23.10.2014 - 04.11.2014
Mexico is amazing! I've always described Mexico as a country where everything comes together perfectly. The people are amazing, the food delicious, the country beautiful and it is so rich in history and culture. Makes for a pretty amazing experience!
Bus to Puebla which was super quick (2hrs). This town is so cute and our hotel is pretty amazing! We settled in and then took a walk around town. There are 2 main dishes here that you are supposed to try. Mole Poblano which is chicken in a chocolate and Chile sauce. It's sounds gross to me. We tried a little of the sauce and it just doesn't rock my boat. The other one is Chile en Nogado which is a capsicum stuffed with meat (yum) but then they put a walnut sauce topped with pomegranate all over it - I don't think I can do it!
Today was awesome!
We walked to the bus station from our hotel which is about 9 blocks away to catch a bus to the very colonial town of Cholula which is still in Puebla, about 30 mins away. The bus costs 60c, bargain! Cholula is best known for its Great Pyramid, with the Nuestra Señora de los Remedios sanctuary on top. We visited the The Great Pyramid of Cholula, also known as Tlachihualtepetl and the underground tunnels which was very cool. These people buried part of the pyramid to hide it from the Spaniards - clever. We then climbed a very steep hill to the Nuestra Señora de los Remedios sanctuary. From the top we had the most amazing views of 2 volcanoes (Volcan Popo and Mujer Dormiendo), the city of Cholula and out to Puebla. Breathtaking!
We finally grabbed a quick lunch at about 3 pm before heading back to Puebla.
Just got back from a bite to eat for dinner and this town is even more beautiful at night - sigh. We are so incredibly lucky.
Nuestra Señora de los Remedios sanctuary
Late start to the day. Yuri left around 11 to find a place to watch El Classico (Barcelona v Real Madrid). Barcelona lost so we won't talk about that!.
We then hit the town of Puebla to have some lunch and then take a walk around. We walked for quite a bit before stopping for coffee then walking some more.
We headed back to the hotel after that to do some planning for the rest of our time in Mexico - there are some long bus trips coming our way!
The bus ride was pretty good (about 5 hrs). We slept for a couple and then enjoyed the amazing scenery the rest of the way. Mexico truly is beautiful! We are staying at Hotel Calenda which is only a couple of blocks from the bus station so we could walk here. Our room is nice and we have a little balcony so we are happy. It was really hard to find nice, affordable accommodation as every man and his dog are heading to Oaxaca for the Day of the Dead celebrations!
After we had settled in, we took a walk into the centre of town which is super close to our hotel and so very nice! We have fallen in love with Oaxaca already!
We found an awesome place for a traditional Oaxacenan dinner with a complimentary shot of Mezcal (why not)!?!
We had a fairly easy day. Up early for a walk and some breakfast. Walk about town after that for a few hours before heading back to the hotel to do some planning...
Explored more of the city of Oaxaca today (which is so, so beautiful by the way) and booked in a couple of tours. Siesta in the afternoon and then out for dinner.
We headed out early to grab some breakfast before our tour and there was a flurry of activity happening. Altars being set up and sand sculptures (carpets) prepared. Parents had dressed their kids up for Halloween and there was a marching band. All this at 9 am, it was amazing!
The festivities have begun in Oaxaca!
Our tour was pretty amazing!
We visited El Tule (with the largest tree in the world), the Mezcal Factory, Teotitlan (where rugs are made and we purchased one), Mitla (the Zapotec Ruins) and then through a couple of little towns in the mountains to Hierva el Aqua (petrified waterfall)!
Hierve el Agua is one of only two petrified waterfalls in the world, essentially a white stalagmite that formed outside of a cave.
El Tule (2000+ years old)!
Teotitlan (where rugs are made and we purchased one)
Mitla (the Zapotec Ruins)
Hierva el Aqua (petrified waterfall)!
Walk about town in the evening. Such a flurry of activity! People dressed up, marching bands playing, altars set up, carpets created and street markets. It all makes for a pretty magical time in Oaxaca!
An altar set up in town.
Today rocked! We made our way to the ruins of Monte Albán. We decided to make our own way there instead of doing a tour which turned out to be brilliant as we got to spend hours there walking around. This place is amazing!
Monte Albán is a large pre-Columbian archaeological site. Besides being one of the earliest cities of Mesoamerica, Monte Albán's importance stems also from its role as the pre-eminent Zapotec socio-political and economic center for close to a thousand years.
We are about to head back into town to see what craziness is happening tonight. Love, love, love it here!
We headed out for breakfast and then walked and walked (I'd love to know how many kms we've clocked on this trip). We walked all about town and then headed to the market. I want to buy everything here!
Major celebrations for the Day of the Dead in Oaxaca tonight! Marching bands (who hand out free shots of Mezcal as they pass by the way), street vendors, food, and hundreds of people dressed up! We had a blast!
In amongst all the craziness I got the most beautiful message from Corine to tell me that the gorgeous Estelle Lea had arrived safely into the world - oh joy!
We got our faces painted and had one if the best nights of our lives!
Up earlyish to have a cup of delicious Oaxacenan coffee before doing some more walking about town.
Back to the hotel in the afternoon to do some more Mexico planning before heading out to the cemetery....
El Dia de Los Muertos is all about celebrating life, not mourning it, which I love. There were food stalls and rides set up outside the cemetery! Inside was just lovely. It was lit up with candles everywhere and family members spending some time and sharing a drink with their loved ones.
After spending some time there we walked back into town for some dinner at Zandunga which was delicious. We then joined the party on the streets. So much fun!
We caught a bus out to the Tlacolula market today. A cool little town about 20 mins away from Oaxaca. After checking out the market we stopped for a delicious lunch before heading back to Oaxaca. We had coffee in town (we love the coffee here) before heading back to the hotel to chill for a bit.
We're heading back into town now for some dinner.
Oaxaca has been SO good to us! We have loved every minute here. Tomorrow we'll spend the day here before catching an overnight bus to San Cristobal de las Casas. More adventures to be had!
Very chilled out day. Quick breakfast before heading to the market to buy a few things. I think I've mentioned before that we want to buy everything here! Late lunch at El Quinque where we have been to a couple of times. The restaurant is run by a mother and her 2 sons. The Mum is El Salvadorean! Small world! Anyway the food there is delicious so check it out if you are ever in Oaxaca!
Back to the hotel to pack and then off to the bus station for an overnight bus (10.5 hrs) to San Cristóbal de las Casas!
The bus ride was ok. The first 3 hours were filled with twists and turns which made me feel a little green but I slept after that so it was all good. We arrived bright and early (7 am) and it was freezing! Stephanie (our Air bnb host) picked us up from the bus station which was lovely. Her house is amazing! We are in the guest house and she lives in a studio apartment on the same block of land. We have a full kitchen which we are super excited about and a fireplace. Note to self: need to purchase red wine to drink by the fire!
I have a feeling we are going to love it here!