Hasta la Vista Playa …. 26 Nov 2014

We fly back to Mexico City on Thursday morning, for the day, departing on Friday for Vancouver at the ungodly hour of 0600 …. really, what a crazy time to depart!! That destroys holiday mode right there!

It is time to be saying good bye to the beach. We have had such a lovely relaxing time in the warmth. Hammocks, sun, sand, and walking the beach.

Yes, the beach at San Augustinillo is often this busy, but we do our best to avoid the crowds.

Yes, the beach at San Augustinillo is often this busy, but we do our best to avoid the crowds.

Yesterday we went to La Ventanilla (means the window), which is evidenced by the large rock formation in the water – with literally a window at the top of it.

If you look at the middle rock formation you will see "la ventanilla" ….

If you look at the middle rock formation you will see “la ventanilla” ….

For about an hour and a half we took a tour through the mangrove lagoon, watching birds (a nod to Wilson).

So many birds ….

So many birds ….

I think this one is called a Royal Egret ...

I think this one is called a Royal Egret …

Iguanas are plentiful … (one lucky guy gets to mate with about 25-30 women in his harem) I am sure they have another word for it when relating to a pack or tribe or iguanas … and the ever present crocodiles.

Iguanas everywhere … we were actually way to close to them for my comfort.

Iguanas everywhere … we were actually way to close to them for my comfort.

We did think Wilson might sign up for another specific bird watching tour but he got his fill (might have had something to do with the bird watching tour being early in the morning…..) We chose to go on the tour after 4:00, as once the day gets cooler, the animals and birds are more active. As the sun set the lagoon literally came alive with birdsong ….it was incredible.

As we reached the main beach area again, they were about to release some turtles – we were each able to take one and release it – so so so cool. Those little fellows just get their little flappers going like mad the moment they sense the ocean near. Put them down, and off they go. Pretty amazing to watch them disappear into the ocean, then return on a wave, then go again.

Our last night we took a collectivo truck to Zipolite -walked the beach as the sun was setting (while trying to ignore the nude males), and had a farewell margarita…. okay the boys had a beer ….

A final meal at La Providencia – amazing place if you are ever in Zipolite, and we are now home to pack up whilst Wilson and Grant have a final crib battle. .. .. .. to be continued. (in Vernon?) What else do people do in the snow? It was in the 30’s today, and right now, 8:30 at night, it is 26 …. really, do we have to come home???

Oaxaca to San Augustinillo – 23 Nov 2014

We had our taxi arriving to Casa del Barrio at 5:30 (yes, a.m.) in order to fly to Puerto Escondido.

Vivi was already worried about flying on a 9 seater to Puerto Escondido, but when she saw the small aircraft, I heard her muttering “I wish I had a pill to swallow ….” It’s true!!!

Really Wilson, I have to get on this plane???? Yes, Vivi, you do - otherwise we are going to be left behind and you don't speak Spanish.

Really Wilson, I have to get on this plane???? Yes, Vivi, you do – otherwise we are going to be left behind and you don’t speak Spanish.

Honestly the flight was unbelievably smooth and quick – totally crazy for such a small plane. We were revving the engine, the Mexicans were crossing themselves, we were up, we flew across amazing mountain ranges, we were over the ocean, we were down.

View from the plane window - it would have taken us a minimum of 6 hours to make this drive …..up up up, curve curve curve …. urch … donkey in road …..the occasional village …..

View from the plane window – it would have taken us a minimum of 6 hours to make this drive …..up up up, curve curve curve …. urch … donkey in road …..the occasional village …..

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So – we are in San Augustinillo, and you are not likely to hear much more ….

It is actually hard to get Vivian and Wilson out of their treehouse ….

It is actually hard to get Vivian and Wilson out of their treehouse ….

hammocks in front of our cabana, surf for boogie boarding right in front … (we watch - Grant boogie boards) life is pretty darn good

hammocks in front of our cabana, surf for boogie boarding right in front … (we watch – Grant boogie boards) life is pretty darn good

We wake up
We swim
We laze in hammocks
We read books
We walk to the next village for vegetables and fruit

repeat

repeat

repeat

Oh yeah, and we eat …. never as amazing as inland, but the food on the beach is never too bad.

Today we hopped on a form of collectivo – a truck that you hop in the back of to ride – I guess the driver thought we gringo’s were too slow trying to fit ourselves into the locals and as the last one to get on Wilson was kind of hopping along with one hand on the back of the truck and getting himself in as the truck started off …

The waiting lounge at La Providencia in Zipolite - comfy place to sit with your drink until dinner is ready.

The waiting lounge at La Providencia in Zipolite – comfy place to sit with your drink until dinner is ready.

The beach at Zipolite - just as the sun dropped over the horizon.

The beach at Zipolite – just as the sun dropped over the horizon.

En Via 21 Nov 2014

En Via is an organization developed for the assistance of women in the Oaxaca area. Most of them have the skills, the work ethic and the desire to assist their families, and in Mexico your community is part of that. What they lack is any financial assistance. Loans are available everywhere here, but at astronomical rates, and rarely available in small amounts to women. En Via has a simple philosophy of assisting these women in rural villages.

In order to receive their first loan of 1500 pesos they must form a group of 3. All 3 women would be eligible for the loan. The reason for this is that it provides a simple screening tool. The women in a village know each other, and who to trust. The first step is attending a business class – where they are taught simple business economics, like keeping business money separate from household money.

Filippa has lived with her husband's family ever since marrying 28 years ago - she has now started on a sewing business on a treadle sewing machine (with loans from En Via) to supplement the weaving income.  They might only sell 3 or 4 rugs per month.

Filippa has lived with her husband’s family ever since marrying 28 years ago – she has now started on a sewing business on a treadle sewing machine (with loans from En Via) to supplement the weaving income. They might only sell 3 or 4 rugs per month.

The entire time Filippa was giving us her demonstration her mother in law sat on the floor, shucking the driest looking corn you have ever seen - to be ground into maize for their tortillas (which they also sell as a business).  Chickens and turkeys were hopping around the yard, in the shade of a pomegranate tree.

The entire time Filippa was giving us her demonstration her mother in law sat on the floor, shucking the driest looking corn you have ever seen – to be ground into maize for their tortillas (which they also sell as a business). Chickens and turkeys were hopping around the yard, in the shade of a pomegranate tree.

Pomegranates - in season right now, and plentiful!

Pomegranates – in season right now, and plentiful!

Once they have received their money – an En Via rep comes to take a photo of them with the supplies they have purchased. Once a week they are required to come to a meeting to discuss their business and to make a payment. They can pay it back at either a rate of 10 weeks or 15 weeks, but they must make a small payment each week.

Vivian bought a purse from the second lady we visited.  all of their weaving was beautiful - so artistic.  Rarely it is on pattern - the designs just flow out of their head and into the yarn.

Vivian bought a purse from the second lady we visited. all of their weaving was beautiful – so artistic. Rarely it is on pattern – the designs just flow out of their head and into the yarn.

Once they have completed this initial lending process, and paid it all back, they are eligible to move on to other loans – always in groups of 3. Eventually they are able to make larger loans, and those have an interest rate associated.

We visited 6 women in their homes, to learn about their business, 1 restaurant, 3 weavers, 1 grocer and 1 sheep/goat raiser.

Learning just how challenging it is to card the wool - a real workout.

Learning just how challenging it is to card the wool – a real workout.

Most of them were on anywhere from their 3rd to 5th loan with En Via. They are such hard workers. The grocer, for example, works her grocery store from 9-5, then her family owns a billiard room – where she works from 6:00 – 2:00 in the morning, then gets up and does it all over again! No days off. It was interesting because her next goal is to buy another shelf for her grocery store, with her next loan. I asked about the possibility of donating the funds for that shelf, but they don’t encourage that. En Via is trying to make everything have a good balance, and the women responsible.

The weavers demonstrations were great, and honestly – again – such crazy hard work. It might take them anywhere from weeks to months to create a rug ….. but first they purchase the wool from sheep growers living higher in the mountains, then they pick out the burrs in the wool, wash the raw wool in large baskets at the river, with soap plants, beating and rubbing the wool against the side of the basket. Once it has been rinsed well in the river they spread the wool out on the rocks to dry. Then they card it – which really works up a sweat. All colours come from natural sources, either bugs or plants. After all that, they start the work on weaving.

Raising goats and sheep in a very small space.  Certainly they wouldn't be able to raise cattle ….

Raising goats and sheep in a very small space. Certainly they wouldn’t be able to raise cattle ….

En Via does not advertise, their only source of revenue is people who come on these tours – this is what provides the resources for the women – so if you know ANYBODY coming to Oaxaca, please spread the word!

On our way back we got out of the van and got caught in rainfall, so by the time we got to the restaurant we were once again those drowned rats eating at a beautiful restaurant …… Wilson thinks we might start a new fashion trend …..

Yes, drowned rats - they no sooner seated us than we had shots of mescal in front of us ….. I don't think we look THAT bad ….

Yes, drowned rats – they no sooner seated us than we had shots of mescal in front of us ….. I don’t think we look THAT bad ….

Time to pack up when we got home and head to the beach!

Mercado del dia Zaachila & Culture Night 20 Nov 2014

Mercado del dis Zaachila means (I hope) that today is market day in the small town of Zaachila. We hopped a collectiva to get out there. If you haven’t ridden in one – basically a collectiva is any mode of transport that follows a set route, and you hop on and off as you need, but only on that specific route. It can be anything from a taxi to a truck!

Our first chore this morning was walking up to AeroTucan to purchase flights down to Puerto Escondido – we had originally planned to rent a car and drive down to the coast, staying in the rain forest along the way. However, after we stayed an extra day in Mexico city for Grant’s recovery we all thought it might be easiest to just fly down there. Vivian and Wilson were all for that, particularly as Vivian gets a bit carsick and that long trip along the ridge of the mountain would be a challenge. She thought it would be much easier to fly …. until she saw that we are going to be on a 9 passenger plane … ha ha – Vivi certainly has risen to a lot of challenges this trip – she’s a trooper though and both she and Wilson have been amazing at this different sort of trip.

On our way down to get the collectiva we saw so many cute kids – all dressed up as either Revolutionaries, caballeros (cowboys), Abuelitas (indigenous women) or Pancho Villa (hero). I did manage to get a couple of cute photos. Today is their national day of celebration of independence and all the preschool and primary school children regularly do this.

all ready for celebrating Independence Day

all ready for celebrating Independence Day


She was so cute, and happy to have her photo taken.

She was so cute, and happy to have her photo taken.

The market was fascinating. All the indigenous folk come in from the mountains to do their shopping, and their selling. So many fruits, vegetables, chickens, nuts, weavings, pretty much anything you can think of. They even have a lumber section – you can buy your firewood, or charcoal or even building material.

Most stalls are maintained by women, but there are a fair share of men doing the job also - you could buy anything here!

Most stalls are maintained by women, but there are a fair share of men doing the job also – you could buy anything here!


It was easy to imagine these old gals meeting up every week to chat.

It was easy to imagine these old gals meeting up every week to chat.


I've never seen black corn!

I’ve never seen black corn!


Every display is so enticing.

Every display is so enticing.


Chicken or turkey for dinner?  It doesn't get much fresher than this.

Chicken or turkey for dinner? It doesn’t get much fresher than this.


Picking up the weekly load of firewood.

Picking up the weekly load of firewood.


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So delicious. Following dinner we went to a percussion concert – 6 amazing performers – all free.
[caption id="attachment_2501" align="alignnone" width="584"]Percussionists - amazing. Percussionists – amazing.


The most incredible aspect is that you are listening to such brilliant music in an incredible venue – all of a sudden you look up and the ceiling is elaborately finished and you realize you are in a first class art gallery!

And then – imagine our delight when we realized the opera house was hosting a free Shastikovich concert – I tell you that cellist had magic fingers and brought the audience to tears.

We attended a free Shastikovich concert here - stunning building inside and out.

We attended a free Shastikovich concert here – stunning building inside and out.

The inside of the dome. The inside of the dome.[/caption]
no flash allowed - but you get the idea of the grandeur no flash allowed – but you get the idea of the grandeur[/caption

Perhaps most Mexican of all was that throughout each concert we could hear the chants of protestors and the beat of their drums while indoors, in these incredible locations, it was a different world.

Things are heating up in Oaxaca – the protestors are all still here – and are setting up camp in many of the streets. It is hard to imagine in Canada that people would just arrive, string tarps across the streets and set up a tent underneath it – on major streets! Obviously they feel very strongly that it is time for a change.

Tomorrow we are off to En Via – this tour will take us to the homes of 3 separate women, operating on micro loans to help sustain their families, and hopefully break the line of poverty.

No Way Jose – 19 Nov 2014

That became our refrain today.

Grant and Wilson trying to take seriously whatever Jose/George/Jorge has to say!

Grant and Wilson trying to take seriously whatever Jose/George/Jorge has to say!

Yesterday – at the botanical gardens – we met a guy, who we thought was associated with the gardens – his name is Jose, or George, or (horhay) – who knows. Anyway, he presented like he was part of the garden group, and then offered a tour to Teotitlan del Valle (weaving village), El Tule (2000 year old tree), Mitla (archeological ruins), and Hierve el Agua (calcified waterfalls). All this for the princely sum of 100 pesos each. Too good to be true??? Not a doubt. We would never have undertaken such a tour if Grant wasn’t as experienced as he is at all these places.

Massive trunk of El Tule

Massive trunk of El Tule

In the morning, at the appointed time, there was Jose – not quite with the same vehicle he presented yesterday, but an adequate Ford escape. Some other guy was driving. We got in the car and wondered where on earth Jose was. Then we heard rustling. Jose was in the back cargo area, sitting on the straw. :o) Only in Mexico …..

Our first stop was at Arbol del Tule – this massive tree is more than 2000 years old and literally dwarfs the cathedral next to it. The town itself was so clean and quiet – quite beautiful.

Incredible the way this 2000 year old tree dwarfs what is a really large cathedral.

Incredible the way this 2000 year old tree dwarfs what is a really large cathedral.

Back into the car and off to Teotitlan del Valle. This town is well known for its weaving. The Zapotecs that live there work all the weaving in the age old traditional way. We learned about how they first card the wool before spinning it, then dye it with all the old fashioned methods, using bugs and plant materials for colour. Just a couple little cochineal bugs create a deep maroon colour – add a little lemon and it is orange in colour, add a little limestone and it is purple! Walnuts to deepen brown, other herbs and plants to create greens, and the indigo plant for blue. Wouldn’t you know it – our driver had taken us to HIS house. His wife did weaving demonstrations for us, and another guy was working on a much larger loom. The weavers family had 2 children – ages 4 & 1 – pretty cute playing there. The four year old has decided that he doesn’t want to go to school, he would rather just weave and has his own loom already.

A perfect red - the cochineal bug provides the perfect base to create so many shades in the red family.

A perfect red – the cochineal bug provides the perfect base to create so many shades in the red family.


You can really see the lack of tourism with fear of travel in Mexico. They explained how so many of the indigenous people are suffering, along with the larger tourism aspects. Needless to say, Vivian and I were sucked in and each bought a rug …. in spite of the fact that we will be back in this village on Friday.

Vivi and Wilson with their weaving purchase - joined by the matriarch and patriarch of the home - Raoul is the one who ended up driving us to Mitla and Hierve de Agua.

Vivi and Wilson with their weaving purchase – joined by the matriarch and patriarch of the home – Raoul is the one who ended up driving us to Mitla and Hierve de Agua.

Just a sample of a few of the colours used in the weaving - all made with natural elements of their life.

Just a sample of a few of the colours used in the weaving – all made with natural elements of their life.

Our next stop was Mitla, and our driver stayed with his family while his father (Raoul) drove us on to Mitla. This archeological site was occupied as recently as the 1500’s by the Zapotecs. Once the Spanish arrived that was over, and they proceeded to destroy the site in order to build another cathedral and attempt to convert the natives to Catholocism.

Mitla - it is amazing how vivid the red is, and so easy to imagine how impressive this whole place looked at it's prime.

Mitla – it is amazing how vivid the red is, and so easy to imagine how impressive this whole place looked at it’s prime.

We had intended to carry on to Hierve el Agua – a calcified waterfall just beyond Mitla. Jose pointed out road closure signs and said the whole road was closed. Grant didn’t quite believe this, so he checked at the archeological site with another guide who said that no, they couldn’t close off the road to the village …. it was just the new highway wasn’t open yet.

The roof of the cathedral behind the ruins.

The roof of the cathedral behind the ruins.

So when we got back to the car and Jose said that we were going back to Oaxaca because the waterfall was closed, Grant pointed out that no it wasn’t – we just had to take the other road. Poor Raoul (who kept calling Jose George) had apparently only been contracted to take us to Mitla and back to Oaxaca.

It was another couple of hours on the road before we got back to Oaxaca. And let me tell you – what a road. Up and down and up and up and up and around some more. Eventually we snaked our way through roads with Jose having to tell Raoul every turn to make as he hadn’t been there since he was a small child. Honestly it was well worth it – those calcified waterfalls were incredible – such an amazing sight. Hope my photos do it justice.

An ancient version of an infinity pool - although you sure would NOT want to go over the edge in this - not sure where you would end up.  The calcified water is so green, and a very rich site against all the mountains.

An ancient version of an infinity pool – although you sure would NOT want to go over the edge in this – not sure where you would end up. The calcified water is so green, and a very rich site against all the mountains.

I don't know how far down this goes, but if you slipped at the top, nothing would stop you …. and you know there is nothing to prevent you from slipping!

I don’t know how far down this goes, but if you slipped at the top, nothing would stop you …. and you know there is nothing to prevent you from slipping!

Standing on one of the calcified areas, with more of the falls in the background - can you tell how nervous I am to be standing there?

Standing on one of the calcified areas, with more of the falls in the background – can you tell how nervous I am to be standing there?


The entire mountain ranges behind the falls seem like they are the perfect frame.  Such a remote area, and there are little villages everywhere dotting those hillsides.

The entire mountain ranges behind the falls seem like they are the perfect frame. Such a remote area, and there are little villages everywhere dotting those hillsides.

Raoul literally coasted back into town on gas fumes as he had no idea he was heading out to the falls. We had many a laugh as Grant and Raoul joked about making Jose push. First gas station we saw, we treated Raoul to some gas – he certainly put in the effort for it. We all kept saying “No way Jose” when he would try to tell us something ….

In the end, the tour was more than worth the money we paid for it – so interesting and entertaining!

Tonight on our evening walk down to the zocalo we noticed that protestors had arrived by the busload, so so many – so we skirted those areas on our way back home. Safely tucked in to a very quiet neighbourhood.

Big Day in Oaxaca City 18 Nov 2014

You might not think a botanical garden tour would be interesting …. would you? It sure was.

Beautiful reflection in the botanical garden

Beautiful reflection in the botanical garden

In the centro historico area there is a botanical garden – established only in 1994. The monastery was originally used by Monks, then the Mexican soldiers took it over to use for stabling their horses. This amazing block of land right within the city limits eventually became somewhat of a garbage dump. In 1994 a hotel chain planned to purchase the property and put up a huge hotel, shopping mall and parking. A well known artist, Francesco Toledo got wind of this plan and put forth a proposal to the government to turn it into a botanical garden, and this project was citizen led. One of the most interesting aspects of the garden is that it is created by an artist, not a botanist, so everything is laid out with an eye for art – creating beauty everywhere.

All the plants are indigenous to Oaxaca and many of them rescued and transplanted from areas where highways are being put in.

We saw a 400 year old barrel cactus that they brought in, weighing 5 tons!

This barrel cactus is over 5 tons and over 400 years old! It was rescued from an area where a new highway was going in.  If you can see the purple flower there … it is called a Queen's belly button!!

This barrel cactus is over 5 tons and over 400 years old! It was rescued from an area where a new highway was going in. If you can see the purple flower there … it is called a Queen’s belly button!!

Apparently Oaxaca was a wealthy state at one time, with Spaniards buying the insects that feed off cactus plants. This particular insect was crushed to extract a deep rich red colour – which at the time was prized and only able to be used by royalty and the church. So much colour comes off one tiny insect. Vivian crushed a very small one against her palm and the depth of colour was amazing – a different shade on each person that tried it, based on their PH levels.

Just 1 little cochineal bug created all this colour!

Just 1 little cochineal bug created all this colour!

The tour demonstrated a lot of ways that indigenous people used plants for survival, both nutrition and health. It was 2 k long, and 2 hours! The original water system is still in place and functioning, leading water throughout the property.

We lunched and started walking, surprise, surprise. Grants tour led us to the chocolate district, where we tasted a variety of the Oaxacan specialty chocolate. After picking up a few more vegetables at the market it was home for siesta.

Ready to be ground into chocolate!

Ready to be ground into chocolate!

Typical market vendor

Typical market vendor

Happy Hour finally! At last we had a chance to make our own guacamole and salsa and sit for a happy hour before heading out to dinner. When looking for a book store in town today we happened across a restaurant “El Quinque” that looked yummy. It sure was – we all loved it and came home with a jar each of their habanero salsa.

Happy Hour can't be beat with the local supplies for guacamole and salsa!

Happy Hour can’t be beat with the local supplies for guacamole and salsa!

Tomatillos of many colours.

Tomatillos of many colours.

this is the life ….

this is the life ….


Tomorrow we are off to see more ruins at Mitla, a 2000 year old tree – El Tule, maybe some calcified waterfalls and a mescal factory – should be another full day!

Oaxaca!! 17 Nov 2014

We made it onto the flight to Oaxaca – I tell you – Interjet airline is the bomb. Loaded on time, lift off on time, big seats (compared to Air Canada) – a quick beverage of any kind, along with snacks, refills, and boom – touchdown in Oaxaca. Love it.

The taxi bounced over cobblestone streets to find our apartment – Casa Del Barrio. Oh My Gosh. Love it!! Turns out to have 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms a cozy living/dining area and a fully functioning kitchen. Not to mention 3 little decks! One off the front entry way, another off the kitchen and a larger one with hammock and outdoor dining set off the living room. That may all sound huge, but it isn’t – just very well organized. We will easily spend our week here!

Waiting outside Casa Del Barrio in Oaxaca for our host - Ricardo

Waiting outside Casa Del Barrio in Oaxaca for our host – Ricardo

We no sooner hit the streets and I was reminded why I love Oaxaca so much – streets are clean, wide, smooth and sidewalks are not only existent but they are well maintained. This beautiful old Colonial city has it’s Centro Historico designated as a heritage site and they have looked after that very well. The old buildings are just beautiful – so colourful and completely kept in traditional ways.

Everywhere you look - beautiful, well maintained buildings with flowers

Everywhere you look – beautiful, well maintained buildings with flowers

Our wanderings took us into the central zocalo where they were in full long weekend festive mode – booths set up everywhere. Browsing the stalls we made our way to one of the mercados – and thankfully for us they still had a few vegetable vendors working – most were already in festival mode and closed down. We stocked up on fruits and vegetables for a couple of days as well as huevos (eggs), wine and beer.

The fruits and vegetables are just amazing - we can't get avocado this good at home, and the tomatoes only taste like this in the summer!

The fruits and vegetables are just amazing – we can’t get avocado this good at home, and the tomatoes only taste like this in the summer!

Naturally we also bought Oaxaca string cheese

Naturally we also bought Oaxaca string cheese

This morning Grant had us all on the road by 10:00 (yes, late for us) and we hailed a taxi to take us to Monte Alban – an archeological site first occupied around 500 BC – and at it’s peak probably around 350 – 700 AD. The Zapotec Indians occupied the top of a hilltop, and from that perspective you can see up and down all 3 valleys in the area, creating a Y. It is huge!

Monte Alban This incredible site just goes on forever - so beautiful

Monte Alban
This incredible site just goes on forever – so beautiful


No sooner do you climb a structure, and you see that it stretches out in front of you on another terrace altogether. Even at all sides of the developed or explored structures you can see remnants of ruins that haven’t even been touched. It is incredible to think of a nation of people that have still left such evidence of their existence that it can be pieced together all these years later.

Resting on top one of the climbs

Resting on top one of the climbs

Even Vivian is smiling after the climb!

Even Vivian is smiling after the climb!


Even Lonely Planet calls it one of the most impressive ancient sites in Mexico, and it is easy to see why, with it’s 360 degree views. Over 150 decorated underground tombs have been found in this site, although they aren’t available to view.

Just a few of the many carvings depicting the glories of battle wins.

Just a few of the many carvings depicting the glories of battle wins.

We waited for a taxi to materialize at the top for a while, without success. Eventually one of the vendors flagged down a young worker from Monte Alban, and he gave us a ride down to town, for slightly more than the taxi out – a great deal since we didn’t see a taxi all the way back to town. I guess everybody was in festival mode in the city!

On arriving back in town we decided to eat Mexican style – Comida. This was a full meal – tortilla soup, bisteca with onions or chipotle (thinly pounded steak) that was presented with beans and guacamole, watermelon water, and finished with coffee and a brownie. 65 pesos. Yes, that is the equivalent of less than $5.00 Canadian. After all that exercise, sun and food – we retired to our home for a siesta. I think siestas came about after eating their big meal at this time of day ….

After siesta we went to La Biznaga for dinner …. Grant and I had eaten there years before, and honestly – the only thing I could really remember was the flan with mescal sauce ….. it was still on the menu! We enjoyed it just as much tonight …. yum yum. However, the biggest surprise was Wilson ordering a chicken dish with chappulines! (yes, grasshoppers) He thought they were pretty good!

Wilson loved his chicken dish - in a guava sauce, served with a big bunch of chappulines (grasshoppers) - so good!

Wilson loved his chicken dish – in a guava sauce, served with a big bunch of chappulines (grasshoppers) – so good!

Only in Mexico ….. a fancy restaurant, fabulous dinner, followed by our favourite dessert - flan with caramel mescal sauce and crunchy pecans and coconut - then wash up in a bathroom that looks like this!  How can you not love this place?

Only in Mexico ….. a fancy restaurant, fabulous dinner, followed by our favourite dessert – flan with caramel mescal sauce and crunchy pecans and coconut – then wash up in a bathroom that looks like this! How can you not love this place?

More on Oaxaca to come – but be assured we are having a great time!

One of the many beautiful cathedrals - all lit up at night.

One of the many beautiful cathedrals – all lit up at night.