Passing by Oaxaca


When entering in Mexico, we received from the authorities a tourist visa for 6 months. The time goes on… we still have 5 weeks before leaving Mexico…or try to cross the border to have a new visa. The country is so big that we are just over the middle and so many things to see and many people to meet.

At Ixtapan de la Sal, we decide to take a bus from Izucar de Matamoros to Oaxaca. This will save us some time. But we aren’t there. We still have 1 week on the road and 3 states before to reach that city close to the only road going to Oaxaca State.

We begin that week by going to Parque natural Grutas de Cacahuamilpa. This park is at 4 000 feet, 10000 feet less than the interior of Nevado de Toluca volcano. It is very warm. When we look in the Internet, we found that we can camp close to a pool. Arrived at this park, a lot of street vendors are all around us. They want to sell us everything. They insist a lot. Unfortunately, it happens very often in the tourist places. We decline kindly many times and we go camp close to the pool. The manager is very pleasant and we talk a long time with him. He told us that ten years ago, he went to Canada to work in the field. Many Mexican people went to labour in Canada and United States and after some years, they go back in Mexico. This is a bargain for the farmers and a good job for the Mexicans.

Parque natural Grutas de Cacahuamilpa

All the family enjoy the pool. We can use some pools the following days. It was a good thing because it is so warm. Our drinking water is at room temperature; it’s just barely refreshing us.

During a break on the road to look the map, Pero, a Mexican comes to talk to us. He asks the usual questions. He follow us in bike to Jojulta and he stops at a “taller de bicecletas” (a bike repairer) to introduce us. All the people there are very excited about our trip. They give us their friendship and invite us to eat with them. Kayla cannot eat some spicy meal so we went to order some quesadilla de pollo (Tortilla made with melted cheese and chicken). Pero wants to pay that meal. We thank him and he left us some miles ahead.

Since a month, it is rainy season but the rain is scarce this year. We enjoy that. However, when we were in a hacienda (a kind of ranch) Mary tries to make Kayla asleep when the rain begins. It was so strong all night. Luckily the tent is waterproof and wind resistant. But in the morning, we can see the damage. The entry and the ground are full of mud. We take a long time to clean our bags. They were on the floor. It was not finish with the mud. The gravel road going to the secondary road is worse. We try to bypass the mud puddle but just too bad, our boots and wheels are so dirty. We arrive at Chinameca unclean and thirsty. We stop close to a convenient store to eat and drink some cold water (a delight) seated on a bench in front of the house. Very quickly, the people leaving there talk to us and invite us to visit the city, to eat and sleep inside their house. Kayla makes friend with Jaqueline and Amanda and follow them. They are more than 10 persons living there (8 children and 2 sisters). We put the tent inside a room to be secure from the mosquitos.

A good samaritain

As we get Izacur de Matamoros, we find a hotel and get information for the bus timetables to Oaxaca. No bus goes directly there. We have to stop to Huajapan de Leon 90 miles before and take a bus to Oaxaca.

Kayla will sleep almost all the way and didn’t see the sign indicating we entered in Oaxaca State the penultimate at the end of Mexico. We arrive there around noon time and immediately, we go to take information about the next bus. There is just one bus a day and he leaves at 4 in the morning. This is not perfect. We think to another idea during our meal: a tlayuda (a kind of big tacos cook in oil and fully loaded). There is some minibus (a kind of 15 places van) leaving every half hour. They are too small for all our stuff but some have a rack on the roof where we can put the bikes and the trailer. The next one is late in the afternoon. We will wait until the day after and during that time, we could find a place to sleep in Oaxaca. So we leave the day after and we put everything inside the van but the bikes and the trailer are on the roof one on top of the other attached with just one rope. At every bump, we hope that we didn’t see the trailer in front of the van.

Bus to Oaxaca

Our bikes and trailer arrive in good condition, so we are going to our renting apartment for the next week. We eat on the main square and we notice that there are more than fifty tents. Indeed, the protesters are there to complain against the government. A man is in jail because he shows his opinion. The protesters ask for the freedom of expression. It is a major challenge in Mexico.

We live one week sedentary. We greet the neighbours every day, the local merchants know us when we arrive in their store, and we are going to the library, to the recreation park… These are small things but for us, nomad, this is a big difference in our daily life.

Monte Alban is an archeological site. We take a bus to go there and early in the morning to avoid the heat and the crowd. It is our first pyramids. A Zapotec community lived there. This place’s apogee was known around 200 and 600 AD. We took 2 and a half hour to visit because it is a very big, very interesting site. Kayla walks and runs around the posters however after 2 hours, she is tired and she finishes the visit on Mary’s back.

Monte Alban's site

With Internet at home, we use time to look on our friend’s travelers to see where they are, what they do. By this way, we learn that Scott is here since almost one month and he will give a presentation about his trip in a few days. We want to stay here to go and see him and listen to his presentation.

Before his speech, we meet the family where Scott lives (Adam and Meganne) and their friends a French-Mexican family. We sympathize very fast with them: Romain (French man) and Judit (Mexican woman) and their son Gaby (1 year old). We arrange a meeting for the day after to go to the market and the children library. We pass the day with them and at the end of the day we have dinner with Scott, Adam and Meganne with their little girl Graziella (4 years old). Kayla plays a lot and didn’t imagine that she will see them some other time before our leaving of Oaxaca.

We have to leave or stay here for some other days in that renting apartment. Romain and Judit invite us to sleep our last day at their place. It will be cheaper for us and will give us some good times with this nice family. That night, Kayla has a bad sleep and when we were ready to leave we are so exhausted that Romain offers us to stay another day. We can’t refuse and we pass another day in that so nice city. The architecture is so gorgeous, the people so nice, the culture so advanced. It’s so cool here that we are sad to leave.

Oaxaca city

To resolve our visa’s problem, we decide to be closer of the Guatemaltec border, leave our things there, take a bus to cross the border and come back right away. We hope that it will be enough to have a new 6 month’s visa.

To be continued in the next episode…

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