Posted by: martinworster | February 10, 2006

12. MEXICO II

Oaxaca

State capital of Oaxaca and a beautiful colonial town in the mountains. We had to fly there as it was rainy season and all
the roads were muddy rivers. I found Mexicans much more receptive to my Spanish, unlike in Barcelona.

San Cristobel

Absolutely gorgeous town to the East of Oaxaca in Chiapas state also high in the mountains with amazing scenery. The surrounding areas are the heartland for various indigenous Indian tribes and the Zapatista movement. The town has a main square around which are lovely coffee shops, restaurants and bars and it is a major stop of point on the back pack route. Wandering around there are Spanish colonial churches, markets, museums.

From here we did trips to San Juan Chamula where they practice a unique mix of Christian and Mayan practices, especially in their religion. We also saw Agua Azul (huge waterfalls), Sumidero Canyon (deep gorge in the Rain Forest, like you’d
walked onto the set of Jurassic Park) and Palenque, the biggest Mayan architectural site in Mexico.

Mexico City

Huge, sprawling, crowded, smoggy. There are many other adjectives you could use to describe it but I thought I’d rely on the clichés. The museum of anthropology is amazing and gives a good walk through on Mexican history from pre-historic to the present. We didn’t really venture out after dark as we’d heard how dangerous it can get, but in the day, generally felt no threat at all. It has a faded glamour beauty, lots of nice art deco buildings more suited to Chicago or New York. People everywhere all over Mexico were very friendly and helpful.

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