Reunionville, Oaxaca City
When you’re in a country for long enough, you start running into folks you’ve already met. Welcome to Oaxaca (Wa-hah-ka).
A nice twisty road took us the 6 hours up to Oaxaca city from Peurto Escondido. Some of the corners were quite potholed, so we had to be on guard throughout the ride. Still a very enjoyable ride, minus the hangover.
With no replies from couchsurfing, we found a hostel in central downtown (aka Centro) that had a courtyard where we could securely park the bikes. Unfortunately this was the ONLY good feature of the Los Amigos Hostel. The bathroom was dirty, the shower trickled three streams and the dorm door didn’t latch, letting bugs in at night to attack you on the short, low bunks. But that’s hostels sometimes… Also, each night at around 4 am, between 2 and 5 random folks would come into the room, sleep for 2 or 3 hours, then leave at first light. They were very quiet, respectful and polite walkers of the night, but still, WHAT THE HELL?!!
That said, we had a fantastic surprise almost immediately after arriving!
Into the hostel walked Ricardo, who we had hung out with back in Morelia! We joined him and all his friends for an interesting ride out for dinner at a hole-in-the-wall tlayuda shop. Like a calzone, mexican style, and amazing. A great introduction to a new city!
Jayne and I would hang out with them again the next day, exploring the markets and walking the streets of Centro Oaxaca. A couple of Ricardo’s friends were musicians. Frank and Pablo both played the flute, and busking while traveling allowed them to earn enough to, well, keep travelling. Both Jayne and I deeply wish we had buskable skills that would make us extra funds along the way. Sadly, we have no skillz. Yet. Maybe making balloon animals?
Touring the markets and going out to live music was a blast. Jayne was asked to dance multiple times, which was all good fun. She was then begged to go to another fiesta once the music ended for the night. When “no gracias” wouldn’t suffice, Jayne came over and sat on my knee. The gentleman promptly apologized to me and let her be. Usually when folks think we’re a couple, we laugh in disgust and let them know our sibling status. This time we let it slide.
Outside of live music and markets, one main feature of Oaxaca for us was getting a present! Our father used a family friend as a mule to get our present down to Mexico, then she kindly shipped it from Peurto Vallarta to Oaxaca, where it was to wait for us to collect it at the DHL depot. Jayne and I eagerly rode over to the DHL office, walked inside, and were promptly told our package had been sent back to Peurto Vallarta. Arg!
We don’t travel particularly quickly, and apparently the hold time for DHL is 5 days. We had thought this might be an issue, thus wrote them an email via their contact us page informing them of our delay. Apparently this was a pointless exercise, and we now had to pay an extra 185 pesos to have our package shipped back to Oaxaca. Plus, we were now somewhat trapped until the parcel arrived. DHL didn’t know when that would be.
Unlike our DHL package, we were able to track our Moto Kiwi friends Andi and Ellen via their spot tracker. As luck would have it, they too were in Oaxaca! A few emails later Jayne and I were on a bus ride over to meet them for dinner with their couchsurfing hosts. We hadn’t seen the kiwis since we ran into them in Joshua Tree, and were keen to catch up on their adventures. (Crashes, bike changes, scams. Check their blog!) We were lucky to catch them, as they were staying an extra night at their couch surf due to possible road shut downs with a teacher strike. But since they were leaving, and CS hosts Pam and Don had no other surfers scheduled… the bed hadn’t even cooled yet after the Kiwis left when Jayne and I moved in. It’s kind of fun to put in a couch request on your phone while talking face to face with your soon to be hosts!
After Ricardo and the Kiwis, there would be other friend reunions. We met Mel and Gerald one evening while at the Sanctuary in Peurto Escondido, and they pulled a Ricardo and bumped into us at the Los Amigos hostel. But wait, there’s more! The Kiwis weren’t the only motos in town.Â While staying with Fabricio back in Ensenada, we had ‘met’ AlexanderÂ via skype: another KLR rider. We move slowly, but Alex craaaaawls. Fortunately his leisurely pace let us catch up with him. He rolled into the hostel just minutes after we bumped into Mel and Gerald (though meeting Alex there was pre-arranged). The six of us went for breakfast.
Meeting up with Alexander was in the works for a long time, we had been in touch often to see where our paths might cross. Now with Ida the Finn in tow, we all hit it off right away, and decided to hang out for the day. Jayne and I had to drop off our things at our new couchsurf with Pam and Don, then meet up with Alexander and Ida down the highway in Mitla. This should have been quick and easy. The adventures of Alexander, Ida, Jayne and Phil were about to begin.