Oaxaca

Oaxaca

Oaxaca

From Mexico City I got a suspiciously cheap yet surprisingly efficient bus down to Oaxaca (pronounced: wa-hack-a; yes I had problems with it too).

Oaxaca was a nice place to spend a few days. It reminds me of the south of Spain, same colonial- style buildings and people hanging about the central square on an evening, just living their lives in the open air. Great place for people watching.

Great for people watching. The main annoyance is the steady stream of people coming up to you with stuff to sell

Great for people watching. The main annoyance is the steady stream of people coming up to you with stuff to sell

IMG_4381I rented a room in the house of a couple of artists (‘Are you like Frida and Diego?’ I asked them. Er, no, apparently not). But I can certainly see why Oaxaca would attract artists to come and live there.

My little room at the side of the house.

My little room at the side of the house.

I had half an idea to stay an extra week, take a few Spanish classes and such; see what happened. However I couldn’t find anything to suit me; there weren’t enough foreigners around to make up classes in the half a dozen language schools in the city. Also, if I stayed in Oaxaca an extra week I’d need to forfeit somewhere else on my itinerary. So in the end I stuck with the plan.

This ‘not enough people to run things’ was a recurring theme.  The English version of a tour got cancelled and I was shunted onto a Spanish one (not such a bad thing for me actually) and a trip I planned to take to visit local artisans, where the money you pay gets given to them as an interest-free loan for their business start-up, also got cancelled due to lack of people.

I took a trip out to Monte Alban (the largest set of ruins in the area), around 45 minutes outside of the city. You can get a public bus, which is a lot cheaper, but I was a little tired and just wanted someone to do it all for me without having to figure out which was the right bus and which was the right stop. I heard it is a tough uphill walk from the bus stop too.

Slow season, so luckily not too many people around

Slow season, so luckily not too many people around.  In high season this place is teeming with people apparently.

Best things about Oaxaca?  Sitting in Zocalo square, watching people go by.  Lots of busy markets.  The food.  The fact that you can cover the whole city pretty much on foot without needing to figure out transport.  If you’re into looking at churches there are plenty of them.

Not sure what was going on here, but yet another thing that reminded me of Spain: the countless processions.

Not sure what was going on here (something related to the church I think), but yet another thing that reminded me of Spain: the countless processions.

Meanwhile, I’m getting a little travel weary. It’s ok; it usually hits me around six weeks in so it’s right on cue. I’m not homesick or anything (which is lucky since I don’t really have a home anymore) but I’m tired of the endless planning, of spending hours on the internet checking buses and comparing flights and deciding how long I’ll want to spend and where I’ll want to go next and what I’ll want to do there.

In reality, I think that’s why I struggled a bit with Oaxaca. Nothing to do with the place itself but more to do with my travel exhaustion.

These people were demonstrating against something. Maybe student loans or something? PA wasn't clear and my Spanish isn't so great. I caught university and young people without hope and many references to fighting and rights.

These people were demonstrating against something. Maybe student loans? PA wasn’t clear and my Spanish isn’t so great. I caught university and young people without hope and many references to fighting and rights.

Anyway, I am going to attempt to cure this weariness with a few days on the beach.  I think of it as a little break from my travels, a holiday from my holiday.

2 replies »

  1. Hi Sarah

    Oh I just love the idea of the proceeds of the tour go to the artists to help them fund their work. What a shame it got cancelled, but a great idea. I just love the colours in these photos and I can see what you mean about it being similar to Spain. I smiled when I saw your little room and is really did remind me of my little room in Bangkok. Sometimes the simple things give us the most pleasure.

    I hope your time at the beach is giving some ‘Sarah time’. Give my love to the sea. Safe travels my friend xx

  2. Yeah it all sounded good in theory but there weren’t enough tourists there, which I suppose is better than the other way around where it’s swamped by people. I kept forgetting where I was and thinking it was Spain, which could mean I have the beginnings of dementia; that starts by not remembering where you are. Or I could have just been tired of course 🙂

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