The Plan...of course it's written in the sand at low tide....

The Plan...of course it's written in the sand at low tide....

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Huatulco






We’ll we’re finally here, getting ready to take the next really big step in our cruising adventures……..but first, time with good friends before we leave Mexico and head for El Salvador. When we, SV Effie and SV Endeavor, arrived in Huatulco we were greeted by Rita and Darryl from SV Overheated and Sally and Jerry from SV Aquarius. Shortly after we arrived Christy, our dear friend from San Diego and formerly SV Island Girl, arrived by air to join the party. Then Mary, John, Pumpkin, and Mekka arrived by car. We had a few days visiting before SV Endeavor, SV Overheated, and SV Aquarius headed out for the anchorage and Christy, Alan, and Mac headed for Oaxaca via the 11:00 p.m. bus and John and Mary took off in the car to meet us there. (see Oaxaca story below.)

When we got back to Huatulco Jean and Bill from SV Mita Kuuluu were there. Bill and Jean are good friends we knew while members of the Santa Rosa Sailing Club, and who also sailed with us our first year down the outside of the Baja. It was great to have their expertise then and again they brought a wealth of knowledge with them about El Salvador and Central America. Alan and Bill had fun playing music together and Jean and I had fun catching up on each other’s beading/art projects. We were so busy enjoying their company we neglected to get any pictures except of their departure.


Plans are to stay a few more weeks then head to El Salvador. After listening to Bill and Jean and several other cruisers we have changed plans slightly and will be spending the summer in El Salvador not Nicaragua. We do plan on stopping in Nicaragua and Costa Rica next season on our way to Panama.

video

Monday, February 16, 2009

Oaxaca


11:15 p.m. Huatulco autobus station, Christy, Alan, and Mac board the first class bus headed for Oaxaca, Mary, John, Pumpkin, and Mekka to follow the next day in their car. We arrived in Oaxaca at around 6:30 a.m. after a night of hairpin turns and believe it or not, some sleep. We headed for the hotel and were pleasantly surprised to find that our room was vacant and ready for us so we dropped our bags, use the “head” and headed out for some breakfast. We arrived in the Zocolo just as the businesses were opening up and had some breakfast. After breakfast we headed for the central Mercado. After seeing two of our favorite places in any Mexican town we headed back to the hotel for a little rest before John and Mary were due to arrive.



The buildings and town
layout reminded us of
Old Town Mazatlan.



Zocolo/Town Square..........

Zocolo’s are the central squares in Mexican towns. They usually have a church, or cathedral located on or near by, restaurants, trees, gazebos, etc. It’s a place for people to gather and often times enjoy music or entertainment.







Central Mercado/Open Market.....

The Central Mercado or open markets are where people shop for meat, veggies, clothes and various other items. They are always colorful, full of wonderful and different smells, and full of interesting items…….such as Alan’s favorite tubs of various dried bugs.
















Monte Alban........






That's us in the middle of the site.





One of Oaxaca famous sites is Monte Alban, an archaeological zone where the Zapotecan culture began around 500 BC. At one time they had around 30,000 people living there. It was built on the top of the hills. At that time the lower regions were very tropical with many lakes, rivers,
and wild life. We had a wonderful guide and spent 2 ½ hours exploring the site. There was a medical section that had large stones depicting deformities of the time such as short and deformed limbs, dwarfism, etc. The size and magnitude of the buildings was impressive for so long ago. Alan took 12 pictures to later stitch together to give somewhat of an idea how large the area was, but like most things, you had to be there to really appreciate the site.

























Their "Sun Dial"......the sun, moon and stars were essential for their survival.


Tule...&...."The Big Tree"

We hired another tour guide to take us to Tule to see “The Big Tree.” The tree is believed to be the widest in the world and is 2,000 years old. It was massive and had interesting figures and knots on its limbs. Tule is a quiet little town and is basically supported by tourism from the big tree and the last place Mac expected to find the perfect dress for Amanda and Donavan’s wedding, but there it was! (Perfect shoes where found in Huatulco shortly after our return from Oaxaca.)






After leaving Tule and on our way to Teotitlan del valle, we stopped at a church built in the 1600’s. They are currently restoring it and are using the same techniques used in the 1600’s when the church was built. We climbed up the organ tower to see the beautiful 400 year old organ brought from Italy.





















Teotitlan del valle ..........

Next stop, Teotitlan del valle, the town of woolen tapestries….our tour guide took us to “The Bug in the Rug” home of Isaac Vasques and his family of rug makers. Isaac is one of the most famous rug makers of the town and has pieces in museums all over Mexico and even has one in a museum in New York.




























He sat us down and showed how they first “rake” the wool….then let us all take a shot at it.

He then explained how they color the wool naturally. One of the most amazing things is the color of red. It comes from a small bug that attaches to the cactus plant. They put lime stone on the cactus plant to protect the bugs who are attached for nourishment. Once you have red you add lime to make orange then baking soda to make maroon.











































He also showed us how they spin the wool and let us all take a crack at it…..Alan was pretty good. If the stock market gets any worse, we have found a new career for him. All the family make rugs and it takes them anywhere from 30 to 90 days to make them, that’s working 8 – 10 hours a day.













Oaxaca was a wonderful place to visit and we could of spent lots more time there, but it was time to head back to Huatulco. Again the bus was scheduled to leave at 11:45 p.m. (I don’t think they want you to see the roads you’ll be traveling on or you wouldn’t go!) so we took in a dance performance at the Hotel Monte Alban just before we had to board the bus. The dancers depicted dances from different villages. It was interesting to see the different dance styles and all the beautiful costumes.






























The final dance was the “Feather Dance”……it represented the historical landscape of the Spanish conquest of Mexico and the triumph of Christianity.



We had a wonderful time in Oaxaca shopping til we almost dropped, seeing the interesting sites, enjoying the familiar Zocolo and open markets, enjoying the local cuisine, but most of all enjoying it with our dear friends, Christy, Mary, John, Mekka and Pumpkin.