Walking up to Monte Alban
Oaxaca Travel Blog› entry 5 of 8 › view all entries
Oaxaca was the next step in my solo-trip. I had the unique experience of travelling in a bus that arrived early at its arrival place. At one hand I was lucky, because it's a unique experience in Mexico, I was told, but on the other hand arriving in a city at 4.30 am is not complete fun. Being fortunate, I arrived at the hostel, and I didn't have to pay for that same night. Only the next night was charged, but I could already enter the room. Arriving in a dark room at 5 am, with 7 people sleeping there. I felt a little uncomfortable. Searching which bed was mine, making up the bed,... At that moment I didn't know what kind of people were there, and back again, afterworths it seemed that I don't have to worry so much. The hostel had more guests than the one in Xalapa, and here I experienced the joy of meating people that I really felt good with. People you see in the streets again, you have a laugh together, talk a little bit, share some experiences, and then you go on your own way again. These are the people I like, because i really felt close to them but not obliged to anything. I think it had more to do with feeling free and happy. It's my inside that makes me scared of not being good enough, of loosing people, but at that moment I felt so happy with myself, that any bound with others was a wonderful extra, but most of all, there was this peaceful bound with myself. First of all there was Tino, a Mexican from Veracruz, who has a big trip to Asia planned, and we could talk about feelings, emotions, problems,... without me feeling ashamed, or unsafe. He's a very open and smart man that made me even smile more when one week later he send me an e-mail to say how much he liked that conversation. That same conversation that is still in my mind right now. To me it was a sign of appreciation and that feels great. Thanks Tino! Tino was travelling with this Japanese man, and he was the one making me feel really at ease with my tattoo. Years ago I had two Chinese signs tattood on the inside of my left leg. He was the first one I met that could really read the signs. So now I know that I don't walk around with just anything on my leg. Those small moments could make me feel so happy, that sometimes I told myself to stay calm, because I was starting to feel euphoric. When I get euphoric, I start jumping around, singing, dancing, laughing, talking, all things that are just fun, but afterworths I can fall back pretty deep, and that's something I have to try not to let it happen. Although it's part of my nature (or it became one) it feels better to me trying not to let it happen. To do something harmless with all that energy in me, I decided to walk to Monte Alban, a walk up the mountain, a walk that takes about 2 hours. Every step I took, my smile got bigger and bigger. The inner peace I felt at that moment was new to me. As I knew this inner peace before, it reached a new level. It's like I want to laugh and cry at the same time, I feel so free and every emotion can come out. There's no shield over the emotions, they can move around and live freely. At those moments my sences as well as my heart are totally open, and everytime it feels like a liberation. The walk took me a while and it was a walk in the glowing sun. Although it was a little to hot to walk around in this temperature, it was a wonderful (again) experience. Seeing the views over the city and the powers of nature (like the hills and the clouds), and also feeling the wonderings of people about the trip I was taking up to Monte Alban by foot. It's still something that I really like, being admired for something I do, did, or achieved. Maybe that's what got me going all the time, because at the end I was pretty proud of it. I know that many people do it, but I did it and that's what counts most for me. The views over the city I saw were pretty, and behind every corner I knew there was going to be another, wider view. Views that make me realise what my place is on earth as part of a bigger place. A view that makes a lot of needless luggage fall of my back. Feelings of guilt for instance. I also got caught by the image of cross in wood by the road, as a memorial to this little child that died after only living two years. It made me realise again how lucky I am, being here to experience all this beauty for over 32 years now. Kevin, I hope you may rest in peace, and I hope you know that you made me realise how fortunate I am! Even we didn't know eachother personal, you're in my heart! I feel my mother will take care of you, as if you were here own son! At the top of Monte Alban, I met Raphael and Emmanuel, again. Two French people that were also in the hostel in Oaxaca. Talking to them wasn't just to improve my French, because they are really people with an open mind and heart. They felt very open, to me, and Oaxaca wasn't the last place I would see them. Some people pass your way and they just leave an impression you don't forget. I don't know what it was, but they left such an impression on me. A feeling of being accepted, being welcome, being at the same level,...that safe feeling again, without any needs. Just being myself, and being good enough as I am. And about improving my French...mostly I switched to English very fast, because their English was very good, as well as their Spanish. (well, compared to mine) The site of Monte Alban "just" brought extra joy into my heart. The views over the monumental pyramids that were build so long ago, the views over the hills, the flora and even the fauna, it all made me feel in touch with nature and the experience of "now". It also brought me closer to the realisation how easy we have it these days when it comes to materialism. Back in the time when those pyramids were build, they had to spend a lot more effort to accomplish those peaces of art. But so many years later, so many storms, so many earthquakes later, they are still there, while houses build in this time often don't stand a "normal" storm. Did materialism make us lazy? I know it made me lazy! In Oaxaca, I believe I felt the first real freedom of mind. It was like flying around, wondering and enjoying everything that happened around me, in a free state of mind. I could really open up for so many things, and one felt even better than the other. There were not only the long walks, with the nice views, and beautiful colours. There were also the streetmusicians, that filled my heart with joy, happiness and smiles.
Food even tasted better enjoying the wonderful music of those musicians. I was amazed that they just played in the street and that you didn't have to pay €50 for it. In Europe, I think those people would get a contract from one or another record label and they would only play in theaters or on festivals. I'm not the biggest music expert, but to me they sounded great. Not only this band was a pleasure for my ears, eyes and stomach, there were these two other musicians that made me smile all the way true their performance. They were not only good musicians, they also knew how to play their audiance, just acting crazy, but I doubt if it was really acting. It even brought me into a contact with the waiter of the caffee where I was enjoying a coffee, and he seemed to be the cousin of the two musicians. Hours later, he came up to me, at a different place, and at first I didn't even recognize him. He just came for a talk, some laughing...I felt adopted by the city and its inhabitants. It was another wonderful moment, another moment of true inner happiness. Another image that caught my attention was a square filled with police, some heavily armed, others weaponless. In between of them was an old woman, and she made that view so perfect. In Mexico they take "to serve and protect" very literally, I think. For hours the police were walking around at the square and the Zocalo, next to it. Sometimes, it seemed like something was going to happen, because they were organising, or running to another place, but I've been there for hours and nothing happened. It was a strange, but pleasant atmosphere. I didn't know what was going to happen, and I was even filled with a taste of sensation. It was a healthy taste, at least that was how it felt to me. I've been just sitting at the Zocalo for hours, talking to Curtis, a Canadian I met in the hostel, just sitting by myself, watching children play and be happy, talking to strangers, listening to the live music, . I'm repeating myself...it filled my heart and soul with joy, smiles and happiness! I didn't care about anything anymore, everything felt so nice and peaceful inside of me. It was like I just became energy, and my body made sure all that energy stayed together. It was like flying around, I was really feeling free. Free of thoughts and every obstacles they can bring, just wondering! Smiling every moment of that day, it was one of the most energetic days of my life, so far. Being a solo traveller, doing this trip, arranging things by myself, and feeling so wonderful...it made and still makes me proud of myself!