These Are The Vistas - explained

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July 21st 2009
Published: July 21st 2009
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Ok, this makes up for the piddly little space I left myself to explain two of the particular wonders of Oaxaca...

Mitla was indeed another beautiful site, opposite another very religious symbol - a colonial church (no division there!) - with some exciting tombs underneath that I surprised myself by scrabbling around in. It was dark and damp but exciting, and you could clearly see the three main burial chambers and the marvellous stonework that had carried on below ground -very exciting to be nuder a pyramid! I also managed this time to get up the steep steps, a whole flight, so maybe this is some way forward to being less ruled by Vertigo. l'll keep practicing.

There are some amazing wall designs, made by the actual building blocks; rather than be carved in later or stuccoed on, these were built in with tiny gaps, the better to withstand the number of little earthquakes that wrack this land every day, and leading to the very geometrical designs that the Zapotecs are famous for.

After our little here, where Victor explained a bit more about the ancient city-state system (a bit like the ancient Greeks of Mycenaean times, although they seemes more independent and less similar in artwork), we went to Èl famoso'for lunch, a good old eat-as-much-as-you-like Mexican buffet. Which we did, not intending to eat later. As we ate, we chatted to two of the nice belgian girls who had just come fromPuerto Escondido and pronounced it 'paradise' - perfect, as that's our next stop.

Then we went to Hierve al Agua.


A rather hair-raising drive along mountain hairpin-bends (this is what the nightbus to Puerto Escondido will be like...crumbs...) and right up into the depths of a mountain range, and we were there. Meaning'boiling water', the natural mineral-rich springs here that left their waterfall trails forever as petrified mineral deposits are not actually hot, just bubbling. The Zapotecs came here years ago and constructed pools to catch the water in order for it to be used to water terraced crops. Now you can bathe in them, whilst looking out over the most amaxing, in my opinion, view. It´s rather like those ìnfinity pools'posh hotels put on the roof in big cities, so you can enjoy the juxtaposition of water and air. It's simply, utterly beautiful.

Sitting on our own for a bit right on one of the rocks that had previously been the ehad of a magnificent waterfall into the valley below, we gazed out into lush and dense vegetation, thick forests covering mountain ranges, and spied eagles, only able to spot a minute trace of mankind in the spidery roads that zigzagged accross the view. I keep thinking it was a dream. I'm someone who is blown away by nature, and this, as I said, is the most amazing place and thing I think I will ever visit or see. In England thers this band called 'These Are The Vistas', and while I can't admit to knowing their music very well, their band name is spot on. That phrase simply won't leave my head. These are THE vistas alright. Wow.

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