Thursday, May 3, 2012


Happy Birthday spelled out in flower petals
Hierves el Agua
It's been one big party around here for about 4 days. It started with Joe taking me on an all-day tour to Hierves el Agua, Mitla, El Tule, a textile house and of course the obligatory trip to the mezcal factory (aka tequila). Later he took me to our favorite little B&B, Las Bugambias. He booked the best room, and took me to dinner at La Olla. We opened a bottle of Petite Syrah from Modus Operandi. Did I mention it was for my birthday J Que romantica! Unfortunately we were so exhausted from our day that we passed out in our air conditioned room on our giant, soft king sized bed. Air conditioners are a great invention.

 Hierves el Agua (boiling water) is an amazing place with a "waterfall" of calcified salt.The “waterfall” is hundreds of feet tall and appears frozen in space. Several cool pools of salt water are nearby with cool water "boiling" out of the springs. Mitla is an ancient town that is still occupied. The massive, beautifully intact ruins are part of the community. El Tule is a ginormous tree . . . biggest circumference in the Americas. Estimated to be about 2,000 years old.
Joe standing about fifty feet in front of El Tule

On Sunday we went to mass at the capital Cathedral. Lots of kids being baptized that day, probably because the following day was Dia de Los Ninos (Children's day), April 30th. The children got the day off of school, so the Zocolo was packed with clowns, balloons, real fireworks and musicians on both Sunday and Monday. (I say real fireworks because this town has an obsession with the fireworks that just make a loud BOOM and flash white. This goes on day and night like a war with cannons)

Palace at Mitla
Monday was my birthday and first thing in the morning Vicki gave me a gift, a little trinket box she painted by hand. At school they bought me a chocolate cake and sang the traditional Mexican birthday song and followed that with English, German, and Japanese. We went to one of our favorite pubs to study, and the owner bought our beers as a present. Joe bought me a traditional Oaxacan dress and we went home. At home they had a little party for me with homemade carrot cake and sang to me again. That night we went back to town to El Olivo, a fancy Spanish bar we like a lot, and the bartender, Antonio bought appetizers (tapas) for us and discounted my glass of wine!

Wait! That’s not all. Tuesday was Mayday. Mayday is Mexico’s Labor day/ Protest day. It was mayhem in El Centro. The dump trucks, followed by the garbage trucks and then the gas and water trucks and more trucks went for a mile, bringing Oaxaca to a standstill. Thousands of people wearing matching union shirts marched in an orderly fashion to the Zocolo (state government seat). When we finally managed to get back home Vicki’s family and friends came over for a late lunch. They brought vodka, Red Bull, whiskey and beer (don't panic Mom, I had half a glass of wine). Joe and I just sat back and tried to keep up with what was being said, or shouted. Three of them are lawyers and one is an economist. The good-natured arguments were really fun to observe. They finally packed up and left with big hugs and promises to return. (Vicki is one of 8 children, 6 are lawyers, 1 is a doctor, and Vicki was a teacher—a very affluent family).

So today is calm, and I am glad. I’ve had enough craziness for now.

Heidi (and Joe)

No comments:

Post a Comment