Tuesday, March 31, 2009
From Oaxaca we went on two day trips. The first one took us past Arbol Tule. A very large tree over 2000 years old, not the oldest tree in the world but the oldest in mexico - and a grand tree it was. Then on to a limestone (solid) water fall (like a huge stalagtite) & later to the ancient Mayan ruins of Mitla. People were swimming in the limestone water pools, on the edge of the cliff, near the waterfall. Not us. We also went to a place where we saw Mescal being made and had some tastings. Oaxaca is the home of Mescal and there are many small family distilleries along the roads. Complete with donkey pulling an enormous grindstone to crush the maguey. It was rougher than a good tequila but flavourful and powerful.
The second trip took us up into the mountains to a little indigenous town called Benito Jaurez. We then walked along some trails through the mountains, some of which linked the old villages. Benito Juarez only had electricity into the town & a road about two to three years ago. The place we ate in the town was run by a few local families who took turns in cooking & running the place. Each week they rotated the family who cooked & ran the place. A sensible way to run an eating establishment. A few of the local lads were sitting at a corner table, not eating but drinking a few Coronas by the bottle, with one of the boys opening the bottles for everyone with his teeth. On the way back we stopped at a very old Catholic (of course) church. It still had some of the original frieze work done by the indigenous people under the supervision of the Spanish.