I Moved To Oaxaca

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Oh, to be back in a city where I don't drip sweat standing still! Yeppers, I'm back in Oax-town, drinking a coke and typing away in my favorite, DSL-equipped internet cafe.

Let me recap my adventures from my last blog entry in Thomasandcharlie. One, I wrote down the real name of the town: it's Tamazunchale. I was a little put off at the price of the Hotel Tamazunchale, a tad over 600 pesos, but the AC was worth it, as was the seemingly unlimited hot water and real towels and sheets. Plus, the hotel restaurant makes a damn fine plate of chilaquiles. We hung around town long enough to eat those chilaquiles, or half of them anyway, as it was an awful lot of food, then waddled around their Sunday tianguis. Got some interesting bowls in the local style and a bag of peeled tunas to snack on in the car. Our only real stop of the day was in Ixmiquilpan to see their 450-yr-old church and to use a sanatario. As we walked around the zocalo, Greg noticed that the big statue of the Aztec archer was naked. And had breasts. We took a closer look and realized it was a big naked Diana. I don't know why this little colonial town has a huge statue of a Greek goddess in its zocalo; maybe you can figure it out.

We also drove through Actopan but didn't stop as it may cause drowsiness.

Thumbing through Sanborns didn't reveal any hotels nearer Teotihuacan than Sahagun's Hotel Plaza Motel, so we went there again. Besides, it gave us a chance to eat another fabulous dinner at Restaurante Santa Lucia. We knew the ruins of Teotihuacan were big, but as the only Mesoamerican ruins I've seen so far have all been in Oaxaca, plus Tulum out in Quintana Roo, I was picturing something Monte Alban big. We left early and made the short drive and got to the pyramides between 9 and 10am.

Well, they're big alright. Huge. Gigante. And very, very impressive. We started with the pyramid of the moon and worked our way down the avenue of the dead to the pyramid of quetzacoatl, a little over two miles (!) away. I didn't get as close a look at the pyramid of quetzacoatl as I would have liked, as it was aswarm with archeologists, but even at a distance the carvings decorating the sides of the pyramid were still interesting. We left around 4pm, sunburned and tired and happy we stopped. Too bad we missed Zempoala and Tula!

Because we spent longer than we anticipated at Teotihuacan (and because we got a little lost around Puebla), it took us a lot longer than we anticipated to reach Tehuacan, our stop for the night. And because we were on the cuota, there wasn't anywhere else to stay. (It's the opposite of the US, where the major highways are cluttered with hotels and Macaroni Grills and the local routes are desolate -- here, there's nothing along the cuotas until you reach a town or interchange.) We didn't get to Tehuacan until a little after 8pm, in the dark, so we took the first hotel we came across, on the outskirs of town.

Our Sanborns guide mentioned the place and its Arabian Nights-themed decor. What it didn't mention, or what perhaps changed between editions, was the nature of the place. We drove into the inner courtyard to see a row of closed garage doors, and the one under the blinking 3 slowly opening. We drove in and parked, and an attendant rushed over and started to close the door. The door had a little hole in order to pay the attendant, and stairs inside the carport leading up to the hotel room. It didn't dawn on me until I saw the folded towels with their packets of shampoo and packet of condoms that I realized the Taj Mahal is a love motel. Again, like in San Antonio, images of Disneyland flashed through my brain. After a shower and a rest we drove into town to find a restaurant -- I guess a love motel doesn't need one -- and ended up eating at a taqueria a few doors down from the Hotel Monroy, where I think I'll stay next time I'm in Tehuacan. We continued the theme of the night by dining on tacos arabes.

And now we're back, Roadtrip Verano 2004 at an end. Pictures as soon as I can, though it'll be tough as there are a lot of movies playing at Cinepolis that I want to see. I think you'll like the collection of animals serving themselves for dinner, though.


Post a Comment

<< Home