Around the World... One Journey at a Time. Around the World... One Journey at a Time.

Mexico: Day 7

by Kathy 9. May 2009 14:46

<< Day 6: Oaxaca; Yagul and Teotitlán del Valle | Day 8: Huatulco and San Agustin >>


Driving to Huatulco


We bid “Hasta luego!” to Oaxaca this morning and headed off on our journey over the mountains, to the Pacific coastal town of Santa Cruz de Hualtulco. Our first stop along the way was to revisit the wood carving town of San Martin Tilcajete, to see Jacobo Angeles. We followed the hand-drawn map that we had been given after our last visit to the town. Our interpretation of the map, however, had us wandering out on a small dirt road that eventually dead ended. Ooops! We back-tracked and started asking people for directions; we continued to follow in the general direction that people were pointing, and we eventually zig-zagged our way to the door of Jacobo’s home/studio.

Almost there . . .

. . . on the right street . . .

. . . finally at Jacobo's entrance!

Jacobo was kind enough to give us a tour of his studio, introducing us to the painters and carvers, who are all members of his family—his wife, nieces, nephews, children, and other relatives. He also showed us how the animals are carved and how the paint colors are made from natural ingredients (bark, lemon juice, etc.). Here is Jacobo with some of the colors that that he mixed together for us.

After leaving Jacobo’s studio we began our long ascent into the mountain range that divides Oaxaca from the Pacific Coast. The children were continually fascinated by the people who ride in the back of pick up trucks. Much of the public transportation between towns consisted of pick-ups with space in the back for people to stand or sit on chairs.

Genevieve was very envious of the perceived freedom involved in riding in the back of a truck (especially after we told her that both Ben and I used to ride in the back of trucks as children because the prohibitive safety laws had not yet been passed.)

A short way past the city of Ejutla, we found a small restaurant for lunch--Los Laureles.

We were the only customers there. The tacos were delicious!

The drive took about 7 hours (not including the times we stopped for a rest). We passed the time in many ways, including describing the shapes that we saw in the clouds. Ben was the first to spot this side view of a man’s face with poufy hair on top (to the left of the tree):

We saw a lot of burros, like this one:

And we liked to look at the different types of houses that people live in:

As we climbed higher, we drove through lots of forested areas.

We stopped at a small snack shop that had a bathroom.

The bathroom looked like it had recently been built, and the door hinges were very interesting—pieces of thick leather with one side nailed to the door and one side to the outer wall.

We were driving on a very curvy road. Genevieve has always had issues with car-sickness, so we had given her ½ of a dramamine tablet after lunch. In the late afternoon, we discovered that Sebastian can also get car-sick; I looked back to find that his face was a pale shade of yellowish-green. We pulled over and let him sit in the fresh air for a bit (and also gave him a tiny bit of dramamine).

While we were resting, an older man named Leopaldo came out of his house and started talking to us. Although he spoke Spanish very quickly, we could understand a lot of what he said (or at least we like to think that we did)—and he seemed to understand our halting Spanish just fine (or at least he pretended to). We had a fairly long conversation about the changes that he has seen take place in his community, his frustration over the clear-cutting of trees without permission, and the impact of the new toll road that is being built from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido.

While we were stopped, we watched some of the local women carrying wood on their heads:

After Sebastian started feeling better, we continued driving.

A couple of miles down the road, however, were some people with a rope across the road:

The woman approached our car with a can for collecting money. She spoke quickly, and we could not understand her words; however, she pointed to a makeshift altar with a picture of a religious figure on it by the side of the road, and she shook the can at us. We smiled and graciously declined, rolling the car window up and looking straight ahead like we were ready to move on. (We didn't want to be rude, but we didn't want to donate any money . . . and we had read many stories about shakedowns and demands for money along roads.) After a brief moment, the people lowered the rope and allowed us to drive forward. When the same thing happened about 10 minutes later with another rope across the road and an altar nearby, we just shook our heads and smiled and kept our windows rolled up, and we were allowed to pass.

We were dropping quickly in altitude, toward the Pacific Ocean, and the vegetation was thick, with many banana trees and other tropical plants.

We drove on and on, and we finally reached Santa Cruz de Huatulco around 7:30 p.m. It was a long day, and we were all tired.

We all perked up when we saw the apartment that we were renting for 3 nights (found through—it was spacious and beautifully decorated, with a great location and a small view of the bay; moreover, it had a large clean pool, as well as a jumbo-sized washer and dryer so that I could do all of our laundry (we only travel with a week’s worth of clothes). We were delighted! Actually, I was ecstatically happy; the place had a wonderful energy about it, very peaceful!

We walked to one of the beach-front restaurants for a relaxing meal. Here we are, waiting for our dinners to arrive:


<< Day 6: Oaxaca; Yagul and Teotitlán del Valle | Day 8: Huatulco and San Agustin >>

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Map of Our Journeys

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Our travel map

Places We’ve Been, w/Quick Links

   Bumthang Valley
   Gom Kora
   Paro Valley
   Punakha Dzong
   Sangdrup Jongkhar
   Wangdi Phrodrang

   Janko Marca
   La Paz
   Laguna Colorada
   Laguna Verde
   Salar de Coipasa
   Salar de Uyuni
   San Pablo
   Santa Rosa
   Sud Lipez
   World’s Most Dangerous Road

   Banff National Park
   Battle Hill Nat'l Hist. Site
   Boya Lake Prov. Park, BC
   Burns Lake Bike Park
   Canyon Sainte-Anne
   Dawson Creek
   Eastern Townships
   Fort Nelson
   Jasper National Park
   Kluane Lake, YK
   'Ksan Historical Village
   Lake Louise
   Liard Hot Springs
   Niagara Falls
   Quebec City
   Thousand Islands
   Vancouver Island
   Watson Lake

   Forbidden City
   Great Wall at Mutianyu
   Hong Kong
   Summer Palace
   Terracotta Warriors
   Tiananmen Square
   Yungang Caves

Costa Rica
   Arenal Volcano
   Finca Corsicana
   Hanging Bridges
   Manuel Antonio
   Poas Volcano
   Proyecto Asis
   Sky Trek Zip Lining
   Venado Caves


   Amazon Rainforest
   Chaquiñan Bicycle Trail
   La Mitad del Mundo
   Napo Wildlife Center
   Papallacta Hot Springs
   Proyecto DCR
   Yasuní National Park


   Baja California
   Frida Kahlo Museum
   Hierve el Agua
   Marietas Islands
   Mexico City
   Monte Alban
   Oaxaca City
   Puerto Angel
   Puerto Escondido
   Puerto Vallarta
   San Agustin
   San Martin Tilcajete
   Santa Fe de la Laguna
   Santa María el Tule
   Studio of Jacobo Angeles
   Teotitlán del Valle

   Dead Vlei
   Elondo Village
   Etosha Nat'l Park
   Hippo Pools Camp
   Hoba Meteorite
   Khowarib Camp
   Moose McGregor's Bakery
   Mowani Camp
   Ngepi Camp
   Nkasa Lupala
   n'Kwzi Camp
   River Dance Lodge
   Seisriem Camp
   Treesleeper Camp

   Cañón del Pato
   Cerro de Pasco
   La Oroya
   Machu Picchu
   Nuevo Jaén
   Tingo Maria
   Yungay Memorial


South Africa

   Rock of Gibraltar
   Santillana del Mar

United States National Parks
   Arches National Park, UT
   Badlands National Park, SD
   Bandelier National Monument, NM
   Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
   Cahokia Mounds (UNESCO site), IL
   Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
   Canyon de Chelly Nat'l Monument, AZ
   Cape Hatteras National Shoreline, NC
   Capitol Reef National Park, UT
   Civil Rights Memorial, AL
   Death Valley National Park, CA
   Denali National Park, AK
   Devil’s Tower National Monument, WY
   El Morro National Monument, NM
   Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C.
   Glacier National Park, MT
   Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
   Grand Tetons National Park, WY
   Great Basin National Park, NV
   Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI
   Joshua Tree National Park, CA
   Kaloko-Honokohau Nat'l Hist. Park, HI
   Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks, NM
   King's Canyon National Park, CA
   Martin Luther King Jr. Nat'l Hist. Site, GA
   Mesa Verde National Park, CO
   Montezuma's Castle Nat'l Monument, AZ
   Monticello, VA
   Mount Rushmore National Memorial, SD
   Mt. Rainier National Park, WA
   Olympic National Park, WA
   Petrified Wood National Park, AZ
   Pinnacles National Monument, CA
   Pu'uhonua o Honaunau Nat'l Hist Pk, HI
   Pu'ukohola Heiau Nat'l Historic Site, HI
   San Antonio Missions Nat'l Hist. Park, TX
   Tuzigoot National Monument, AZ
   Walnut Canyon National Monument, AZ
   Washington Monument
   White Sands National Monument, NM
   Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, AK
   Wright Brothers National Memorial in NC
   Yellowstone National Park, WY
   Yosemite National Park, CA

United States, Cities and Places
   The Alamo, TX
   Alaska Wildlife Conservation Cntr.
   Alpine Loop in CO
   Anchorage, AK
   Antares Junction, AZ
   Arctic Circle, AK
   Barrel Oak Winery in VA
   Biloxi, MS
   Bottle Tree Farm in CA
   Calico Ghost Town, CA
   Canfield Mountain Trail System, ID
   Cape St. Vincent, NY
   Carson City, NV
   Carter Caves State Park in KY
   Chappie-Shasta OHV Area, CA
   Child's Glacier, AK
   Circle B Chuckwagon Show in SD
   City Museum in MO
   Cody, WY
   Corn Palace in SD
   Crazy Horse Memorial in SD
   Custer State Park, SD
   Dalton Highway, AK
   Dinosaur Tracks in AZ
   Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC
   Dry Falls (Sun Lakes-Dry Falls), WA
   Fairbanks, AK
   Front Royal, VA
   Gallup, NM
   Goffs, CA
   Grand Canyon Caves, AZ
   Grand Canyon Skywalk, AZ
   Grave Digger Monster Truck in NC
   Great Salt Lake, UT
   Hackberry General Store in AZ
   Hannibal, MO
   Hatteras Island, NC
   Hawaii (Big Island)
   Hickison Petroglyphs, NV
   Holbrook, AZ
   Hole in the Rock, UT
   Homer, AK
   Honey Island Swamp Tour in LA
   Hoover Dam, NV
   Hyder, AK
   Jim Gray’s Petrified Wood Co. in AZ
   John’s Peak OHV Area, OR
   Kailua-Kona, HI
   Keepers of the Wild Nature Park in AZ
   Kennecott, AK
   Kennecott Copper Mine in UT
   Kingman, AZ
   Lake Havasu, AZ
   Lake Tahoe, NV
   Las Vegas, NV (winter 2010)
   Little Brown Church in IA
   London Bridge in AZ
   Loneliest Road in America, Hwy. 50, NV
   Los Angeles, CA
   Lost Colony Show on Roanoke Isl., NC
   Lowe’s Speedway in NC
   Mardi Gras World in LA
   Mark Twain Museum in MO
   Meteor Crater, AZ
   Million Dollar Highway, CO
   Minnesota Zoo
   Mitchell, SD
   Moab, UT
   Moab, UT (dirt biking)
   Montgomery, AL
   Montpelier, ID
   Navajo Nation, AZ
   Needles, CA
   Nevada Beach, NV
   Newberry Springs, CA
   New River Gorge, WV
   New Orleans, LA
   Niagara Falls 
   North Pole, AK
   Oatman, AZ
   Old Faithful Geyser in WY
   Omak Stampede, WA
   Painted Desert, AZ
   Park City, UT (summer)
   Plymouth, NC
   Portage Valley, AK
   Portland, OR
   Prospect OHV Trail System, OR
   Resaca, GA
   Riverside State Park, WA
   Rock City in TN
   Rosa Parks Library and Museum in AL
   Roswell, NM
   Russian River, AK
   Salt Lake City, UT
   San Antonio, TX
   San Diego, CA
   San Juan Islands, WA
   San Francisco, CA
   Santa Catalina Island, CA
   Seattle, WA
   Sedona, AZ
   Shoe Tree in CA
   Shoe Tree in NV
   Silverton, CO
   Sonora, TX
   St. Louis, MO
   St. Paul, MN
   Talkeetna, AK
   Telluride, CO
   Route 66
   Twin Knobs Recreation Area in KY
   Virginia Beach, VA
   Washington D.C.
   Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park in IL
   Williamsburg, VA
   Winom Frazier OHV Area, OR
   Winslow, AZ
   Zion National Park, UT

Planning Our Adventures

For us, each journey begins with the initial heart pangs to venture to a certain part of the world. Then the ideas start coming together . . . ahh, the possibilities . . . and the dream evolves gradually into an actual plan. But, oh, the joy of the dream!  Click here to learn more about how we plan and prepare for our journeys.

Where Are We Now?

Click here to discover where we are now, as well as our uncoming travel plans.

Words for the Heart

“. . . and then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Anais Nin