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Wedesday 7th April - Oaxaca.
By Claire
Sunday, 11th April 2004 22:54

We arrived in Oaxaca at 7am, and took the opportunity to buy tickets to San Cristobal de las Casas and from there to Merida, just to make sure. It turned out to be a 13-hour bus ride to San Cristobal, and a similar journey time from there to Merida, so we rearranged our schedule a to give us a couple of days in each place.

A taxi took us to the hostel, a clean, uninspiring place, where we were allowed to get some sleep before checking in, which was kind of them. But we were in separate dormitories, something I intend to avoid - I don't do dormitories. At about midday, after a bit of sleep, and a shower we felt a little more human again.

Oaxaca turned out to be a beautiful little town and quite unlike Mexico city - this place had shops, for a start, rather than the plethora of street vendors we'd come to expect. We found the town square, tree-lined, shady and bustling with the inevitable market stalls. We had lunch in a cafe where the temperature reached 37.5 under the umbrella, but there was a slight breeze too, and the air was dry, which made it bearable.

We wandered round each of the corners of the square, and finally came across the old cathedral which housed a massive gold altar. The whole town was immaculate, people constantly sweeping and tidying. Each open door yielded a courtyard or a fountain or a cafe of some sort.

We booked a trip to Monte Alban, a huge Zapotec city, now just an archaeological ruin, that we'd seen a model of in the Museum in Mexico City, had supper in a place that turned out to be a posh hotel for rich Americans but that did very good food, and headed back to the hostel for the night.

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