Our road trip today Into Guatemala

Last night we spent the night in San Cristobal de las Casas. Duke found the place we stayed on Air B&B. Their primary advantage is that they will lock our car up for 9 days while we are in Guatemala. The accommodations were quite rustic and damp and we had to lug our bags up a gigantic hill but they worked and we had no problem being up and waiting for our van at 7:15 am this morning.

The van had a broken window and no air conditioning. After picking us up it picked up about 10 other people. The last lady was from Ireland and they had her sitting in the middle in front on a kind of jump seat with no seat belt. It didn’t look at all safe to me and I was glad when before we were out of town she said I paid for a safe trip to Guatemala and I won’t sit in this seat. There was an argument between the driver and the Chilean woman sitting next to her who spoke for the irish young woman and finally the driver put some luggage on top of the van and the irish lady had a seat in back with a seat belt.

It took us about three hours to get to the Guatemala / Mexico border. The formalities were pretty simple although they made us pay an exit tax, something Duke has never had to do leaving Mexico before.

The Mexican driver waited with us until the Guatemalan driver and van showed up. It was much nicer, good windows, comfortable seats, and air conditioning!

We drove for about two more hours.
Tonight we are in Huehuetenando. We got to listen to a wonderful marimba band in the square as we walked to dinner and then had a great dinner overlooking the square and people watching.

Our road trip today Into Guatemala

Our road trip today Into Guatemala

Our road trip today Into Guatemala

Oaxaca to San Cristobal los Casas

After breakfast at El Secreto (see the picture below) we left Oaxaca. The first 120 miles were from the mountains down to the coast. The road was good but extremely windy. It hugged the edge of the mountains with not a straight spot to be found. Luckily we were in the outside lane and there wasn’t much traffic because in a lot of places the rain last night had caused multiple rocks to come down on to the inside lane in a lot of places effectively making it a one lane road. I’m glad it wasn’t raining while we were driving! The 120 miles took us 4 hours!!

Tonight we are San Cristobal de las Casas. You can see us in the picture eating cheese and crackers overlooking the town.

We are leaving our car here for 9 days. Tomorrow morning at 7:30 we get picked up by a van for the all day drive to our first stop on Guatemala!

Oaxaca to San Cristobal los Casas

Oaxaca to San Cristobal los Casas

Teotitlán, Hierve el Agua, and our Day Trip

Tonight is our last night in Oaxaca. Before I start sharing our adventures today I want you to see two picture of the roof top terrace at La Secreta where we are staying. If you look at this post from our trip to Oaxaca three years ago you can see the roof before it was decorated. Below I have included a picture of the roof now. We have enjoyed going up there after dinner every night that we have been here.

Tiotitlan, Hierve el Agua, and our Day Trip

 

This morning after breakfast we took the car out of the parking lot and headed out of town to the valley east of Oaxaca. Teotitlán is a village that is known for its weavers and woven rugs and fabric. We wandered around the town admiring rugs and settled on one we liked. We needed cash to pay for it which meant that we had to go to a town further east that has an ATM. We had been told about a formation even further east that is called Hierve el Agua which means the water boils. It is a cold spring that has left deposits formng a dry waterfall.

We decided to go find it. Even though we had been told it was a long windy road that was dirt for the last part we really had no idea how long and bad the road was. The countryside and villages were fascinating and beautiful but the formation itself was a bit of a disappointment.

Tiotitlan, Hierve el Agua, and our Day Trip

Tiotitlan, Hierve el Agua, and our Day Trip

We too k a few pictures and then drove back to Teotitlán to buy the rug we had been discussing and pondering whether to get. I am really glad we bought it. I think we will hang it over the bed in our bedroom..

Tiotitlan, Hierve el Agua, and our Day Trip

Tiotitlan, Hierve el Agua, and our Day Trip

Tomorrow we head to San Cristobol de las Casaas

Oaxaca and Monte Albán

Duke and I are on day 10 of our Spring 2014 road trip. Today was the first day of no driving. We had a wonderful breakfast at our B&B in Oaxaca. The other people staying here are a young couple from Houston who flew down for five days in Oaxaca. They were going horse back riding today.

We headed to Monte Albán. Monte Albán is the Zapotec capital on a flattened mountain top near Oaxaca. It was first settled in about 500 BC. The flattened mountain top has a 360 degree view and the enormous grand plaza has a large collection of ancient buildings. We hiked around the site and then looked through the museum. It was interesting to learn that the first writing in the Americas was probably here.

We took a local bus up and back. The bus picked us up and dropped us off near several chocolate stores and markets. The smell of chocolate in the air was enticing so we stopped for a hot chocolate with bread and a tamal.

Then we walked through the indoor market. First there were lots of lunch counters then stalls for vegetables, spices, poultry, fish and finally we walked through a smokey area where the meat was laid out on display and if you picked some they would cook it over the charcoal fire right next to the display. There were probably 15 displays and fires.

Tonight it was raining again when we headed out for dinner. We ate near our B&B and then wenet backup to the roof top area to enjoy watching the rain and the fire and drink some Mazcal. It was a great day!

Oaxaca and Monte Albán

Oaxaca and Monte Albán

Oaxaca and Monte Albán

Oaxaca and Monte Albán

Puebla to Oaxaca

We really didn't do Puebla justice. We did no exploring except to find our way to and from the hotel. We'll have to come back again.

Today was our 9th day of traveling and I'm looking forward to spending 3 nights here in Oaxaca. We are staying at the same place we stayed last time we were in Oaxaca. El Secreto is a wonderful B&B. We have a kitchen and a roof top deck where we relaxed tonight and shared a drink while watching the rain.

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For dinner tonight we ate at a great restaurant overlooking the Zocalo. It is fun to people watch while eating dinner.

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Before we headed for Oaxaca this morning we used a brochure from the hotel to find our way to a a small town that sells onyx and marble. They had some absolutely beautiful pieces. We checked out several stores and final bought an onyx and marble sink that Duke will use when he remodels our guest bathroom. It is beautiufl and the price was very reasonable.

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