Trip Start Jan 07, 2008
36Trip End Ongoing
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I had the unique opportunity to input my journal into the computer last week. It was full and I just don´t want to have to carry it with me on the road. I have found a way to re-organize that whole project for the future, and look forward to updating more frequently. One thing I did discover while entrenched in that process, as well as reviewing this blog to see where I had previously left off, is my command of the English language seems to be suffering worse than ever. Trying to combine my new knowledge of Spanish (which by the way does not in any way translate literally into English) with my own language has proved to be a disaster
I have been running around the Oaxaca area trying to see and do all the things I had yet to experience and it has proven to be a great fun. I went to visit El Tule last week. It is supposedly the largest tree in the world, estimated to be some 2000 years old. It is truly a spectacular sight, and the best analogy I can use for you all who are reading this that the trunk pretty much takes up an entire city block. It also plays host to an incredible amount of bird and bees, making this monster hum with life. It was quite a spectacular sight. I though we had some amazing trees in NOLA, but this one takes the cake.
Last weekend Gustavo took me out to San Augustin, Etla which is about a 20 minute ride Northwest of the city. I am not lying when I tell you that the area reminded me greatly of Northern Italy. There were tons of those tall thin cypress trees, rolling hills spotted with dark green vegetation and a perfect climate. There is an old fabric mill there that has been converted to an art school specializing in recycled products used in art. Very interesting. While we were having lunch he was able to contact an artist friend in the area, and when we finished we went off to meet with him
Alberto is a paper artist. He makes paper from organic materials and then uses the paper for a host of very different products. He is a combination artist and engineer and all of his work is just spectacular. Some things are made to encase bottles for fancy marketing, some are spectacular handmade portfolios for archiving photos and documents, and then there is paper and lots of it for painting or writing on. The method was completely old world and everything was done by hand. It was one of those days when I think I have died and gone to heaven. It was great to spend a huge chunk of time with he and his friend, learning what life in the Oaxaca Valley is all about. At the end of the day we went up onto his flat roof top that overlooked the valley and watched the sun set. I am truly grateful for the experience.
The next day my buddy, Isaac to me to Mitla, one of the most popular ruins in the area. What an entirely different experience this was compared to Monte Alban, the more famous ruins that I visited shortly after I arrived here. The architecture and design elements here took on a truly geometric shape which were entirely different from the soft and rounded forms depicted in the drawings at Monte Alban. Also, much of the stone in this area has an amazing pink tone to it, where as in the Oaxaca area things are decidedly more green and beige. The town itself was adorable and incredibly clean. Another great Mexican experience.
As I sat with the guys at Alberto´s house in Etla, we talked quite a bit about the Oaxaca Valley. The diversity of people here is truly amazing
The one thing I am certain of is that I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to spend such a huge chunk of time here. Who knows, maybe I´ll be knocking on Oaxaca´s door again in the near future. I´m told repeated by folks that they are building a new road that will get me to the beach in just 2 hours. Right now, the ride is between 7 and 10 hours. Maybe Oaxaca is still a possibility. Time will tell. But for now.....it´s all about the beach baby. My next report will be from the Oaxaca Coast. Surfs up.