Oaxaca and Chiapas

From Mexico City we drove south through the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas. After the city time and the mild car issues we wanted a little peace and quiet and found a perfect B&B right outside of Oaxaca City in San Agustin. We use the iOverlander app pretty regularly and this was a great find. The owner was very friendly and is a Spanish teacher at the university in town. The place was quiet and it was only a short walk up a huge hill to a beautiful church and community art center. We enjoyed it so much we stayed two days, caught up on some internet time, laundry and planned the next few weeks of travel.

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We decided to spend a day in Oaxaca City on our way out of the area. Some travel days are so good and some days are oh so bad. We spent our bad day in Oaxaca City and after hearing so much good, and that it was a “can’t miss” destination, we were very unimpressed. The poor attitudes might have made a difference too, but in all honesty, what we saw did not live up to the high praise. We fully admit we may have missed the best spots in town, but between the never ending street markets, the protest in the square, the sour puss attitudes and ridiculously bad traffic we decided to just get the hell out of dodge. We drove very slowly up a steep dirt road for about 40 km and camped at hierve del agua, a small national park with mineral springs and petrified waterfalls. The place was busy with day trippers from the city but the camp area was deserted besides us and a group of French backpackers. The water was cool and refreshing and the view was expansive.

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From hierve del agua, we headed back to the coast. It was a long, windy road but Eric and I settled in with a book his brother recommended and it flew by. I have been the human book on tape recently. With me reading the Kindle aloud while Eric drives, it makes getting back in the car something to actually look forward to. We reached the coast and stayed at a little surf camp the first night in La Bamba and the following night, at a small camp run by an older Canadian fellow named, Jose, in Puerto Artista. The heat was getting pretty unbearable, with bug bites galore and zero wind at night. The hunt for an Auto Zone and a 12V fan quickly became a necessity.

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The state of Chiapas was greener and lusher than any place we had been yet. We had been looking forward to visiting San Cristobal de las Casas for a while now and even through the relief from the heat by the elevation gain alone would have made it great, the town was amazing as well. The buildings are well restored and maintained. There are a few streets in town that are walking only, so while touristy, they turn wandering around into a turtle pace and a people watching mecca. Our campsite was a bit out of town, surrounded by tall trees and great people. We biked into town the first night for some amazing pozole. The second day we picked up some local coffee beans and ended up having a very long happy hour with new Canadian and Australian friends from our campsite at Rancho San Nicolas.

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