Sneaking into Pyramids: Oaxaca city
From HAVING to stay in Oaxaca for four days waiting for a package, to STRUGGLING to leave after 10 days. This is the power of new friends and great couchsurfing hosts.
Our nutty adventures with Ida and Alex started immediately. Our plan to meet at nearby Mitla was simple enough. Ride over and leave our stuff at Pat and Don’s, then catch up. Dropped our things, punched ‘Mitla’ into the GPS, and off in the wrong direction we went. Using the Garmin GPS in Mexico has been frustrating at times, solidifying my love for paper maps. Our unplanned 2-hour detour ride through the countryside turned out to be a nice twisty road in the end, helping me overcome my seething self rage for not double checking the route Jayne’s GPS intended us to follow. We finally met up with the others, and with the ruins now closed, decided Mezcal tasting was in our best interests.
Mezcal, similar to tequila but smokier, has enormous production in the hills surrounding Oaxaca city. Thus lots of tasting to be had. Post sampling, we picked up a couple bottles for later. One, infused with blackberries that tasted so much like syrup, it inspired me to make pancakes for breakfast. Mezcal pancakes: win. Mezcal pancakes on the same plates we ate off of growing up: Double win! No coincidence perhaps that our hosts are also originally from Calgary.
Pat and Don have been down in Mexico for 12 years. the cost of living can’t be beat, and is one of the many reasons why many folks retire here. Great food, great conversations and all around incredible hosts. Our Mexican-Calgarian parents for a week, Pat and Don can’t be beat.
Post breakfast, our hosts Pat and Don told us to take a hike. From their house, we could walk up the mountain to Monte Alban, an UNESCO world heritage site. By walking up the back way, we also bypassed the ticketing gates, bonus! The plants all bite here in mexico, so some of us paid for admission with our blood instead of our pesos. On the way up we crossed paths with some locals going for a hike. Nice gents, kept us on the right path, and did a little dance for us too. Before we reached the pyramids, we continued our trend of interrupting couples on secluded dates.
Monte Alban is quite beautiful; a great reward worth the scratches and plant bites from the hike up.
Wandering around the ruins, I made a great discovery of my own. A pair of lost sunglasses. They fit poorly, but looked gooooood, so I wore them around the ruins until their owner spotted me in them. “oh hey, that guy has my sunglasses.”
“Yep, I found them over there on the ground. Here, you can have them back.”
“nah, that’s ok, they look better on you anyways”.
Yes. Yes they do.
Continuing our money saving for the day, we hopped in the back of a truck heading down the mountain, saving ourselves the bus ride and another 15 pesos each. Total Monte Alban savings: 288 pesos! Another great success was just around the corner.
After re-routing, more phone calls than I can count, and many extra days waiting: We got our package!
Full of much needed stickers, a compass, and some surprise sugar free candy! Thanks to dad and Mrs. Kohnen for helping to get it to us. No thanks to DHL for their terrible customer service.
We collected our package on our way out to explore Hierve el Agua, a natural mineral springs just outside of Oaxaca. The plan was to stay for a night then return. What a plan that would be.