edits the blog.

Now, if only I could take a picture of the Nikon with the Nikon itself so that it can show itself off by using itself......it's a circular reference, I know.
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Aaron on

I'd gladly pay double that price in the STATES! for a room......with a bathroom.

Andre on

I'm glad the camera set up is working well for you. The photos look really awesome, I'm impressed! I might have to upgrade my camera next time we go on a trip too... hopefully Canon's equal is comparably good to your Nikon. Keep up the good work!


JLi on

Hi Col,

If you get a chance somewhere during your busy journey, take Nicole to a cinema to watch James Cameron's new movie "Avatar", there is a whole new world you shouldn't miss.

Aza on

Mmm grasshopppers... still I'd be concerned about insecticides those grasshoppers have ingested... Or did they have an organic stamp of approval? I can imagine Monsanto selling dodgy chemicals to 3rd world countries.

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