12 Apr

Puebla and Oaxaca

We pretty much hid out in Puebla (just outside Mexico City) during Semana Santa, or Holy Week. Most things in our quiet residential downtown neighborhood (we love airbnb) were closed, but that suited us just fine. We took lots of silent walks, hand in hand, enjoying the cool mountain valley air.

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The part of town that never sleeps, the centro historico with its Zocalo full of park vendors and towering cathedral.  We did what all tourists do – saw Rapido y Furioso 7 in 3D.  It was awesome. Mexican 3D was like watching the movie through a fishbowl.  Travis’ high standards were not met.

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The road to Oaxaca was hilly and beautiful. We have not had a single day on this trip without mountains out one window or another. The terrain continues to roll and change and delight us.  Our welcome into Oaxaca was not quite so delightful.  With Amanda driving, we ran right into a ‘bloqueo’ – literally city buses parked horizontally across the main road into downtown blocking all traffic.  Apparently this is a common method of protesting political issues in Oaxaca.  The bloqueo had started around Noon and we arrived around 4:00.  We made friends with the guy we parked beside in the gas station to wait it out.  Bruno is fully equipped to camp out and make a meal in the parking lot.

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Travis munching on a mustard-ham-cheese-lettuce wrap, as we’ve grown accustomed to making on long-drive days. This smile is pre-4 hour stay at the Pemex.IMG_1866

In Oaxaca, we camped at Overland Oasis and met a boatload of overland travelers with many different rigs, routes and repairs! The Canadian couple that own the property have traveled extensively and are incredibly accomodating and knowledgeable.

One of the things to do outside the city is visit Monte Albán, ruins of an ancient Zapotec city that was founded in 500 BCE, and then abandoned for unknown reasons around 900 CE . Built on top of a mountain for strategic 360 degree views of the Oaxaca valley, it was a great outing and we had fun taking pictures. A great number of Zapotecs (and Mixtecs) still live in the region today and have a significant influence on the culture of Oaxaca.

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We’ve had a request for more pictures of food (this is for you, Karen!). In truth, we’ve been making so much of it ourselves that it isn’t super interesting?! Also, we just plain forget to take pictures when food is put in front of us. We’re bad bloggers like that. I did order Tlayuda on the menu the other night, following my new rule of “don’t know what it is, must order it”. Refried beans, queso, cabbage, tasajo (pork), tomatoes and avocado – it’s Oaxacan pizza. Travis is beside me enjoying mole amarillo con pollo and a bright orange Fanta. Good Mexican boy.

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Cue Bruno’s electrical saga music (violins, harmonicas, etc., etc. – whatever works for you). We are using a trickle charger to keep the fridge running at night and when stationary. The Optima auxiliary battery won’t hold a charge. The experienced overlanders consulted have helped us determine that we need a new battery. To be dealt with in the next town – Puerto Escondido. After 2 weeks in the interior, we’re anxious to get back to the beach and Pacific Ocean!

  • kate

    Sounds super fun! I like your new food rule. =)

    • Travis

      Even though I ended up getting sick on our way down to Costa Rica, we’re still going to continue with the “don’t know what it is, must order it” rule!

  • Justin @ Root of Good

    Man, you guys are following most of the same route we’re doing (San Miguel to Oaxaca). Nice to see a preview of where we’ll be this summer. And that food looks awesome. Tlayudas must be a very common dish in Oaxaca because I keep seeing them mentioned everywhere in my research on Oaxaca.

    • freedomwithbruno

      Mexico is ready and waiting for you! You’re probably already on top of it, but the only thing I can recommend is to spend 30 mins each day practicing your spanish before you get here. It multiplies the enjoyment you’ll have while traveling around and interacting with people.

  • Karen

    Love the food pic guys! Turning into real bloggers now… 😉 Looks amazing (food and scenery). Making me re-evaluate my priorities in life…

    • Travis

      Thanks Karen! We’ll do our best to keep taking good food pictures!

  • Tony Ortiz

    nice pictures! Bruno 🙂

    • Travis

      Bruno says thank you!!