Staying at Hostel Paulina
...very new, very nice, great showers, and lots of traveling folks.
Looked at our expenses so far in MX and it is more per day than in E. Europe which was one of the most expensive areas so far...$30 US+/day! Perhaps 50% goes for transport. What makes up for it is that Mexicans are much more helpful and friendly so far which makes the $$$ pain somewhat more acceptable. Perhaps we could save some driving our own vehicle but then that removes us from mainstream MX.
Head for Monte Alban, earliest inhabit 200BC they say...one of the earliest sites in the world to have organized state govt w/ leaders from the priestly & upper classes. Walking around the huge area covered by ruins (now expertly 'renewed' by UNESCO) it is evident to me that religion & politics have been controlling the masses everywhere for a very long time! I guess we can expect no better today, humans are just plain flawed that way.See Monte Alban
Rainy last nite...some big demonstration in the plaza (100,000 or so they say).
We headed to ruins in Mitla with rain threatening (rained alot last nite). Took a colectivo up where ruins are relatively recent (1300/1400 AD), it became the religious center of the area after the demise of Teutihuacan and Puebla. Mostly interesting for the unique 'mural' stonework on the walls not found anywhere else. Bon thinks it looks like the foundation stones come from a much earlier time than archeologists date it, even earlier than 200 BC. Site is now totally surrounded by the town and in fact, the San Pedro church stands in the middle, and is made from stones which were part of the great plaza of the Aztecs who once lived here (very typical all over the world, one religion displacing another).Learn about Mitla
On the way back we stopped to pay our respects to the largest tree (a cypress) in the world (see pic)...2000 yrs old, 58 m. circumferance (180'), 14 m. diameter (45'), and 42 m. high (130')...pretty impressive, and lots of shade! The Tree
Perfect timing allowed us to miss the rain which came down in buckets while we ate lunch across from the tree, El Tule it's called.
Great night out w/ group from hostel...see pic.
The hostel was a great meeting place...the night before we met a Brit couple from Manchester who quit their jobs, sold their house, and now are traveling for 9 mos+/-
same as we, hopefully to meet up again by/before Peru in June...Shawn & Helen.