While i'm getting my life back together, please look at a fine selection of my photos:

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Guanajuato to Oaxaca

It has been a while since i wrote an exhaustive post. I returned to guanajuato to celebrate cristmas at the hostel we stayed before. The owners prepared a meal for christmas eve and all guests were invited. It was nice to spend the evening with a variaty of nationalities.

After christmas i continued my trip. Claudio managed to sell a few stories of his trip to Italian
motorcycle magazines, so he stayed behind to finish his job. Or was it
his girlfriend? Who knows. Anyway i was on my own again and felt
actually very excited about it. We will meet again, i'm sure.

From Guanajuato i went to Morelia, another wonderful colonial town. Spend a few days walking around and visiting Musea. It was here were i met Monica, a wonderful person, and probably the only Mexican who ever visited Finland. Yes, she likes traveling alot!

She took me to a place near Morelia, Patzcuaro, an authentic village
near a big lake. Interesting, but touristy, mainly Mexican tourists

De village is very old visit their website for more info.

A mandatory thing if your around Morelia is to visit the S actuary of the Monarch Butterflies. It's amazing how these insects find their way from North America to exactly this place to cover for the winter. After a hike of about 3 kms from the parking lot you enter a dense forrest. I missed a proper zoomlens, but as you can see the trees contains countless butterflies.

From Tuxla, near Mexico City again a very scenic and curvey road and is a long days ride to the coast (carretera 134) and in dark i arrived in Ixtapa. Much to my surprise it was a pretty huge resort area. A friendly taxi driver took me to the agency where i could book a hotel, it was high season apparently and available rooms were scarce, according to the guy. He didn't want any dinero for this random act of kindness. Which made me feel good, being a US and CAN touristplace i expected otherwise.

Another big supprise was that hotel rooms started at about $1000. Ouch!!
(pesos, but still..). What motivated me to try to find the cheapest
lodging possible. A very helpful tourist official came after me and offered a room for only $550. Huge improvement, but no thanks. Earlier i saw sign  "Playa Linda RV park" and went off to check that out. Didn't found it though, instead i found a very nice and friendly trailerpark and camping very close to the beach. (Follow the signs Playa Linda and keep going all the way to the back). For only pesos $70 i could pitch my tent near the beach.

Nice. My neighbors were Mexicans in a mobile home and in exchange for the full story of my trip in Spanglish i got a beer and some nice quesadillas con salsa picante. Made my day. By that time i was tired  and about ten o'clock and passed out in my tent. Not for long though. Bad scrimps i ate earlier that day (first time i ate in a decent restaurant) fought their way out in the the opposite direction they came in. Different shape and color though...

In silence, well, not completely, i celebrated my first food poisoning in 7 months time. Oh Joy..

I took a day to recover and continued south for a two days ride following the  coastal hwy 200 to Zipolite. Accourding to Lee, another bike traveler i met in Guanajuato, a funky little beach place. The 200 is not the best of roads,  although some nice beachy spots exist. I must add that i still felt bad which probably influenced my perception of my surroundings. Zipolite, and that whole area, makes it definitely worth. See previous posting. Spend two days in a hammock reading a book, chilling out with young mexicans and Barbara, the Italian caretaker. Nice beach, good people, and bloody hot. Only $40 to pitch my tent a couple of meters from the beach. It's a nudebeach too and, apparantly as it goes, mostly people who really shouldn't, walk around naked. So be warned ;-)

When i finished my book "Atlantis". An adventure story about the discovery of Atlantis, well written and the way the author wrote it, it could all be trough! I wanted to see Oaxaca and took the 200 further to Puero Angel and went up the 175 to Oaxaca. Again geogeous winding roads through the mountains.

Well the first 130km that is, then it stretches out and becomes a pretty boring ride.

Halfway to Oaxaca is a small village i stopped for coffee. In Oaxaca i learned that this is the place to rent a hammock and chill out with fresh mushrooms and a certain weed.  Not my thing, but it might be of interest to other people.

Oaxaca is another wonderful colonial city. Crowded, big lively markets and damn good food! Nice museums and lots of cool coffeeshops, art galleries and restaurants situated around Centro Cultural Santo Domingo, a beautiful church with an old monestary which is converted to a museum. Really beautiful.

Monte Alban, the ruin just outside Oaxaca is definetly worth visiting. There i learned that in 1930 a tomb was found which wasn't discovered before. The above mentioned museum has a collection of the treasures found there, which contains very nice crafted jewelry.

From political engaged people i met here i learned that this part of Mexico is quite politically active. There was even a pro-palestine demonstration! You might think mexicans have enough to demonstrate for in their own country. Although not as severe as in the '90-ties the Zapatista issue still smolders underneath the surface. I still have to explore that piece of history.

This definetly is another side of Mexico. To me, till now Mexico seems a nice, friendly and fairly save place if you take care of your stuff and don't do stupid things. But maybe i'm just lucky, or naive. Or both for that matter.

They do know how to make a church around here...

I spend a couple of days in Oaxaca, it was a while i had seen so many tourists. Understandable, since this city with his ruins, museums, livery mercado's etc. is really special.

Here you can see a slideshow of all my pictures of this part of my trip.