Mexico, Oaxaca

April 16 – 24, 2016.

Oaxaca is a Mexican State located in the Southwest. It is becoming more and more popular with travelers because of the many great attractions it offers. Indigenous cultures, colonial towns, archeological and natural sites, savory cuisine, vibrant arts & craft scene, history, Spanish and cooking schools, great beaches with world renowned surf spots…and Mezcal.

City of Oaxaca

Our first stop after the state of Puebla was the City of Oaxaca. We had big expectations but the heat was taking a toll on us. We visited the historic part of the city and decided to continue our journey…

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The old building of the Teatro Macedonio Alcala built in 1903, now home of the Oaxaca Symphony Orchestra.

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University Benito Juarez. A public University founded in 1827 as the Oaxaca Institute of Arts and Sciences.

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The Cathedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion located in the Zocalo (Central Plaza)

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Colorful hotel near the Central Market and the Zocalo

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The Mexican cuisine of Oaxaca has been praised by many food experts. The variety of spices available at the Central market was impressive!

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A lot of the arts and craft sold all over Mexico are made in Oaxaca.

Santa Maria del Tule

We camped in Santa Maria del Tule, a small town just outside of the city of Oaxaca. It’s claim to fame is a 2,000 year old Montezuma cypress tree known as the Tule Tree, which is one of the oldest, largest and widest trees in the world! It also has a beautiful central Plaza with manicured  lawn.

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Town hall and the famous tree next to the church.

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Beautiful clean promenade

 

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Arbol del Tule (Tule Tree). 2,000 years old!

Overlander Oasis

The real reason Overlanders come to Santa Maria del Tule is for the Overlander Oasis. It is kind of an iconic place to stay where you meet other travelers and the owners are very hospitable and helpful. Calvin has a well equipped workshop and can help with any kind of work you need done on your rig or find someone than wil.

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Canadians Calvin and Leanne owners of the Overlander Oasis, move to Oaxaca in 2008 after exploring 30 of the 31 Mexican States in their converted 1957 Greyhound bus.

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They bought and remodeled this building previously occupied by a restaurant. Made a few modifications to move in the bus now used as their bedroom. Pretty cool space!!!

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View from our camper rear window of the backyard and casita available for rent.

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Spag and balls on the menu tonight!

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Guy, Amy and Hugo their classic Land Rover Defender in true British fashion! We first met them here at Overlander Oasis and again in Chiapas, Yucatan and Belize. We share great memories with this wonderful couple of BLOKES!

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This aventurous German couple Bea a and Helmut have been riding their motorcycles all over the world on five continents for the last five years. You can follow their trip on their blog at Time to Ride

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Like many Europeans traveling the Americas (Pan-American Highway) they started their journey in South America and are riding North to Alaska. They have the photo of one of their friends (bottom left on the center box) who died before he could fulfilled his dream of riding his motorbike in America.

Caminos del Mezcal

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In the State of Baja you have the Ruta del Vino (wine route), in Jalisco the Ruta del Tequila (Tequila route) and in the State of Oaxaca it’s the Caminos del Mezcal (Mezcal Roads). Mezcal is handcrafted by small scale producers, one village along the Caminos del Mezcal could have multiple producers and a lot of them offer tours and tastings.

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Like Tequila, Mezcal is made from the agave plant. The difference is in the production technique and in the types of agave used. Tequila uses the blue agave.

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The center part of the agave called pina (pineapple) is cooked in a pit in the ground.

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Artisanal earthen oven where the agave hearts are cooked for three days.

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They still use horses to grind the cooked agave hearts with a stone wheel.

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After fermentation, distillation and aging, the Mezcal is ready for tasting!

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We stopped for lunch at this beautiful restaurant and artisanal Mezcal producer.

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Assorted grilled meats and vegetables served with tortillas, beens, salsas and avocado. Delishhhh!

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It’s in the state of Oaxaca that we started to see more and more Tuk-Tuks or Moto-taxis (three wheels motorized rickshaws). They are all over Asia and manufactured in India. They are present in every small town in Central America and they are just the best!

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Still plowing fields the old fashioned way!

 

Hierve El Agua

A natural attraction in the central valley of Oaxaca, is Hierve El Agua (the water boils) one of those off-the-beaten-path travel experience! The site can get busy during the day with tour buses but we arrived later in the afternoon when everyone was leaving, we camped in the “parking lot” and had the place all to ourselves the next morning before the visitors arrived and by then we were ready to leave.

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We followed the directions on our application Maps.me which seems to have given us the shortest route but definitely not the “nicer” road. It was more a trail than a road but it was a good off road practice and we had some company along the way, the four legged kind of company!

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Every village, no matter how small it is, always has a beautiful church. San Isidro.

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When we arrived at the site we were surprised to see Matt and Saskia and their 2 kids from Moxie Trek. That’s when we realized there was another road!

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We were the only two camping there that night! So quiet and because of the elevation not to hot!

 

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Taking pictures of that incredible view!

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Our only visitor!

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How about a natural infinity pool!

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The view of the valley bellow was just unreal!

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The petrified waterfall on the side of the mountain is also pretty impressive. There is a nice hike that takes you from the pools to the top of the fall.

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The mineral natural pools are said to be beneficial for the skin!

Lake Benito Juarez, Santa Maria Jalapa del Marques

We could not make it to the coast in one day and Matt and Saskia told us that they were going to overnight at the Lake Benito Juarez so we made it there as well. Another VERY HOT spot. The lake turned out to be an old quarry and even though it was hot we did not feel like swimming. We had a few cocktails with Matt, Saskia and the kids and called it a night.

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The kids were having fun in the sand!

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The locals come very early to go fishing.

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Ready to go!

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A dog in Mexico can only survive if he can adapt! This one did!

Huatulco, Pacific Coast

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Our friends Pete and Natasha from Here Until There told us about this beach Paradise on the Pacific coast in the sate of Oaxaca in the Bay of San Agustin surrounded by the Huatulco National Parc, where you can camp on the beach for just a few dollars. It was absolutely gorgeous but SO HOT! Even with the sea in your backyard, we ended up staying only two nights because of the heat.

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Sitting in the shade with a cold beer and swimming were the two main activities!

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La Familia del Viento. We met this wonderful family of artists/nomads/puppeteers. He’s Colombian and she is German, they have been traveling for the last 10 years and now have 3 adorable little boys. They are thinking of maybe settling down in Colombia in the next year.

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What a face!

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Beach rooster!

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Salina Cruz

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SO DAMN HOT! Two ceiling fans and two additional fans in less than 90 square feet, you would think would be sufficient to cool us off! All you can do is lay down and try to catch a breeze!

Next, MEXICO, Chiapas … stay tuned!

 

4 thoughts on “Mexico, Oaxaca

  1. Joe and Josee, really enjoy reading about your travels and all the places visited this far it has certainly sown a seed. Joe I managed to make the journey from NI to our place in Turkey this year on the motorbike. I wish you both good health and happiness, safe travels and look forward to reading your next post. Cheers and all the best, John Orr, Northern Ireland 😎🍺🍷

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    1. What a wonderful surprise. I was so concerned about you since I had no news on your where àbouts. I defend you KTM all the time to the BMW guys We camp with often. Catch up with me on FBook or Whattsapp if possible. Are U still working? Again so happy you are back with us. Cheers Mate
      Joe

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