29th Nov - 1st Dec 2003.

We fell in love with Oaxaca, it was a cosmopolitan city that felt like a town, full of cobble stoned streets and chocolate. It had a leisurely pace of life, interesting markets and ace bars and nightlife.

Oaxaca is a beautiful little city in Southern Mexico. It's colourful and friendly with lots of smiling, happy locals. Apart from those at the first two hotels we went to...... needless to say we took our pesos elsewhere.

This is the town where we were first bitten by the Mezcal bug (drink similar to Tequilla).

It started in a pub called La Chucaracha (the cockroach) where we tried a number of Mescals one of which contained Scorpions that were dropped in alive with their poison adding to the taste and the intoxicating effects.

The Oaxaca market was one of those places we couldn't stay away from. It was massive, and alive with colours, smells, and the hustle and bustle of commerce. It sold everything from flowers, to fruit and veg, and hardware to pottery.

Oaxaca is famous for its chocolate and they make many different types. It's not like a Cadbury chocolate but rather a rich, dark chocolate that they make from the base ingredients to a recipe of your choice. There were lots of these boutique chocolate shops targeted at tourists with chocolate making demos and loads of give aways. Needless to say it was only on our last day that we had to buy anything to satisfy our hunger!

The ruins of Monte Alban reside on a hill 400 metres above Oaxaca City. It was occupied from 500 BC and it was thought that 25,000 Zapotec people lived here before it was abandoned around 950 AD. The abandonment is another mystery but at least it wasn't another Mayan city.... we'd been to too many of them.

We were a little ruined out before this and Claire took a little encouragement before agreeing to the trip.

The museums in Mexico are a world apart from those in Central America. They are labelled properly, the artifacts tell a cohesive story and English translations even makes regular appearances. The artifacts themselves are more impressive as they don't seem to of been looted quite so readily.

Night time shot from a brilliant museum balcony. The lovely security guard smuggled us in for free as it was nearly closing..... this made a nice change from the "It's more than my jobs worth mate" attitude that your get from most in uniform..... particularly those given some sort of small club or gun.

... Supposedly the worlds biggest Biomass is the tree in El Tule outside of Oaxaca. The tree is 58m around and 42 metres high, its over 2000 years old. We aren't sure it was worth the sweaty bus ride.

We also visited Teotitlan del Valle the most famous weaving village in Mexico. The work from here is desired all over the world. We wanted to look at the work and if we liked it we might buy some. But we were chased out of every shop by over zealous sales people with no concept of personal space.

Next Page

Region Map Previous Page