Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Continuation of the Original Situation

This blog's title, just like my last, are taken from one of Shambala's signs. I figure "a continuation of the original situation" applies to our move from the beach back inland. As in, we continue to camp in Mexico, enjoying 80-degree days and 50-odd degree nights with a beautiful view from our tent. We've just traded seeing the water to being in the hills looking down on Oaxaca City. Our tent was an awesome place to watch the New Year's Eve fireworks.

We concluded our beach fun with a trip to the turtle sanctuary at Mazunte, where we met five of the seven types of turtles that live in Mexico. We liked the striped land turtles lumbering along, but were even more captivated by the swimming sea turtles. There were baby ones the size of Dana's hand and huge ones with shells several feet across, all swooping gracefully in the tanks.

After that, we visited our favorite restaurants once last time, boogie boarded and snorkeled again so Laural could finally see a spotted pufferfish, and taxied to Pochutla to get van transport back to Oaxaca City. Laural took extra Mexican Dramamine equivalent and managed the 5-hour endless serpentine road feeling weirdly drugged but not at all nauseous.

Our new digs are a combination campground and agave, or maguey in Spanish, farm. We now know that tequila, which is made from the same plant, can only be called tequila if it is made near the town of Tequila, so everything else is mescal. The proprietor here makes mescal from his agave, and his trademark is a scorpion in the bottom of the bottle, instead of the usual worm. There are only four groups camped here, and the other three are retired Canadians or Germans with campervans. So it's pretty quiet except for the neighborhood roosters and donkey, and Dana and Noah have lots of space to run around and play with the three dogs that live here. Dana likes little Pita best and is petting her in the photo.

During the day we catch a local bus down into the city and wander the markets, or head out to other locales. We spent time at the ruins of Monte Alban yesterday.  Reminded us of Teotihuacan, but so much older and more preserved stone carvings. I felt proud when I asked Noah if he wanted a Monte Alban t-shirt with the circular Aztec calendar on it and he looked askance, "because this site is Zapotec, not Aztec, mom."
Nice to know he's absorbing info here, and it helps that he just read a fiction book called the Maya Gateway. He also called excitedly to Dana when he recognized a stela, a column of pictographs telling the place's history, which he knows because one was discovered by the archeologist in the book.

So we continue to live and learn, have a few more adventures planned for our last days in Mexico, and head to the USA on January 6, celebrated here as the Three Kings Day, when the wise men arrived to visit baby Jesus. We'll fly from Oaxaca City to Tijuana, bus across the border, and then spend a week in San Diego with my parents, and my sister and her family, who have even kept up their Christmas tree for us. While many in Mexico are exchanging gifts in remembrance of El Dia de los Reyes, we'll be doing the same with family in San Diego. Maybe it is appropriate that we'll arrive on the Three Kings Day, like them wiser and more humble than when we left.

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