Some scenery along the way to Oaxaca
We had to honk at the cow a few times to get him to cross the road before he
became someones hamburger
Very windy through here. We had to cross the Isthmus of Tehuantepec
Quoted from; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isthmus_of_Tehuantepec
of Tehuantepec is an isthmus in Mexico.
It represents the shortest distance between the Gulf
of Mexicoand the Pacific
Ocean, and prior to the opening of the Panama
Canal was a major shipping
route known simply as theTehuantepec Route. The name is taken from the
town of Santo
Domingo Tehuantepec in the
state of Oaxaca,
which in turn comes from the Nahuatl tecuani-tepec ("jaguar
isthmus includes the part of Mexico lying between the 94th and 96th
meridians west longitude,
or the southeastern parts of Veracruz and Oaxaca, including small areas of
Chiapas and Tabasco. The states of Tabasco and Chiapas are
east of the isthmus,
with Veracruz and Oaxaca on
isthmus is 200 km (125 miles) across at its narrowest point from gulf to gulf,
or 192 km (120 miles) to the head of Laguna Superior on the Pacific coast. The Sierra
Madre breaks down at this
point into a broad, plateau-like
ridge, whose elevation, at the highest point reached by the Tehuantepec railway at Chivela
Pass, is 224 m (735 ft). The northern side of the isthmus is swampyand
densely covered with jungle,
which has been a greater obstacle to railway construction than the grades in
crossing the sierra.
southern edge of the North
American tectonic plate lies
across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Geographically, the isthmus divides North
America from Central America.
This sign was ripping apart. The winds were at least 60-80km/hr across the
highway. Very scary
This truck was blown over and is lying on its side in the ditch. We were going
to stop at a Pemex for the night, but we ploughed through and made it to a
Military checkpoint about 80 km outside Oaxaca. It was about 5:30 PM and we were
losing light. We saw they had a huge parking lot next to their setup and asked
if they minded if we stayed the night. No problem. They were extremely helpful
and friendly. We left our email address with the Commander of the unit so we
could mail him some Canadian change for a souvenir. He wanted to know if we had a
Loonie as he collects foreign currency. We
did not have any change as what was the point of carrying Canadian money into Mexico.
I will bring some Loonies for souvenirs to give away
Oxen pulling cart
Local taxis in one of the towns we passed through
We saw many Mezcal distilleries on the way into Oaxaca city
Quoted from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mezcal
a distilled alcoholic beverage made from the maguey or agave plant
that is native to Mexico.
The word mezcal comes from Nahuatl mexcalmetl,
which means agave or maguey. This plant grows in many parts of Mexico but most
mezcal is made in Oaxaca. There
is a saying attributed to Oaxaca regarding the drink: "para todo mal,
mezcal y para todo bien también" (for everything bad, mezcal, and for
everything good, too.
were no distilled beverages in Mexico before the Spanish
Conquest. The Spaniards were introduced to native fermented drinks such as pulque,
also made from the maguey plant. Soon the conquistadors began experimenting with
the maguey plant to find a way to make a distillable fermented mash.
The result is mezcal. Today,
mezcal is still made from the heart of the maguey plant, called the piña, much
the same way it was 200 years ago in most places. In
Mexico, mezcal is generally drunk straight and has a strong smoky flavor that
can be difficult to get used to. Though
not as popular as tequila,
Mexico does export the product, mostly to Japan and
the United States, and exports are growing.
the similar name, mezcal does not contain mescaline or
other psychedelic substances
We stopped in Santa Maria del Tule to see
Arbol de Tule
Quoted from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Árbol_del_Tule
Árbol del Tule (Spanish for
"the Tule Tree") is a tree located in the church grounds in the town
center of Santa
María del Tule in the Mexican
state of Oaxaca,
approximately 9 km east of the city of Oaxaca on
the road to Mitla.
It is a Montezuma
Cypress(Taxodium mucronatum), or Ahuehuete (meaning
"old man of the water" in Nahuatl).
It has the stoutest trunk of
any tree in the world.
2005, its trunk had a circumference of
36.2 m (119 ft), equating to a diameter of
11.62 m (38.1 ft), a
slight increase from a measurement of 11.42 m (37.5 ft) m in 1982. However,
the trunk is heavily buttressed,
giving a higher diameter reading than the true cross-sectional of the trunk
represents; when this is taken into account, the diameter of the 'smoothed out'
trunk is 9.38 m (30.8 ft). This
is still slightly larger than the next most stout tree known, a Giant
Sequoia 8.98 m (29.5 ft)
height is difficult to measure due to the very broad crown; the 2005
measurement, made by laser, is 35.4 m (116 ft), shorter
than previous measurements of 4143 m (130140 ft). According
to the signboard by the tree (see gallery, below), it has a total volume of
816.829 m³ and a weight of 636.107 t (701.188 short tons); these figures
are however not independently verified, and given the same signboard's claim of
a girth of
58 m (190 ft), must be treated with suspicion.
is so large that it was originally thought to be multiple trees, but DNA tests
have proven that it is only one tree. This
does not rule out another hypothesis, which states that it comprises multiple
trunks from a single individual.
age is unknown, with estimates ranging between 1,200 and 3,000 years, and even
one claim of 6,000 years; the
best scientific estimate based on growth rates is 1,433-1,600 years. Local Zapotec legend
holds that it was planted about 1,400 years ago by Pechocha, a priest of Ehecatl,
the Aztec wind
god, in broad agreement with the scientific estimate; its location on a sacred
site (later taken over by the Roman
Catholic Church) would also support this.
tree is occasionally nicknamed the
of Life" from all the images of animals that are reputedly visible in
the tree's gnarled trunk. As part of an official project local schoolchildren
give tourists a tour of the tree and show all manners of creatures that the
trunk features, including jaguars and elephants.
Another couple of good links with info & pictures
It is difficult to grasp the concept of how large this tree is unless you are
near it. I tried to take a picture with the whole thing in frame, but it was
On to Oaxaca city
We stayed at the Oaxaca Trailer Park
The park was centrally located, only a 40 peso taxi ride away from Centro
We had all services. Cost was 150 pesos per night
Laundry services were about a block away. We got same day service. Price was
The park is secure at night
The park is only a couple of blocks from a large supermarket and on Tuesdays
there is a farmers market on the streets behind the RV park.
GPS Location: 17.07861 N 96.71083 W 5,200ft
Quoted from :http://www.ontheroadin.com/interior/oaxacatrailerpark.htm
On Highway 190 north of town turn North on Collegio Militar ( when you see the
VW dealer). Continue 5-6 blocks and turn right ( you will see signs) then left
A few good links to all info on the city of Oaxaca
Quoted from : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oaxaca
and Sovereign State of Oaxaca (Estado
Libre y Soberano de Oaxaca, Spanish
pronunciation: [w̯aˈxaka] ( listen))
is one of the 31 states of Mexico,
located in the southern part of the country, west of the Isthmus
of Tehuantepec (the Isthmus
of Tehuantepec includes the southeastern parts of Veracruz and Oaxaca). Oaxaca
borders the states of Guerrero to
the west, Puebla to
the northwest, Veracruz to
the north, Chiapas to
the east, and the Pacific
Ocean in the south.
is the historic home of the Zapotec and Mixtec peoples,
and contains more speakers of indigenous languages than any other Mexican state. The
state is named for its largest
city. With an area of 95,364 km² (36,820.2 mi²) , Oaxaca is the fifth largest state in the Republic.
According to the 2005 census it had a population of 3,506,821 inhabitants.
Oaxacans include President Benito
Juárez, born in the Oaxacan village of San
Pablo Guelatao, as well as Rufino
Sabina, J. Alberto Canseco Díaz, Major League Baseball player Vinicio
Castilla,Bundesliga player Ricardo
Osorio, chemical engineer Marco
Rito-Palomares, Anarchist revolutionary Ricardo
Flores Magon and many other
writers, artists and politicians.
The main Cathedral in the Zocalo
We bought 4kg of shrimp and 2kg of fish fillets
Beef and Pork
A restaurant with pre-made salads and entrees to take home or eat in the market
There was an entire aisle of bbqs like this with all sorts of different meals
being prepared on them. I wish I could have bottled the smell. It was wonderful.
Rugs, blankets and clothing
Restaurant where John and I ate lunch and also had dinner with our friend Chris
John holding up a glass of Mezcal and his enjoying his meal (tacos with mole
sauce) at a restaurant in the Zocalo
I had another type of taco with a cafe con leche
Orchestra playing in the park. They were being taped for a television show
Nun from the cathedral selling sweets and trinkets
Beautiful flowers in the park
Chapulines are grasshoppers of
the genus Sphenarium.
They are collected only at certain times of year (from their hatching in early
May through the late summer/early autumn). After being thoroughly cleaned and
washed, they are toasted on a comal (clay
cooking surface) with garlic and lemon juice
and sal de gusano, lending a sour-spicy-salty taste to the finished product.
Some people will toast their chapulines with chiles, but some vendors and cooks
feel that chiles are used to cover for stale chapulines and only show up in the
poorest quality grasshoppers. Chapulines
are available only in certain parts of Mexico, the state and city of Oaxaca being
one of the better known regions. There is debate over how long Chapulines have
been a food source in Oaxaca. There is one reference to grasshoppers that are
eaten in early records of the conquest..
Today, Chapuline are harvested throughout the summer and enjoyed largely in and
around Oaxaca City, Oaxaca. They are sold as snacks at local baseball games and
are enjoying something of a revival among foodies 
taste is unique, but not especially strange. They may be eaten individually as a botana (snack)
or as a filling, eg: tlayuda filled
must be cooked prior to consumption. As with other grasshoppers, they may carry nematodes that
can infest human hosts.
word chapulín for
grasshopper is specific to Mexico and
derives from the Nahuatl language.
In Spain and
most Spanish speaking countries, the word for grasshopper is saltamontes or saltón.
Want to cook them here is a recipe;
John and I had to stop for an ice-cream after lunch. He had the Mezcal pina
colada flavor and I stuck with the ron c raisin
Balloon vendors and people everywhere
John and I decided to check out the Santa Domingo church and
cultural center the next day.
Quoted from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santo_Domingo,_Oaxaca
and former monastery of Santo Domingo de Guzmán is
the most important of the numerous baroque ecclesiastical
The complex of buildings includes a substantial sanctuary and an extensive
system of courtyards, cloisters and rooms that formerly constituted the
monastery but now house the Cultural Centre of Oaxaca. This museum includes an
important collection of pre-Columban artefacts, among them the contents of Tomb
7 from the nearby Zapotec site
Albán. The former monastery garden is now an Ethnobotanical Garden,
containing a large collection of plants native to the region.
entrance to both church and museum is across a wide plaza that acts as a centre
for local fiestas and other entertainments. It is located about half a kilometre
north of the central squares of the city, the Zócalo and the Alameda, and the
connecting street is pedestrianised, so it is a popular place for both tourists
and local residents to stroll.
its name implies, the church and monastery were founded by the Dominican
Order. Begun in 1572, they were constructed over a period of 200 years,
between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries.
The monastery was active from 1608 to 1857. In the period of the revolutionary
wars, the buildings were turned over to military use, and from 1866 to 1902 they
served as a barracks. The church was restored to religious use in 1938, but the
monastery was made available to the Universidad
Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca. In 1972 it became a regional museum, and
in 1993 the decision was taken to undertake a full restoration. This was
completed in 1999. It is an exceptional example of conservation
architecture. The architect responsible was Juan
church has also been fully restored. Its highly decorated interior includes
copious use of gold leaf.
We thought this sign was good!!!!
Gods speaks to you, but not through a cell phone. TURN IT OFF!!!
Time for lunch
Mixta large thin corn tortilla, served with black beans, cabbage,
cheese, salsa with oaxacan string cheese, chorizo, tazajo and cecina. Add
chicken or beef. John had beef and I had chicken added.
John wanted a picture of the Scotia Bank
Oaxaca at night
I would highly recommend seeing the city of Oaxaca. well worth the trip.
On to Huatulco from here, straight down to sea level. We will
be traveling on a very,very,very,very windy road to get there. I will post