Into the hills

Trip Start May 07, 2012
Trip End May 27, 2012

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Where I stayed
Hostal de la Noria Oaxaca
Read my review - 5/5 stars
What I did

Flag of Mexico  , Central Mexico and Gulf Coast,
Saturday, May 12, 2012

Saturday 13th May 2012.        Into the hills

Monte Alban – Olmec  500bc – Mixla  -  then Zapotec

We are really looking forward to this trip today Monte Alban is located 9km west of Oaxaca and is the site of some massive Zapotecan temples which are perched on a hilltop with magnificent views so let's hope the low cloud lifts and we have another great day. This is said to be one of the most spectacular archeological sites in the country, The ruins sit on top of an artificially leveled plateau and is believed that it came to prominence as a Zapotec economic centre for nearly 1000 years from it’s foundation around 500BC to it’s demise between 500 – 800AD. At it’s peak from 100BC to 200AD this vast city dominated much of the Oaxacan  highlands and is believed to have been home to around 15,000 to 20,000 Zapotecans.  The actual name Monte Alban was not it’s original Zapotecan name this is still unknown.

Just as we began to think we were Billy No-mates as every trip so far we’ve been on our own today made a nice change with 10 adults and 2 small children. One couple from Japan, one from Russia, a family from Spain plus an Indian couple Adam and Poli who now live in Dubai and will also be on our flight in the morning back to Mexico City, and on to Tuxla, we then have a private  transfer to San Cristobal de las Casas not sure where there staying but you never know we may even be in the same hotel. Let’s hope the pickups there this time.

Today’s trip went off well, we were picked up on time and taken to the main Office where we transferred into two groups then off we went. The little girl with the  family from Spain was called Emma just like our little treasure back at home, except she didn’t talk as much but then she was a lot younger.

Monte Alban didn’t disappoint, it was a large complex built after the Zapotecs somehow managed to cut off the top a mountain, flatten it and then built a city on the top. I stands at 1315ft above the Oaxaca valley and at first all the water would have been carried up from the bottom. Unbelievable.

After being warned to take a jumper it was a really hot day with the temperature reaching 95 degrees at one point, a bit too hot for me but I did at least get a bit of a tan. Unfortunately due to the heat the views of the city were not that good.

After talks by the guide we had an hour on our own to look around. Got back to our hotel at 2.15pm for a nice cold shower for me and a change of cloths. We then decided to go to Aero-Mexico office to print off our boarding cards for the morning which was a waste of time but the hotel sorted them out for us when we got back so we came back to the room, repacked the cases and are now ready for the next step of our journey. After leaving Aero-Mexico office we decided to have lunch in the Zocola and just as we finished lunch there was a few drops of rain, not again we thought so hurried back to the hotel. They must be expecting rain again later as they have already covered the patio. Our decision was a good one as it’s now 5pm and it’s raining hard again.

We leave the hotel at 7.45am which means we will have time for breakfast before we hit  the road to the airport for our flight back to Mexico City and on to Tuxla in the afternoon.  
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Judi on

You're certainly keeping busy, sounds very interesting. Hope you bought lots of goodies from the markets

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