Saturday, January 29, 2011
Oaxaca (wah-hah- kah) road trip
Or rather bus trip.......We originally thought it was a 6 hour bus ride, but learned the hard way that it is a 9 hour bus ride from Hualtulco to Oaxaca. Was it worth it? I would travel for two days on a bus to visit this beautiful city. Traveling by bus also gives you the opportunity to see Mexico, and how most of the people live. While they are very poor, they are very rich in community and connection to one another. We passed many families and the children all had very big smiles on their faces. We stayed in an amazing B&B right in the heart of town. Las Bugambilias is charming and extremely inviting. Each room even had a yoga mat in it! (Thank you Barb for this recommendation) The breakfast each morning was outstanding, and the staff is so loving and helpful. There is a great restaurant on the premisis, La Olla, which offers Organic juices and fresh food. My favorite was the beet, spinach, cactus, carrot, parsley, and flax seed juice. It was so good we ate there three times, not including the breakfast each morning. We stayed in the two room suite, so Jack had his own room, with ummmmm cable Tv. Jack quickly found a cartoon channel in english and was a very happy boy! Although he really didn't watch it for long, and even made the comment that we shouldn't get tv when we get back home because there are way cooler things to do (wow). On our first day here we met a lovely couple, Suzanna and David, from Idaho Falls.......where our brother inlaw Steve Is flying in from on Sunday to join us for awhile. It is a small small world. We shared a cab with them to the ruins at Monte Alban, and once there shared a tour guide as well. These ruins were a sight to see. These photos do not even do this place justice. The following day we hired a taxi to take us to see a few of the local artists. Our first stop was the knife maker, Angel Aguilar, he hand makes knives from recycled materials, and showed us step by step how it is done. It is a lost art form and he is one of the few men still making knives this way. (read Jacks blog for more info on his experience ) We also visited a very famous and wealthy wood carver, Jacobo Angeles. He has pieces in museums all over the world, and travels extensively to art shows and universities. He gave us a personal demonstration and offered Jack the opportunity to carve or paint. Jack, having just bought a sharp knife, choose the carving option. With the help of one of Jacobos carvers, he turned a copal tree branch into an iguana. Jacobo saw how excited Jack was, and loved the fact that he was so interested in his art, that he invited Jack to come live with his family for a summer and learn this craft, and his culture. He was completely serious, and we are actually seriously considering sending him when he is 12. This is how Mexico is. Mi casa es tu casa (my home is your home) is not just a saying. We extended the invite back, offering for any of his family members to come stay with us in exchange. We made several other stops as well on our artistic journey, visiting the home of Dona Rosa, a famous potter, and stoped in a small Zapotec village, where the women were weaving, like they have for thousands of years. It was a magical day. Did I mention the city of Oaxaca has 28 16th century churches????? Every block had a church on it that took my breath away. I could live here, open up a yoga studio, and be very very happy. We didn't get a chance to visit all the artists, who by the way, you go to their homes to see them in action, not a gallery. They often offer you food, or something to drink. There are also 6 museums, which we didn't have time for. So it looks like we will be revisiting the city of Oaxaco, and I highly recommend that you travel to this city as well! Art, history, world class food, fresh mountain air, jaw dropping architecture, great people, I can not wait to return.
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