Oaxaca – one of our favourite states in Mexico

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it gets better and better…. we are really impressed what Mexico has to offer…¡Que viva México!

After a long but very beautiful drive through the mountains we arrived in Oaxaca City (Oaxaca City is at 1’560m / elevation of the Sierra at 3’250m).

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driving through the Valley of Oaxaca

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This is Oaxaca City

We settled in at Overlander Oasis just 10 minutes outside of the Oaxaca City. This camp was our base for adventures in Oaxaca. Great spot with a great hosts & again we met lots of other travellers.

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at Overlander Oasis. great host (on the left) and fellow travellers! thank you guys – it was great to meet you!

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with Erica & Sam at Overlander Oasis

Oaxaca City

With a “collectivo” (like a taxi, you pay only 10 pesos but the taxi driver will fill up his car. If necessary the driver will move so far to the left that a third person can fit in the front. I could not switch gears like that?!) We drove to the city and explored of course the town centre. The Zocalo is surrounded by beautiful archways and shadowed by ancient trees, it is the favourite gathering point, heart of the city. The city also has great markets. We visited the Benito Juárez market. it is the most traditional market, where you can buy mole, tlayudas, cheese, chocolate, chapulines, tamales and also handicrafts, textiles, hats etc. We had a really tasty “tlayuda” (big crunchy tortilla topped with cheese & beans and veggies). We enjoyed the atmosphere in the pedestrian zone. Of course we discovered nice cafes, bakeries and a great restaurant. Before heading back to Tule we met with Erica & Sam and had a few beers and a hot chocolate. Perfect to round off the evening.

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Templo de Santo Domingo in Oaxaca City

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In the center of the city of Oaxaca, various businesses grind and prepare cacao for hot chocolate drinks, moles, and more. Most of the cacao is processed for drinking. Hot chocolate is prepared with the chocolate mixture with water or milk and heated in a pot or pitcher. Before serving, a froth is created with a special instrument is twirled rapidly by rubbing the handles between the palms. hmmmm so good…

My little session with this cute squirrel in a beautiful park in Oaxaca:-)

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Hierve El Agua

a natural wonder – located off the beaten path in the mountains of Oaxaca. It’s hard to resist a soak in the springs at Hierve el Agua. The minerals in the water are said to be beneficial for the skin and the views from the cliff-top bathing pools, both of which offer expansive panoramas of the valleys below, are some of the most spectacular in Oaxaca.

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what a breathtaking view from our camping spot

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a huge “palapa”

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one of the turquoise cliff-top pools

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incredible view that you have of the Oaxacan valleys and mountains all around you

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it appears to be a massive waterfalls frozen to the side of the mountain. These are actually natural mineral formations that have built up over thousands of years as a result of the mineral-laden water spilling over the edge of the cliff and trickling down the rocky mountain side.

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The name Hierve el Agua translates to “the water boils”, and the natural mineral springs that are found here take their name from the bubbling of the warm water as it flows up from the earth through the springs and releases oxygen into the turquoise cliff-top pools

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One of the springs that bubbles up, whose water is over-saturated with calcium carbonate and other minerals

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it’s amazing to sit on this edge and enjoy this view:-)

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One of the most picturesque natural attractions in the Central Valleys of Oaxaca.

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after the swimming we needed a refreshment. how about a “piña loca”. They hollow the pineapple, fill it with orange juice add a few spices and chilli sauce, put back the pineapple and…..

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et voilà…. ready our piña loca

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don’t drink it all… it’s meant to share:-)

The gigantic and unique Tule tree in Santa Maria del Tule

The town’s claim to fame is as the home of a 2,000 year old Montezuma cypress tree, known as the El Árbol del Tule, which is one of the oldest, largest and widest trees in the world. approximated measures are 116 feet height; circ. 119 ft, 636 t weight

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El Árbol del Tule

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El Árbol del Tule

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El Árbol del Tule

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Entrance to the church framed with flowers

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Teotitlán del Valle

The name Teotitlán comes from Nahuatl and means “land of the gods”. Its Zapotec name is Xaguixe, which means “at the foot of the mountain”. It was one of the first villages founded by the Zapotecs in this area, in 1465, and it still retains its Zapotec culture and language. It’s a town with a great textile tradition where different wool articles, dyed with natural colours, are weaved. Families welcome you to visit them so you can learn their about their traditions. We visited a candle & carpet factory, and had lunch in a zapotec restaurant.

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She showed us how to make candles

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multi-layer flower made with candle wax

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Different shapes made with candle wax

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very simple kitchen. this is where they cook and heat up the wax

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as a welcome the restaurant offered us a tasty appetizer with Mezcal. It is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from the maguey plant native to Mexico. The word “Mezcal” means “oven-cooked agave”. You sprinkle chili-salt on the lime. Sip some mescal and bite into the lime. in addition were some roasted pumpkin seeds

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tasty toasted blue corn tortillas with guacamole and chilli sauce

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The beautiful Zapotec Restaurant

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This is the place where we learned about the weaving and natural dyeing

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He is showing us how to work the spinning wheel

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Now it’s my turn…. not easy to work with this spinning wheel

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Natural dyeing. She explained us how they get the different shades with these natural products. Very interesting

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in these large barrels they soak the wool

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impressive… weaving by hand

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a beautiful selection of the different colours and patterns

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