I Moved To Oaxaca

Monday, October 11, 2004

G is working on a book about Oaxaca, so we have a little direction for our Sunday drives and various roadtrips. He wanted to head over to Mitla and look for some pre-Village sites (caves) behind town ... somewhere ... but as we didn't have our FM3s in the car, and often there's a military control point on the highway between Oax-town and Mitla, we headed the other way. (Our documents are at Migracion while they update our address and renew our visas for another year.)

Well, we didn't have much cash on us so we didn't want to blow it on tolls, so we drove to Huitzo on our way to Suchilquitongo, which has a community museum we have not yet seen.

We drove through Huitzo on the free road, keeping our eyes peeled. Huitzo has been inhabited a long time, and is supposed to have pre-Columbian ruins though they're closed to the public. But you never know, and we might spy some carved stones or whatnot meandering through town.

Well, we did not, but on the way out of town I swear I saw what looked like an unexcavated pyramid on a hill, so we turned around and tried to get there on the twisty, unpaved roads. I think we got near it, but we couldn't see the pyramid from the in-town roads, so after a bit of driving we gave up and recrossed the bridge heading out to Suchilquitongo.

Suchilquitongo, though it fails to appear on any of my Mexican maps or atlases (atlii?), has always struck me as a prosperous town: lots of people out and about, lots of shops with actual merchandise, cars, cement (not adobe or stick) houses, that sort of thing. But we got to the center of town, to the presidencia, and we saw that it was fenced off! What tha'...? I've never seen that before. The town had put up signs saying basically, the presidencia (and museum) closed until we get the money promised us to do X, Y, and Z. Strike two!

We decided to try Mitla after all, and I'm glad we did because the roadblock was absent, we saw a couple of smaller groups of ruins in town besides the main one with all the fancy greca stonework, and I remembered some caves I'd seen from the road on my way to San Juan del Rio ... which are kinda behind Mitla.

We left the pavement and crawled along a dirt farm road, until it got too rough for Little Jumbo. Then we parked and walked along a creek, through cornfields, toward a small canyon with said cliffs. G wasn't up to the scrambling, so I set off on a path I'd eyed from the road. Well, the only people using the caves now are cows and goats and swallows, judging by the poop. A few pottery sherds, but no construction, no corn, no fire-blackened walls or ceiling. But if people had been using the caves for a long time it'd be hard to tell because the ceiling of the cave -- to judge by the look of the cave floor -- keeps flaking off and crashing to the dirt below. But it was a fun scramble.

That was pretty much it for the day; not much. Certainly nothing like Yucuita! But this morning after classes we drove over to Migracion and picked up our FM3s with their shiny new stamps, so we are legal in Mexico for another year.

If we make it tha long.


Post a Comment

<< Home