Two months in Mexico travel blog

information on the tree, sorry in spanish only

el tule tree, the widest tree in the world

trunk is so big it takes more than one shot to get...

far left side of tree

branches in tree

small church in the El Tule tree courtyard

close up of church door decorated with sunflowers

square next to tree. Lovely town really pristine and well groomed

building on the square of Santa Marie del Tule. really impressed with...

mezcal store, the guy was the strong silent type, never said word

the lady finished putting out the display of the mezcal brewing equipment....

shop next to mezcal store selling shirts and clothes in Santa Rita

houses in the village next to the frozen falls

first time I ran across adobe brick houses

new building with rebar covered with bottles

view of water pools from top of the falls mountain

view of frozen water falls from the top of hill

closer view of the falls

getting closer to the falls. They are really high, as the birds...

about a close as I could get

one more time for good measure

cliff by the pool area

the mineral pools fed by cold mountain water, still felt great on...

water shaped terraces by the pools

water terraces and swimming pools all naturally formed

water run off that goes over the edge to form more of...

on the way out of town we had to wait for a...

the famous black luster clay pots made by Senora Dona Rosa's family

pots are rubbed to a luster before firing

finished pots in showroom ready to sell

under ground kiln

another view of the underground kiln

down the stairs to the fire pit

closer shot of the fire pit door to kiln

resturant with ladies cooking huge tortillas in wok shaped pans on top...

men cooking bread in another oven

more ladies preparing food next to a super carved wood statue

case of chickens all decked out in feathers and standing on wood...

growing on the resturant grounds was this tree with a type of...

Day trip from Oaxaca to El Tule tree, the frozen falls, Black pots, Monastery, and dinner.

The van for the tour came early to the hotel to pick me up. Our first stop was the town of Santa Maria del la Tule. We stopped on the plaza, which was a very clean and had freshly painted buildings surrounding it. The major attraction was the largest tree in the world. It was pretty impressive. After we had a good look we continued on to the frozen waterfalls called Hierve el Agua. We climbed high into the dusty hills covered with sparse scrub bushes. We arrived at the petrified cascades of mineral water and viewed the mountain high above the swimming pools of cold water. I walked down to the pools and put my feet in. The water wasn't deep enough to get my knee in but I could splash some up on it.

It was time to go so I made my way up to the food stands and bought a quesadilla made on a huge tortilla. It was good. On the way out of the village we had to wait for a funeral to go by. They were walking down the hill carrying the casket on their shoulders. It was interesting but a very somber scene.

We came next to the town of San Bartolo Coyotepec where the world famous black ceramics are manufactured. They are polished, engraved and incised then fired. We visited the shop of Senora Dona Rosa the woman who made the process of manufacturing the pre-hispanic ceramic replicas and modern decorative ornamental pieces famous. I looked real close at the kiln they fired the goods in. It was under ground and used wood to fuel the fire. As we left the village we could see every block had a pottery manufacturing shop.

We continued on the Cuilapan de Guerrero, where we could see the wonderful Gothic architecture of the 16th century open-chapel and the Dominican Ex-convent, which were built by the indigenous people of the Central Valleys during the Spanish conquest. The place was not used any more for a convent, but the church still held mass.

From there we went through a number of villages and stopped for lunch at a wonderful restaurant that made all the food in the dining area. The tables were all long ranch style where we all sat together as a group. We could see the men making bread and the women cooking huge tortillas on open grills. I had the chicken taquitous with guacamole. It was my new favorite. That was the best one I've had. From there we went to the community of Arrazola, whose artisans create a carved and elaborately painted fantastic animal kingdom of Alebrijes, the carved wooden creatures painted with dots and bright colors. I could hardly wait; as that was the other thing I wanted to buy. It was getting dark by the time we reached the shop and I had to hurry to make my selection. Some of the other people in the group also bought things. When it was my turn I had found four things I wanted. The biggest was a dragon (Lizard) that cost 50.00. I don't think she wanted to sell it to me as I had a hard time getting it. At that point price was no object. They finally wrapped up my purchases and I hurried from the shop into the dark street. The man from the tour bus was waiting at the corner for me and ushered me to the bus. We ran into a massive amount of traffic going back to Oaxaca. I sure am glad I took the tour. I would have never been able to find my way alone. The villages were packed together sprawled along dusty, dirty streets that looked so poor I would never guess artisans lived and worked there. More later, Gay

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