Saturday, January 22, 2011

Back to Oaxaca city from the coast

Hello all,

The drive back from the coast was just as long as the drive to the coast (duh), and just as beautiful.  We enjoyed it all, though it wasn't easy.  Dogs are impervious to cars and even nap on the highway.  They also decide at the last moment to walk slowly and casually across the road no matter how fast you are going.  We had to dodge them, not the other way around.  Surprisingly, we saw no dead dogs, not even this one who is sleeping on the highway AND in the driveway.

 Also, people pass on tight curves, on hills, just anywhere they want.  They apparently don't have the dog's luck because there were plenty of road-side shrines and we passed one accident.  To add to the excitement, there are also loads of chickens strolling everywhere and we came upon 3 different burros in various places, none of them tied up, all in the road, and one that looked half asleep smack in the middle.  Add to that 2 long-horn steer, also impervious.  All the while, cars move along at break-neck speed.  You have to wonder.

And another.

We did stop for a walk in the woods with beautiful views up an (impassible to vehicles) old, fenced-off (well, an attempt to be fenced off), deeply fissured, dirt, has-been road that had a decrepit sign "Cerro Perico 3 KM."  We followed the hill up for about 1 km, but despite the sign, couldn't spot any parakeets.
We wanted to sign up for the Mexican Revolution after seeing a poster at a restaurant along the way, but we were about a hundred years too late.
The same restaurant had life's phases "distilled' to 4 bottles.

We were delayed for about thirty minutes by a funeral procession that walked down the main highway between the coast and the city of Oaxaca on its way to the town's cemetery.  Amazingly, there was not a single horn honked.

We decided to drive to a museum today that we wanted to see about 20 minutes northwest of town.  We were flying along with traffic (tail-gating is the national sport) when the road suddenly split (no warning signs, of course).  We had just a second to decide and since we were in the left lane, we took the left fork (there was actually a sign directly over the fork, but both said Mexico City on them plus a couple of things in Spanish that we couldn't read in time).  Within seconds, we realized we were on the toll road to Mexico City.    No way to slam on the breaks or back up, so we thought, well, we would just take the first exit and turn around.  No biggie.  Well, the first stop was about 45 minutes later.  Even that wasn't an exit and every inch of the way had a center barricade to prevent all of us hapless idiots from turning around.  The stop was to collect tolls and there was no provision to turn around there either.  There were 4 cars in line behind us when we explained to the guy in the toll both that we needed to turn around.  He motioned to a heavily-armed soldier who was standing not far away.  The soldier had all the folks in line behind us back up and then motioned to a place where there was no barricade and told us to make a U turn.  We thought he had to be kidding.  There was highway traffic on the other side.  But, what the hell, it's Mexico, so we made a U-turn, unscathed and drove the 45 minutes back to that fateful intersection.  When we finally got to San Augustin Etla where the museum is located, it was closed for a change of exhibits and the guard hadn't a clue when it would reopen.

Our final week is nearly upon us and there is so much we still want to do.  There's always next time.

Love ya all . . .

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