Tuesday, March 4, 2008


We're in Puerto Angel now but we're leaving tonight. This post is about Oaxaca where we just came from. Always a little behind...

We took a taxi to the bus station and Left San Cristobal at 10:45 pm. We read for a while and then took our zolpidem (Ambien) pills and went to sleep. I woke up about 6 am when we were on a really windy road and I started felling sick. I almost did throw up, but it finally passed. Since then we've bought some ginger and some Dramamine for the motion sickness.

Coming down into Oaxaca was pretty. There are a lot of maguey (agave) farms there and also small factories that make mescal from them. We arrived about 10 am and got a taxi to our first choice of hostels from our guide book. They only had dorms available, but they said we could leave our bags there while we looked around. We did find a few hotels for around $15, but nothing we really liked. We decided to go find our second pick from the book but when we got to where it was supposed to be nothing was there. after walking around and asking people for directions for about an hour I finally went into an internet cafe and looked up the website for the place. They had a map on the site and the book had the location wrong on its map. Another strike against The Rough Guide to Mexico. I am going to have to go on Amazon and trash it thoroughly since I bought it because of its good reviews on Amazon. We found it easily after that and decided to stay there. It's called Hostal Pochon. It was $27 for a double room with breakfast. That's a little more than we'd like to pay but part of what we like in a lodging is a space to hang out with other travelers and exchange stories and advice. We headed back to where our suitcases were but stopped for a beer and a quesadilla on the way, then took a taxi back to the hostel with our stuff. Alaine took a three hour nap while I got online finally and let our fans know we were still alive.

When Alaine got up we went downstairs and played Skip-Bo and drank beer and just had snacks for dinner because we were too tired to go out.

Chiles in the mercado
The next morning we had breakfast and then went walking around the city. We stopped at a little restaurant called El Muelle on Calle Mina and had a couple beers that came with little snacks, but we also ordered something which I forget the name of that was being made with fresh tortillas in the doorway of the restaurant. Great stuff. After that we stopped at the Mayordomo chololate store (these are all over Oaxaca). They sell raw chocolate beans and also refined chocolate. They gave us samples of chocolate milk when we walked in the door aand later samples of the freshly ground chocolate. We ended up buying just some small chocolate candies for $1. We wandered from there to the big Saturday market and bought a few things. From there we went tot the second class bus station and bought ticket for Pochutla, near Puerto Angel, for the next morning.

Oaxacan food--the chapulines are in the little piece of foil
On the way back to the hotel we stopped at the Mercado de ArtesanĂ­as and spent some more money. We think we got a good deal on two wool table runners 18" x 72" for about $36 each. Back at the hotel we had some more beer and Skip-Bo and then went out for dinner at MarĂ­a bonita, a place that servers traditional Oaxacan food, including chapulines (fried grasshoppers. We got a sampler plate that included these and Alaine tried them but I didn't care to.

"Second class" bus
The next morning after breakfast we took a taxi to the bus station and I went and bought a SIM chip for our cell phone just to make life easier for us finding hotels and such. Our bus was late and was really crummy. When we bought the tickets and chose our seats the diagram showed a toilet on the bus, but there was not one. this was not a second class bus, more like fifth class. After sulking about that for a while we enjoyed the ride. Beautiful views going through twisting mountain roads; we took Dramamine this time.

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