Sunday, March 15, 2009

March 12, 2009

We are posting this from Teotihuantican (sic) on March 15. We had a great tour of Mexico City yesterday and this Aztec ruins near here today. More to follow when we get a good wifi connections - hopefully tomorrow.

Once again we are writing this blog without knowing when we will be able to post it. There are lots of internet cafes in Mexico but we have not organized ourselves to use one yet. Usually our campgrounds are not near internet cafes and we are too busy to get to an internet cafĂ© during daylight - and are following advice not to drive after dark. 

On March 6 we drove from Villahermosa to Tehuantepec. The drive was over mountains and down into the coastal plane at the narrowest part of Mexico. The wind blows incessantly and there are hundreds of wind turbines. We were stopped at 2miitary checkpoints and searched. The soldiers were polite and pleasant – but we do wish we had more knowledge of Spanish. We have written out phrases we can use to explain we are Canadians travelling in Mexico on vacation. Our campsite was under some huge mango trees and gree mangoes dropped down on the trailer in night. 

On March 7 we drove over mountains to Oaxaca (wa hak ka)> The scenery was spectacular. We were particularly taken by the fields of agave set on the steep hillsides and the huge cactuses growing in some parts. Our main excitement was trying to get into the school field that was our campground. The wires and tree branches were too low for the big coaches to get under and people had to get on top to lift them out of the way. We caused a huge traffic jam and one of the trucks started to leak transmission fluid. It about 2 hours to get the whole caravan through this tight spot! The field was interesting. It was surrounded by large compounds with very nice houses and huge guard dogs. The side of the field we were parked in was covered in red dust about one inch thick. The other side was dry grass and tones of leaf-cutter ants trundling along with their loads of dry leaves and grass. At night the temperature cooled down and an almost full moon shone down. 

March 8 and 9 we toured in the Oaxaca area. We saw the very lovely zocalo (main square, churches, weaving places, black pottery places, mescal (the generic name for tequila factories and stories – mescal is made from agave). One of the highlights of time in Oaxaca was getting together with our niece who is travelling in Mexico by bus – by herself. It was fun to exchange stories and tourist tips. Her best advice to us was to take a coca cola to the top of pyramids – not just water. You need the energy you can get from pop to keep going up and down.

March 10 the caravan made another long journey to Cholula on the outskirts of Puebla. It was another very scenic journey through the mountains. March 11, we toured Puebla in an open bus and saw the zocalo, beautiful churches and a famous pottery factory. We were even able to buy a Mexican car flag! On March 12, we did some cleaning up of the trailer and then walked about 10 blocks to the famous ruins on the largest temple in meso-america. We walked through tunnels cout through by archaeologists and climbed to the top of the temple where the Spaniards had built a large church. In the late afternoon, there was a huge thunderstorm. We were having a social with the Vagabundos and the thunder rocked the “party room” were using. Cholula is quite a dusty city – we think this is largely because of the nearby volcano – which we have only glimpsed through the dusty air. 

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