Saturday, April 01, 2006

Friday/Saturday in Oaxaco City

OK. Our flight back from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaco City was on a 14 seater, fairly new Aero Tucan flight. It was only 25 minutes and showed us that trip through the mountains from a completely different angle as you can see from Chris’ picture. Absolutely beautiful! We got to sit in the front seats and really enjoy the view. Later we went out for breakfast, did some shopping, siesta, dinner, more shopping – quite a full day.

On Friday, we joined up with Bonito again who guided us to a number of different artisan villages. It started with the big Friday market in Ocotlan. Marlene was very taken with the church where the ladies were preparing to put fresh whitewash on the walls. The market, itself was extensive. Every farmer in the whole valley appeared to be there. Vegetables, bread, fruit, meat, fowl, spices, and on and on. One whole street was devoted to dry goods. This is where the locals go for all their needs. Quite a scene!

Then we stopped in a number of places on the way back. We saw pottery sculptures in Ocotlan three houses each run by a different sister all from the same family. Apparently they started off generating religious figures for the locals. But they soon branched out to other more fanciful folk art, some would call it feminist art.

The next stop was at the wood carvers village called Tilcajete. They carve these fantastical shaped animals out of copal wood, then paint it in bright, elaborate ways. Had to buy some of this.

Next was the women’s cooperative cotton weaving institute in the village of Jalieza. Had to buy some of this too.

And finally, we stopped at the black pottery village of Coyotepec. The 85 year old matriarch gave us a wonderful demonstration of how the pots are formed. These are decorative in nature – specially polished and then only partly fired to give them a very natural shine. Not special chemicals here. And, you guessed it.. we had to buy some. Hopefully some of it gets back home without breaking.

We took our host out for dinner last night – very elegant Italian style Mexican restaurant. Half the fun was getting there hanging on to the roll bar in the back of the Hotel Azucala’s utility van. But dinner was wonderful as well.

Today, Saturday, April 1, we decided to stay an extra week.

Just kidding, we’ll be home in a few days. Today it was off to Monte Alban, the Unesco World Heritage site consisting of an extensive set of ruins of the Zapotec culture from thousands of years ago. It was and is spectacular. Our guide, Ronaldo, was very much into the spirituality of the place and how it demonstrates the oneness of human beings and the importance of nature across time and place. More good food at Los Pacos.


Blogger Kaila said...

The pictures look awesome (in the literal sense of creating awe or whatever it's supposed to mean) and it still sounds like you're having such a great trip. I get more and more jealous every time I read a post!

See you in a couple days. Me and my bum wiggling companion will be waiting.

5:19 PM  
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