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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Oh, Oaxaca! (PART I)

The Zocolo in Oaxaca is festive day and night!
"But I really, really, really want to go," I told Jim for the umpteenth time. "It's on my bucket list."
"Your bucket list seems to expand everywhere we go," he told me.
"No, this one was on my original bucket list and I have always wanted to go there. I want to take a cooking class and buy a rug."

Activity in the early evening

A lovely small store front
Here I go with my bucket list again, but Oaxaca really was on it. I have always wanted to visit. I love the hand painted animals, hand woven rugs and black pottery.

Beautiful baked goods

We pulled into Marina Chahue in Huatulco on Wednesday, 2/22. We opted to tie up in the canal instead of the marina because it is quite a bit cheaper and less surgy. A week costs $110 for our size boat. There is no water or electricity in the "cheap seats", but our solar panels are keeping up better than we thought.

Street scene
Right away we ran into other cruisers who had been inland to Oaxaca. Stories of the Monte Alban ruins, museums, tours to the chocolate makers, mole sauces... Jim agreed that we probably should go to Oaxaca. Yea for me! We set out several bowls of water and food for Bad Kitty, fixed it so she could go in or out, and told her not to be too bad while we were gone.

Churros - a sugary fried bread

Yummy baby!

Lots of Mexican products for sale 

LOVE these big brooms!
Bus tickets ran 370 pesos per person one way. We opted to go with more cheap seats... the van transportation that cost 150 pesos per person one way and took only 6 hours instead of the 8 hours on the bus. It wasn't as comfortable as the luxurious, movie playing, air conditioned Mexican buses, but budget is best. The winding roads through the mountains were beautiful, but we slept most of the way which was probably better since the driver was racing through every hairpin turn and the oncoming traffic was doing the same.

He is very pretty!
We had no hotel reservations and so when we arrived we spent the first two hours walking around with our Lonely Planet Guide (thank you, Ceilydh!) trying to find a hotel with vacancy. We were finally directed to Hotel Vizari that cost 650 pesos for 4 people. Not a bargain, but clean, spacious, hot water, friendly staff, and walking distance to the Zocolo.

Chocolate milk for 85 cents made with freshly mixed chocolate straight from the cacao bean


It's very fresh... very.

An old woman begging in the market can be a heart-wrenching site

The city is bustling, colorful, clean and happy. The Zocolo is a platform for entertainment, food, reunions and neighborly chit-chat - it is hopping!

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