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Sunset near Kingman, Arizona.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona.

Where are they going next? South east towards Roswell, New Mexico.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Busy day touring around Oaxaca

The two vans arrived to pick up our group at 9:00am yesterday for a busy day touring. Almost too busy!

First stop was a place that does rug weaving. I thought it wouldn't be up my alley, but the local Zapotec woman who's husband revived this art form was really interesting, and it was almost kind of odd that her English was so good.

The family has been dying wool and doing things this way for about 60 years, although the son explained that it was done for hundreds of years before until the Spanish arrived in the 1500's. The work is amazing. Maria Louisa explained how they get the various colors for the wool...

Maria Louisa demonstrating how they get colors for the dye.

There is a natural parasite that grows on the cactus.

 When the parasite is crushed, it oozes a deep red color.

They dry the parasite, then crush them with a rock rolling pin...


By adjusting the ph level, and adding such things like lime they can change the color of the dye.

Interesting stuff!

The more complicated pieces take up to six months to complete. One weaver will sit and this machine and only that weaver can complete it because the design is only in the artists mind.

Ruth, and a couple of rugs.

No pictures allowed of completed items for sale. 

Next stop was the big Sunday market at Tlacolula. Wow... what a fantastic market to wander around...



We bought a local drink called tejate. (Tey-ha-tey).

It doesn't look that appetizing! 

Tejate is a drink made from water, roasted maize flour, and fermented cacao beans. With a mild chocolate flavor, it's quite refreshing!




Next stop was lunch! I was starved and really wanted to eat some of the food in the market. We ended up at a buffet lunch place that was quite good, but we didn't take any photos.

Then, it was off to the archaeological site at Mitla. While interesting, I think the group has been ruined out, and after seeing Palenque, the Mitla site could have been left out in order to go straight to Hierve el Agua.

The 16th century Spanish church at Mitla.

Fancy decorations at Mitla.

Definitely unique.

Then, a half hour drive to the Hierve el Agua petrified waterfalls. It was 4:15pm by the time we arrived there, and several people felt too tired to properly explore the area. In fact, Ruth and I were the only ones who went to the bottom for the best views...

Not really a waterfall, but the high mineral content of the water has left behind thousands of years of sediment.

Me, with the fantastic view!

I took a couple of videos for you....


The water isn't actually boiling, and in fact it's not even hot. It just appears that way.

Ruth, at the bottom!

And me!



6:30pm by the time we made it back to the campground. Too long of a day, and I think for next year we need to remove the Mitla ruins from the schedule.

But there is so much to see! And we're off on more tours today, with the bus arriving at 8:30am this morning!

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Fantastic deal on a Queen size comforter. Can't go wrong for the price...


And in Canada...



30 comments:

  1. That sure looks like a very busy day.

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  2. Man, that's a long day. And then to do it all over again the next? Probably why I consider myself a "reluctant Tourist". Just can't do that all day thing. But hey, really enjoying if from my arm chair here. Thanks!

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    1. Yep, very long day. That's the problem, there is just too much to see and three months isn't long enough. You could easily spend a whole week or more just in this area alone.

      If we had it our way, we would not be cramming in so much in one day, we like to just take our time and see either one or two things in a day but when you do a "tour" like this there isn't that much time and they tend to like to show your a smattering of everything, perhaps to entice you back another time so that you can see this again at your leisure.

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  3. The cochineal is native to the western hemisphere, there was very little prec-olumbian red dye in Europe. Altho common here in the SoCal desert I have never seen them farmed like that. You have been having a most interesting journey.

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    1. Learning about all the different ways that they make the natural dyes was very interesting and educational. The cochineal was one of the most interesting. And then learning that by adding other certain natural additives that have PH balances that are high in either acid or alkaline, could change the colour in so many different shades of that colour.

      We certainly have been having an interesting tour of Mexico and learning even more about this fascinating country that we didn't know about before.

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  4. That is odd, we did not include Mitla in the Fall schedule for the same reasons.

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    1. Well, we definitely think it should be removed from future tours. There is just too much packed into the day that people are exhausted at the end of it. The Milta ruins are interesting but they have seen lots of ruin sites already and then they still have Monte Alban to visit the next day.

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  5. Those rugs Ruth was between were beautiful. Wonder how much they cost.

    And that solid waterfall was fantastic. The shine of the stone made it like it was made of marble.

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    1. They are fantastic and quite expensive. Someone in the group bought a runner and I think it was about $600USD so these carpets would be a fair bit more than that. It also depends what wool is being used. The Oaxaca sheep's wool would be the cheapest. The silk and cashmere wool were the most expensive, just for a throw rug I think you were looking at close to a $800USD.

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  6. RE:..."Tejate is a drink made from water, roasted maize flour, and fermented cacao beans."
    Don't you guys worry about Montazumas revenge there?
    Good luck with Shermans repairs. I'm amazed that they found parts you need down there.

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    1. No, not really. Our guide was with us and told us that the drink is made with bottled water and generally if we eat in the markets or at food stands we look for ones that are busy with lots of locals, that is always a good indication that the food is good.

      They had to order the parts, not actually sure where they were coming from though.

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  7. Looks like a great place. Waiting for you to post a map of your travels so we can follow it on our way north :)

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    1. Once we are back at Sherman and driving in him we will post the maps again.

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  8. Definitely a full itinerary. We love Mexican markets, awesome food. The little videos you now add are a very interesting thing to see, it adds a nice extra kayer to your posts.

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    1. It was definitely a very full day!

      We love Mexican markets and so far this one and the one in San Cristobal are the best we have seen in Mexico.

      We add the videos in to our blog posts fairly often but only if we have free WiFi because it would use up our bandwidth on our cellular that is why we don't have videos in more of our posts.

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  9. I love that picture of the woman with the floral headscarf and tote bag next to her. Very colorful.

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    1. That is one that I actually took and when I saw her sitting there I just couldn't resist taking the picture. :-)

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  10. We always wondered why so much was packed into this day trip. Foregoing Mitla sounds like a winner for future tours. Wonderful photos!!!! Thank you.

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    1. We agree, as much as the Mitla ruins were nice it was the least interesting of out of our activities that day.

      Glad you are enjoying our posts and pictures.

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  11. We are getting ready to move permanently into a 5th wheel 30-foot trailer pulled by our truck. You guys are not only an inspiration, but I've gathered so many practical ideas on how to prepare -- and what to do when we're actually on the road. Looking forward to it.

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    1. So happy to be able to help you out with any information that we have provided in our blog. Don't hesitate to send us an email if you have any questions.

      Good luck with the move into your 5th wheel and full-time RVing.

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  12. Another most interesting narrative and photos! Very informative, but it sure made me tired just reading about it! Lol! The mineralized waterfall reminded me of Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park. Good for you and Ruth to make the trek to the bottom and show us the pics and the video....Thank you!. Hope Sherman gets repaired soon. Safe travels.

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    1. Glad that you found the post interesting and informative. We had a wonderful day, even though it was a busy one. It is similar to Mammoth Hot Springs at Yellowstone but this water isn't hot, although it is full of minerals. One day we will go there and spend several days hiking throughout the mountains and valleys, the scenery is gorgeous there.

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  13. Love the tour. I'd be right there with you at the bottom. My sisters and I are die hard tourist...we go, go, go for 12 hrs or more. Sleep like logs and get up to do it again. We pack as much into our day when traveling...never know when you will return to see more.

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    1. We love to be busy and try to see as much as possible when we are traveling but seeing too much in one day is just too much for us. We would rather take our time and let things soak in and just enjoy all the little things which you just can't do when you do a tour like this. Personally we think there should only be one activity/visit in the morning and another one in the afternoon and lunch in between. That way you can explore the area better and not feel rushed or feel like you are missing out on something because there wasn't time to stay before having to leave to the next activity.

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  14. The market looks fantastic and the rug info is very interesting. Interesting pictures of the site you visited. Hope you get Sherman back soon.

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    1. We love markets like this!

      The whole day was fascinating, it was just very busy.

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  15. I´ve never heard of tejate and it sounds like something I want to try. What a great post and I can understand why you would want to eat in the markets!

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    1. We are totally surprised that you have never heard of tejate! Next time you come to the Oaxaca City area you are going to have to give it a try, I am sure that you would like it.

      No idea why we would want to eat at the market either lol, except that everything looks and smells so good! :-)

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