Oaxaca - The eleventh step ... Mexico City to Cancun via Guatemala & Belize - CycleBlaze

September 15, 2021 to September 18, 2021

Oaxaca

September 15th, 2021

We tried to sleep a bit later this morning but it wasn't that easy.  Around midday we cycled the few kilometers to our new digs for the next four nights.  Then we took a quick stroll the one of the markets before finding some lunch  but more on that later :-(.

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We had a menu del dia from a small eatery close to our digs.  I knew M$45 was pretty cheap but I got even more than I bargained for.  By late afternoon I was struck down with Montezuma's Revenge.  I've always been proud of the resilience of my alimentary canal but this time I was humbled by a simple piece of chicken.

September 16th, 2021

The dodgy chicken meant I didn't much sleep last night but I was feeling quite a bit better, if not exhausted, by this morning.  Unfortunately, there was a lot of work that we had to see to so I just had to bite the bullet and get through day.

Today also happens to be Mexico's Independence Day, so there has been quite a bit of patriotic excitement throughout the week.  Lots of flags and decorations are on display and there have been so many fireworks being set off.

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The street outside our hotel. Strangely enough the brightest building is the Domino pizza outlet on the corner.
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I just wish I was in a fit state to enjoy it all.

September 17th, 2021

After a solid night's sleep I woke up this morning feeling great.  Back to normal and ready to enjoy the day.

After a bit of work and sorting out our laundry at a lavenderia around the corner, we set off hoping to catch a bus to Monte Alban, the famed Zapotec pyramid just outside the city.  Unfortunately, it is closed today, I think because of the public holiday, but we have bought tickets for tomorrow.

So we spent the rest of the morning wandering around looking like tourists.  Of which there seem to be quite a few.  Many Americans but more Mexican tourists.  Although what we take in is not always reality - the "Mexican" guys sitting with us at lunch turned out to be from California and Arizona.

First tourist stop of the day was the Metropolitan Cathedral.  Not very big and quite austere.

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The usual choir and organ area in the middle.
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Many of the crucifixes we have seen have been off center.
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But in the largish side chapel it was dead center.
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We hoped to get into the museum of Oaxaca Art but it is closed because of the pandemic.  So we headed up to the Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzman, supposably the most attractive of Oaxaca's churches.  Unfortunately it was closed, as was the Cultural Museum housed in the cloisters next to it.  However, the church opens at four in the afternoon so all was not lost.

Shoe-shine stall outside the Museum of Oaxaca Art.
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Lot's of closed off streets and bunting to celebrate Independence Day.
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Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzman
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Then we headed to the food market next to the Mercado de Benito Juarez.  We had missed it two days ago - if we had found it I might not have been struck down with food poisoning - but today we enjoyed a magnificent lunch there.  It is just what we were hoping to find in terms of Mexican food.  Our tlayudas (a pile of meats, cheeses and vegetables on top of a large fried tortilla) were full of flavour and variety.

I've got to try these sometime - fried insects. They smelt so good. I suspect they would go down well with an ice cold beer.
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Scott AndersonYes, please do and report back.
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1 month ago
Jean-Marc StrydomTo Scott AndersonWill do.
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1 month ago
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Lunch !
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Piles of tlayudas waiting to be served.
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At about four in the afternoon we made it into the Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzman just before the thunderstorm broke.  It is as elaborate as the cathedral is austere.

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As the rain came to an end we peered into the museum of culture next door.  We would have loved to have gone in!

The closest we got to seeing the cloisters.
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Then a quick mezcal tasting brought an end to a thoroughly touristy day.  I was pleasantly surprised.  Leigh even convinced me to buy a little bottle.

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September 18th, 2021

This spent this morning at Monte Alban, the well known ancient Zatopec city outside Oaxaca.  There was lots of walking and lots to take in but it was worth it.  Excuse all the photos.

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The ball court.
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The series of carvings of naked men below apparently represent Olmeca leaders whom the Zapotecs captured and used as human sacrifices - the thick lips identify them as Olmecas and their portly stature as leaders !

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We had hoped to do a bit of birding while at Monte Alban but time was tight and the only bird photograph I got was this long distance shot of a fly-past of a Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni) while we were waiting for the gates to open.

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Then we headed off for a great lunch of street food well presented at a nice little restaurant to celebrate Leigh's birthday.

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September 19th, 2021

We were supposed to hit the road today but somehow we just didn't feel ready.  We still have a big backlog of work that has to be completed and this has been a good environment to get it done.  So most of today has been focused on work but I also managed to stock on groceries to ensure that we would be independent of towns during the next phase of our trip which is the relatively unpopulated area between Oaxaca and the Pacific coast near Salina Cruz.  We are not going to rush this section because on the way we want to visit the town of Teotitlan del Valle which is known for its hand made tapestries and the Zapotec ruins at Mitla.

Essentials - coffee, milk powder, cereal and the standard cycle touring staples of pasta, olive oil, garlic and tomato paste.
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Our last meal in Oaxaca was at an eatery seemingly popular with the locals that features Mexican dancing and a very politically incorrect logo.
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Today's ride: 3 km (2 miles)
Total: 411 km (255 miles)

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