After a longish delay for the bike repairs in Mexico City we finally made it out of the capital.We decided to go the “faster” route on the toll roads to get us to “Southern Command” just north of Oaxaca city.
We were so grateful for the chicken mole dinner with a Birthday cake made by our friend Deb (last seen in Moab). We had a week to spend with friend here for the Dias de Los Muertos. Iwona whipped us up some Delicious Pan Francais with crème fresh.
The gang headed into the city and stopped at the Mirador to overlook Oaxaca and the view of Monte Alban.
The Church of Santa Domingo, has one of the most ornate interiors.
Located next door in the ex-convento is the museum of Culture that houses many of the relics from the ruins at Monte Alban.
We wandered thru the downtown where there were several marching bands following groups of children in costumes. We explored the Zocolo and the Juarez Mercado. Later at the church there was a very festive atmosphere with food, music, and dancing. The local young people had a street dance and offered us Tequila and Squirt!
Riding up to the parking lot at Monte Alban we met our first over-landers, Ulrich and Michael from Germany. This is an impressive site perched atop the mountain and overlooking the city of Oaxaca. Besides being one of the earliest cities of Mesoamerica, Monte Albán’s importance stems also from its role as the Zapotec political and economic center for close to a thousand years. The city was founded around 500 BC.
Daniel and I explored some of the local Villages in the Oaxaca valley. In Zaachila the market was full of very decorated breads, flowers, and candles.
Next we rode to Cuilapan de Guerrero to visit the never finished convent who’s construction started in the 1550’s.
Late in the day we made it to Arrazola where they were having a big party in the square. We made friends with some of the kids. There was an entire family dressed in amazing zombie costumes and the kids even walked and moved like the living dead.
Later in the week we ventured farther from town to Ocotlan de Morales where there is a lovely church and a museum in the ex monastery next door.
Next we headed to San Martín Tilcajete where they craft the colorful alebreje or painted wooden chimeric animals.
We really got into the spirit of the day of the dead with a visit to the San Agustine Etla cemetery. They have a massive battle of the band here where they wander from town to town and play all night long. There are lots of people in amazing costumes. They are famous here for dancing all night long in very heavy”suits” that are covered with bells. We had some great tacos with cervesas. You can buy a coke bottle full of mezcal from the tienda for 20 pesos (1.50$). They have painted the walls around the Zocolo or main square with several very cool murals for the day of the dead.
We met up again with Spanish explorer Alicia (last seen in Dawson City) and enjoyed some local Oaxacan food and music. She introduced us to other Spanish explorers “Don Solaris” and “El Buffalo”.