Oaxaca - Monte Alban Ruins

Oaxaca Travel Blog

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South of the Zocolo
Today Jerry and I made our way south of the Zocolo to the market to check out the arts and crafts and have lunch in the covered food market.  All the people in the food market were trying to wave us towards their tables and we had to run the gauntlet to get to a stall that wasn't so vocal.  We sat down and the lady asked us what we wanted but we had no idea.  She was rambling in Spanish naming off all the things to eat but we were bewildered and didn't know what everything was.  We kept asking for a menu but she just kept shrugging.  Obviously not a place geared for tourists.  The one right behind had menus and the lady smiled and was very nice.  Jerry got the tamales which looked like no tamale I had ever seen in Cleveland.  It came steamed and wrapped in a large plaintain leaf and was more crumbly than the kinds I had seen before.
Jerry at Lunch in the Market
  I had a mixed beef and chorizo grill with some sauce...delicious.  The ladies kids were playing and coloring there and it was cute..I took a picture of them.  On the way over to another hotel to catch a bus to Monte Alban archeological site, Jerry bought a large straw hat to keep the sun off his head.  I bought some grasshoppers covered in chile but they were very very sour.  There must be a lot of lime juice in them.  I had a bite but the sourness discouraged me from eating any more.  Otherwise I didn't mind the crunch.  They'd be much better drenched in chocolate..now those I would eat!  We also stopped for some Oaxacan shaved fruit ice that came in many different flavors.
Market Lunch
  Jerry and I didn't know what half of the fruits were so we just guessed at a few.  I liked one of my flavors and Jerry's pineapple but not the guyabana fruit.  I kept looking for a coffee but there was nothing to be had and the locals kept telling us to go back to the Zocolo.  I didn't want to walk many blocks just for a coffee and we kept going in the direction of the hotel for the bus.  At the hotel I finally got a cup of coffee but instead of the espresso it was surely powered instant coffee.  It was weak and tepid and it took a long time for them to bring it.  When I asked for the check he told me it cost 30 pesos!!  I was outraged and I told him that was ridiculous.  I tried to pay with a 50 note but he didn't have change so he took the other bill I had, a 20.
Food Stand
  Jerry saw that I was fuming and we had to wait an hour for the next bus so he wisely ushered me out to take a walk.  The hotel was in an area with nothing but hardware stores.  Finally we began to understand the Mexican system.  You don't put a cafe where the hardware stores are!  Nor a clothing store where all the banks are clustered.  Later, in Mexico City, we learned that the ancient Aztecs clustered all similar stores on one street or block.  That system must continue today.  It doesn't make sense to us capitalists but it's the way they do things.  We had fun laughing about it for the rest of the afternoon and our trip.

Finally we got the bus but my stomach was rumbling a bit and I was feeling a bit funny.
Market Food Stand
  When we got to Monte Alban I needed the bathroom.  Then, when on top of the south platform and my batteries in my camera went dead I needed to go back and buy some more to take more pictures and I needed the bathroom yet again.  Jerry also reported similar symptoms...uh oh....Yes, we were sick.  We tried to figure out where it could have been from and then we realized...the shaved fruit ices!!  The bacteria was in the ice.  Well, it was to get worse in the evening and night and it took some dosages of pepto bismal, a pill of Immodium, and a dose of the anti-diarheal antibiotic I had gotten by prescription back in the States.  It stopped the runs, but not the pain and I spent the night shifting positions in my bed.  Between the pain in my stomach and Jerry's snoring (sorry Jer!), I only got an hour before we had to get up at 6 am to catch the bus to Puerto Escondido on the Pacific coast. 
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South of the Zocolo
South of the Zocolo
Jerry at Lunch in the Market
Jerry at Lunch in the Market
Market Lunch
Market Lunch
Food Stand
Food Stand
Market Food Stand
Market Food Stand
Oaxacan Kids
Oaxacan Kids
Grasshopper Seller
Grasshopper Seller
Andrew Buying Grasshoppers
Andrew Buying Grasshoppers
Fruit Ices
Fruit Ices
Market Stand
Market Stand
Heaps of Grasshoppers
Heaps of Grasshoppers
Jerry with new hat
Jerry with new hat
Street Musicians
Street Musicians
Map of Oaxaca State
Map of Oaxaca State
Map of Southern Oaxaca State
Map of Southern Oaxaca State
Story of Monte Alban
Story of Monte Alban
Jerry on South Platform
Jerry on South Platform
The Plateau
The Plateau
South Platform
South Platform
View to West
View to West
The Ship
The Ship
View to West
View to West
Western Temple
Western Temple
View to North
View to North
The Dancers
"The Dancers"
Sacrificial Victims
Sacrificial Victims
Subjugated Ruler
Subjugated Ruler
South Platform Steps
South Platform Steps
Oaxaca City
Oaxaca City
View Towards Oaxacan Valley
View Towards Oaxacan Valley
Oaxaca City
Oaxaca City
Andrew on South Platform
Andrew on South Platform
Andrew & Jerry
Andrew & Jerry
Museum
Museum
Statuary
Statuary
Skull
Skull
Oaxaca
photo by: tonygiglio