12. 2. La playa

Playa Puerto Angelito

🇸🇮 Končno. Sonce, morje, vročina. In soba, iz katere se ne sliši nočne drame petelinov in kokoši. Kaj si človek sploh še lahko zaželi. Sigurno ne škodijo zraven škampi s kokosom, Corona, vegetarijanski takosi in piña colada 🙂 končno začenjava dojemat, kje sva in v kaj sva se spustila. Uau!

Big smiles

🇬🇧 Finally. Sun, heat, sea. And a room that keeps all the night rooster&chicken drama away. What more could we possibly want! Also, coconut shrimps, Corona, tacos and piña colada really don’t hurt. We have arrived, and are finally realizing where we are and what we got ourselves into. Epic.

11. 2. Bus ride and crazy chickens

🇸🇮 Vožnja iz Oaxace do Puerto Escondido se z avtobusom vleče skoraj 12 ur po ovinkasti cesti čez hribe. Medtem ko Miha spi kot dojenček se Tina bori s slabostjo, ampak na srečo zmore brez kakšnih dramatičnih prizorov (ki pa bi ta zapis sigurno obogatili). Nekje na pol poti se ustavimo na kosilu, zaklepetava se s simpatičnim angleškim parom, Rhian in Mike, vožnja potem mine kar hitro. V hostel prideva pozno zvečer, popadava v posteljo, kako se paše uležt… dokler čez par ur ne začnejo terorizirat petelini in kure, ki se derejo celo noč kot da bo konec sveta. Miha se vmes zažene ven s povšterčkom v roki (še zdaj ni jasno, če bi iskal novo prenočišče ali davil kure?), na srečo naju Mayela, ki vodi hostel, zjutraj prijazno prestavi v tišjo sobo, da se vrneva v stanje humanosti.

Hanging out

🇬🇧 The bus ride from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido is a 12 hours long,curved ride through the mountains. While Miha slept as a baby, Tina wrestled the motion sickness and luckily won without dramatic scenes 🙂 around halfway through the journey we stopped for lunch where we met Rhian and Mike, a chilled and charismatic couple from England, hanging out made the journey pass much quicker. We arrived to Puerto Escondido late in the evening, settled into our lovely room and fell asleep in an instant… only to be awoken a few hours later by crazy roosters and chickens making noise as if the world was about to end. This went on all night (at one point Miha charged through the door with a pillow in his hands, it’s still unclear if to find another place to sleep or smother the chickens?) and by morning we were not the happiest campers – luckily Mayela who’s running the Casa Santaella moved us to a quieter room, and we could go back to being pleasant humans again.

10. 2. Road trip

🇸🇮 Preden se prestaviva na obalo, izkoristiva še zadnij dan za najem avta in raziskovanje okoli Oaxace – najprej ruševine Monte Albán, potem “kamniti slap” Hierve el Agua in na koncu še presenetljiv obisk Mezcalerie, tovarne Mezcala.

🇬🇧 Before going to the coast we enjoyed the last day in Oaxaca, driving around the region to Monte Albán ruins, the petrified waterfall Hierve el Agua and to finish the day we stooped in a Mezcaleria.

Monte Albán 

Imagining how it used to be.

🇸🇮 Ruševine starodavnega mesta avtohtonih Zapotekov in Mixtecov spadajo pod Unescovo svetovno dediščino. Zgrajena na vrhu hriba v cca 8. stoletju pred našim štetjem, je ta “vas” obsegala različne trge, piramide posvečene bogovom in uporabljane za različne obrede, igrišče za igro z žogo tlachtli, podzemne prehode in okoli 170 grobnic. Oaxaca ima sicer 18 starodavnih ljudstev in kultur (Zapoteki in Mixteci so najštevilčnejši), ki so v tej regiji ostale kar ohranjene in imajo še danes velik vpliv pri običajih in obredih.

🇬🇧 This site of ruins of an ancient Zapotec and Mixtec cultures is located on a hill just outside Oaxaca city. The initial construction is estimated to cc 8th century BC and it contains plazas, pyramids, a court for playing the ball game tlachtli, underground passageways, and about 170 tombs. Oaxaca has 18 indigenous groups who retained much of their languages and traditions to this day (Zapotecs and Mixtecs are the most populous). 

Hierve el Agua

🇸🇮 Mineralni izviri z bazenčki na vrhu hriba, kjer so se oblikovale zanimive kamnite formacije, ki zgledajo kot slap. V Španščini Hierve el Agua pomeni voda, ki vre – voda sicer ni vrela, pribrbota pa čez apnenec v izvirčke na vrhu hriba in se je skozi tisočletja kalcificirala v oblike, ki so tam danes (proces je podoben kot v jamah, le da se tukaj vse dogaja zunaj, na površju hriba). Danes je to priljubljena turistična točka tako za tujce kot domačine, v preteklosti pa so tej izvirčki zagotavljali oskrbo z vodo po zapleteni mreži kanalov do doline. Na robu slapa sta tudi dva bazenčka, kjer se lahko namakaš v tej mineralov polni vodi – ohladitev res paše v vročih dnevih, s super razgledom. In kot povsod v Mehiki je tudi tukaj polno stojnic s hrano, sadjem, kokosi, mrzlim pivom, da se prav hitro sprostiš in udomačiš 🙂

🇬🇧 We visited these “frozen waterfalls” with a name that can be confusing – Hierve el Agua in Spanish means boiling water. The water emerging into the little pools at the top of the hill is not actually boiling, but it does bubble, pushing its way through the limestone, slowly calcifying over thousands of years into these formations we can see today. This is now a popular spot for tourists and locals, but in the past it used to supply water to an intricate series of canals leading down to the valley. On the edge of the cliff you can soak and chill in tow mineral pools with a fantastic view, and as everywhere in Mexico, plenty of little stalls with food, fruit and cold beer make you feel cozy and right at home 🙂

Mezcaleria Mal de Amor

Salud!

🇸🇮 Na poti nazaj proti Oaxaci zavijeva v  Matatlán, “Capital mundial del Mezcal” in se ustaviva kar na blef v eni od mezcalerij, brez nekih pričakovanj, mogoče degustirat kakšen mezcal in pogledat, kje varijo to čudo? Pa nama res prijazen gospod več kot eno uro razlaga in predstavi cel proces proizvodnje, od kuhanja agave, zasute z zemljo na vrelih vulkanskih kamnih (skuhana ima okus po karameli) do fermentacije in na koncu še taprava degustacija. Tako mezcal kot tequila sta narejena iz agave, ampak je tekila samo iz ene vrste agave in je proizvedena samo v regiji Jalisco, medtem ko je mezcal lahko iz več kot 30 vrst agav (tudi mešanice različnih) in ga delajo v več regijah, čeprav je Oaxaca najbolj poznana po njem. Ima značilen dimljen priokus, ampak odvisno od vrst agave ima cel razpon okusov od sadnih in bolj sladkih, do bolj zemeljskih in dimljenih. Njam!

🇬🇧 On our way back to Oaxaca we stopped in Matatlán, the “Capital mundial del Mezcal”, randomly choosing a mezcaleria to maybe try some mezcals and see how they are brewed. We were so lucky to run into this kind man that spent over an hour showing us around, explaining the fermentation process (they cook the agave in underground pits, which are lined with hot rocks that burn for about 24 hours before the cooking process begins, lasting 5-7 days before the fermenting part begins). Both mezcal and tequila are made from agave, the difference is that tequila is made from a certain type of agave and only in the Jalisco region, while mezcal can be made from more than 30 types of agave, it has a typical smoky taste but the flavors can range from sweet and fruity to more earthy and smoky, depending on which types of agave (or combinations of them) are used. Yumm!

Oaxaca de Juarez

🇸🇮 Oaxaca de Juarez je glavno mesto regije Oaxaca, poznane kot “The Land of the Seven Moles” – po tradicionalni mole omaki, in po Mezcalu, tekili podobna pijača iz agave. Ko si malo opomoreva od ukvarjanja z angino, par dni raziskujeva mesto, ki je simpatično, sicer pa dosti bolj turistično od Pueble. Hrana je super, od bolj tradicionalnih prigrizkov na ulici ali mercadu, do restavracij z bolj modernimi jedmi (tudi v eni veganski sva bila, odlična!). Povsod sokci, smutiji in sadje, pa seveda pivo 🙂 Obvezno navijanje za naše hokejiste proti Japoncem, Tina ima nov klobuk, en večer naletiva na veliko povorko v centru, izkaže se, da je poroka – z muziko, plesom, lutkami – skoraj škoda, da sva že poročena, tak žur bi bil res epski 🙂

🇬🇧 Oaxaca de Juarez is the capital of the state Oaxaca, known as “The Land of the Seven Moles” but equally famous for it’s Mezcals. When we recover from dealing with Tina’s throat infection, we discover the city over a few days – it’s very picturesque, but also quite more touristic than Puebla was. The food is really exceptional, from little treats on the streets and in the mercado, to more modern twists in restaurants (we even ate in a vegan restaurant and it was superb). Juices, smoothies and fruit everywhere, and beer, of course 🙂 We watched the hockey qualifying game for the Olympics, Tina bought a locally produced hat, and one evening we run into a parade in the city center that turned out to be a wedding – with music, puppets, dancing – it’s almost a shame we’re already married, such a party would have really been epic! 🙂

6. 2. Fever in Oaxaca

🇸🇮 Iz Pueble pičiva z busom proti Oaxaci, vozimo po hribih in se končno spustimo pod 2000m. Kaktusi in zelo suho območje, kar sva čutila že v Puebli na koži in v dihalih, nobene vlage, brez vode in piva in bombonov se ti kar hitro posuši grlo.

Nekje na pol poti začne Tino kuhat, bolečine v grlu se slabšajo, nekaj ni uredu. A ni juha edina stvar, ki paše, ko si bolan? Kot nalašč v Oaxaci zraven hostla italijanska restavracija, tu sigurno kaj najdeva – in res, super mineštra za Tino, Miha pa zmaže, kot pravi, najboljšo hobotnico na žaru. Še lastnik naju pride pozdravit in poklepetat v italijanščini 🙂

Spredaj hobotnica, zadaj pa Tina komaj gleda

Ponoči gre zelo na slabše, k sreči se javi cimra Anja – po izmenjavi informacij in žokanju z žlico po grlu (se mi zdi da vidim bele lise ampak saj ne vem kako žrelo ponavadi zgleda??) pravi, da zgleda angina, začnem z antibiotiki in se preostanek noči premetavam v obupu. Zjutraj nič boljše, grem še do zdravnika če je že tu blizu in če že imam Coris, pogleda in potrdi diagnozo. Poleg antibiotika doda še ene tablete in zvečer že veselo jem pašto, vročina je padla, grlo je boljše. S cimro ugotoviva, da ni čudno, ker so bile te tablete konkretna doza proti vnetju, bolečinam in vročini – in mimogrede, od 2007 odstranjene iz EU trga zaradi nevarnosti stranskih učinkov. Se strinjava, da jih po dveh dneh ne rabim več jest :))

Apetit je nazaj! Feeling much better

🇬🇧 On our way to Oaxaca, finally descending from above 2000 m altitude. This area is quite dry, which we could feel in Puebla on our skin and in our throats, no humidity, without water, beer or candy our throats went dry in minutes! Somewhere halfway into our bus ride, Tina’s fever is back and the throat pain is worsening. In Oaxaca, we find there’s an Italian restaurant next door to our hostel, and since soup is really the only comfort food when you’re ill, where best to try our luck. We hit the jackpot – minestrone for Tina and the-best-grilled-octopus-ever for Miha. The owner loves a chance to chat in Italian, too 🙂

Things get worse during the night and luckily Anja comes to the rescue with a remote diagnosis – after I poke around the throat with a spoon (can I see white spots or a am I imagining them??) she concludes it’s a bacterial infection. I take antibiotics and toss and turn for the rest of the night with fever and diabolic throat pain. Morning brings no release so I decide to see a doctor just in case – she confirms the diagnosis and prescribes another pill with antibiotics. By evening I’m feeling incredibly better, fever is low and my throat allows me to eat pasta, so good! No wonder – with Anja we later realize those pills are a strong anti-inflammatory drug which, interestingly, were taken of EU market in 2007 for side effects concerns. We both think I’m well enough to stop taking them 🙂

Puebla

🇸🇮 Puebla nama je pasala – mislila sva prespat samo eno noč, pa sva ostala štiri. Je eno najstarejših mest in četrto največje Mehiki, čeprav tu nobeno mesto do sedaj ni delovalo ogromno, ker so stavbe večinoma enonadstropne (zaradi potresov in posedanja tal) in ulice široke, cel čas vidiš ogromno neba in imaš občutek, da si skoraj na vasi. Malo sva se borila s slabim počutjem in prebavnimi kolobocijami, tako sva skoraj dva dni preležala in raziskovala manj, kot bi lahko – ampak vseeno uspela na masažo, manikuro, ogledat Super Bowl, muzeja avtov, z avtobusom raziskat mesto in seveda jesti na vseh koncih in krajih.

Puebla je poznana po kulinariki (ena najbolj znanih jedi je Mole Poblano – gosta, bogata, začinjena omaka s čokolado, cimetom in oreščki, pa seveda nevemkoliko vrst čilija) in po neštetih cerkvah (naj bi jih bilo več kot 360). Praznik Cinco de Mayo (nam večinoma poznan iz ameriških filmov in kulture) ima korenine v Puebli – 1862 je Francija z Napoleonom na čelu vdrla v Mehiko, da bi jo pridružila francoskemu imperiju, pa jih je tu premagala manj številna mehiška vojska. Slava je bila sicer kratkotrajna (Francozom je kmalu zatem uspelo in so vladali Mehiki do 1867), ampak zmaga tu ostaja del kolektivnega spomina in je cenjena, pa tudi, baje, na veliko proslavljena vsako leto petega maja.

Tourists 🙂
Hasta luego

🇬🇧 Puebla suited us – we planned on staying one night but ended up staying four. It’s one of Mexico’s oldest and most famous cities, and the fourth largest in the country – although the low houses and wide streets give you an impression to be in a much smaller city. We were both feeling a bit unwell and fighting indigestion, so we spent almost two days resting and seeing less than we could have. We still squeezed in a massage, manicure, the Super Bowl game, the Museo del Automovil, a city bus tour and of course we tried food all over the city.

Puebla is known for its culinary tradition, Cocina Poblana (one of the most popular dishes is surely mole, a rich, spicy sauce made of chocolate, cinnamon, nuts and of course chillies) and the hundreds of churches (supposedly over 360) spread all over the city and wider region. We learned that the Cinco de Mayo holiday has its roots in Puebla, because in 1862, when France invaded Mexico to make it part of the French Empire, the outnumbered Mexican army defeated them right here – nevermind that the victory was short-lived, it is widely remembered and, apparently, enthusiastically celebrated each year.

3. 2. The museum

Ah the love for anything with a noisy engine

🇸🇮 Počutje ni prav odlično, zato se po zajtrku (in to kakšnem, hrana tu je kar doživetje) samo sprehodiva po par ulicah. Miha je našel nek avtomobilistični klub, verjetno nič za videt ampak ajde, greva pogledat. Izkaže se, da je to klub in muzej Club y Museo del Automovil z več kot 70 avti (vključno s Papa-mobilom in drugimi starodobniki ala Bonnie and Clyde) – v celotni zbirki jih je čez 180, ampak so razstavljeni po drugih mestih v državah. V muzeju nisva slikala, je bil pa nabor avtov res zanimiv, pa še teraso imajo na vrhu stavbe s čudovitim razgledom na Pueblo.

The view from the Mirador

🇬🇧 We’re not feeling too good, so after (another amazing) breakfast we only want to take a short walk – Miha found a car club, probably nothing much to see there but we check it out anyways. It turns out to be a club and museum Club y Museo del Automovil with over 70 cars on exhibition, including the Papamobil and other oldtimers in Bonnie and Clyde style. The whole collection counts over 180 cars but they are displayed in other cities across the country. No pictures in the museum but the selection of cars was really impressive, and as a bonus there’s a terrace on top of the building with panoramic views.

2. 2. Autobús, Puebla, Super Bowl

🇸🇮 Iz Mexico City v Pueblo, 130 km na res udobnih in modernih busih, z akcijskim filmom v španščini na ves glas ampak tudi lepimi razgledi 🙂 V Pueblo prideva popoldan, v nedeljo, na krščanski praznik Día de la Candelaría – mesto je nabito polno, povsod stojnice s hrano, oblačili, led lučmi in vsem ostalim, muzika, galama, gužva. Pa še Super Bowl, vsak lokal s televizijo ga predvaja, tisti brez so pa prazni ta večer. Z veseljem se pridruživa, ko padeš not je kar zanimivo, sigurno pa pomaga “half time show” in razburljiva končnica.

Mandatory pit stop: mango

🇬🇧 From Mexico City to Puebla, the 130 km pass quickly in these cosy modern buses – sure, the action movie in Spanish is loud, but the views are nice! We arrive in the afternoon, on a Sunday, and on the religious holiday Día de la Candelaría – the city is bustling with people, food stalls, music, traffic, and Super Bowl, a must see in Mexico, every bar and restaurant with a TV is showing it for sure. We join in the excitement, despite not being familiar with all the rules but the half time show, the twist that followed and a few Coronas made it good fun.

Super Bowl: Kansas City Chiefs vs San Francisco 49ers, but equally important Shakira and JLo

Ciudad de México

🇸🇮 Mehiška prestolnica je bila najina prva postojanka in ker sva prvič v Centralni Ameriki, nisva točno vedela, kaj pričakovati (je pa res, da ni bilo časa za kakšno poglobljeno raziskovanje pred odhodom in se nisva zares zavedala niti tega, da pristaneva nad 2000 m.nm.).

Sva se pa imela zares super, tako v Coyoacánu, kjer sva se sprehajala, kolesarla (in jedla!), kot v centru mesta v čisto drugačnem vzdušju: glasno, gužva, mogočne stavbe (aja pa vse je postrani na vse strani zaradi posedanja, Miha je imel s poklicno deformacijo res ogromno za videt – mogoče lahko IRGO tu podružnico odpre :)), muzeji, super city walking tour in seveda hrana, ker je to osrednjega pomena na tem potovanju. Neizbrisen pečat sta s svojo umetnostjo mestu pustila Frida Kahlo in Diego Riveira, z zanimanjem sva si ogledala tako muzej Fride kot Diegove ogromne stenske poslikave v Palacio Nacional, zares zanimiva tradicija. Naslednja postaja: Puebla!

🇬🇧 Mexico City was our first stop and first ever travel to Central America, and we didn’t really know what to expect. Turns out we loved it – both Coyoacán where we walked, biked and of course enjoyed the food, as well as in the Zócalo, although in a completely different vibe: loud, crowded, with mighty buildings (that are all leaning in all directions because this area used to be a huge swamp back then) and of course ate some more, because food is life! Next stop: Puebla!