Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Touring The Eastern Valle Central

With Donna's help, we hired a driving tour guide today - Benito Herniendez - to show us the Easterm part of the Central Valley. Our first stop was a very large tree in the town of Santa Marie del Tule. This tree is located in a fenced-in municipal park, is at least 200 years old, possibly as much as 5000 years old, is 42 metres in diameter, and is purported to be the largest in the world. School children take turns giving an English language tour pointing out the shapes of elephants, lions, crocodiles, and turkeys in the formations in the trunk. It is a way for the children to learn other languages and also make a few pesos in the process.

Next stop was the site of ancient Zapotec ruins in Mitla. There is a town even today all around the ruins made up of mostly Zapotecs. Geometric forms related to the power of the sun and cycles of life are found everywhere in this architecture. And by transference to the builders and occupiers of these structures. A church was built right on top of it and the church itself has similare aspects to its structure. Lots of nice tourist type stalls all around selling brightly coloured toys and embroidered white cotton clothing.

Next we took a tour of a village famous for its rug weaving, Teotitlan del Valle. We were entertained in two different studios, learned a fair amount about natural wool and dyes, then bought rugs. They are beautiful in design and quality. The designs are reminiscent of the ancient civilization architecture and art. The dyes are an art in themselves. Reds from the cochineal(sp?) insect, yellows from plants, and blues from the indigo dye process. All very involved processes.

Another great lunch, this time a buffet. So far the food in Mexico has been wonderful. For me, today's highlight was a cream puff in the shape of a tiny (not really any calories) swan.

Host luego!


Blogger Kaila said...

Sounds great! Wendy's was my gourmet meal so far today. Other than having a shadow with a beard and that likes to lick me, I've been preparing for Toronto and trying to get myself all sorted out before I go. Haven't called any of the Toppings yet... hopefully this evening.

Talk to you soon!
(does host luego mean anything? or did you mean hasta luego?)

9:44 AM  

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