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November 13th 2018
Published: November 14th 2018
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Today we have nothing specific planned. We have to be out of our room by midday so we spend the morning lounging around and then decamp to the very comfortable lounge area of the hotel to write up yesterday’s blog - I was much too tired that do it last night!

It’s not so hot today...overcast and actually threatening rain! We are wondering whether to take a trip out to a couple of artisan towns. Our German companions from yesterday have told us they are OK but nothing particularly spectacular - they were thrown in as additional stops on a Monte Alban minibus tour that they did the day before. Still, we have nothing better to do!

The town of Arrazola produces colourful wood carvings - all made from the coral tree. San Bartolo Coyotepec produces a specific type of black pottery. Both are in different directions so a choice needs to be made. We choose the pottery town as this is the closest. Tourist Information informs us that we need to get a collectivo and shows us the place to go on the map.

We arrive at the share taxi station to find quite a queue of folk waiting - they point to a bench where we should wait. We decide that we will give it 20 minutes. In fact, it is not too long before they point to a car - but they expect Ian and I to squeeze in the front seat together - have they really considered our size? I get in to see if there is the slightest chance that we will fit in and find that the seat is soaking wet. By this time, Ian is declaring he’s not going to contemplate the idea...and I am uncomfortably wet. Yes, on this occasion I can happily give in - especially as Marcus and Sebastian didn’t rate the trip and we can see all these goods for sale in Oaxaca anyway!

Ian suggests we visit the large craft market, which is walkable, instead. I leave him in charge of the map...maybe this was not quite such a good idea? We are walking along a street with scantily dressed women standing in high heels every few yards. One of them looks like she has a customer - he is standing uncomfortably close to her. Do you know where we are going, I hiss at Ian. No, but I know where we have ended up, he declares! We practically run to the end of the street and back in the direction of our hotel - we have decided that it would be safer to visit the chocolate shop instead!

Oaxaca is famous for its chocolate production - so far we have managed to avoid it! But there is a chocolate shop next door and, sitting in the open air hotel quad earlier, it was impossible to avoid the strong aroma. We venture inside and are immediately presented with a teaspoon each of strong dark chocolate paste. Mmmm, yummy! I buy a milkshake made with it. Mmmmmm!

This evening we return to the little Mexican restaurant where we ate last night. We are much earlier this evening and so it is full, but we manage to find a table for two. As usual it’s a bit of pot luck ordering but we both enjoy tasty meals...even if Ian’s is almost bigger than him!

It’s almost 7pm and time to leave our comfy hotel for the bus station. We hail a taxi almost immediately and our driver weaves us in and out of the traffic jam, depositing us at the station fifteen minutes later. Although we have booked on the executive bus, we are denied access to the executive lounge - has our reputation gone before us? Maybe we were spotted with the infamous ladies downtown earlier? We are relegated to an area at the far end of the station with seats ever so slightly better than the plain metal ones in the middle. They have a thin red covering over the metal but are equally hard and uncomfortable.

Check-in will be in 25 minutes time. Here they don’t want to search our bags but, for the first time this trip, they do want to weigh them. They need to be 25kg or less. They might feel heavier but actually we are well underweight. Now, back to the hard red seats to wait for another 15 minutes before boarding.

Our bus has arrived and it’s not bad. We have a little extra leg room and leg supports. Our freebie bag contains a small bottle of lemonade and, for some inexplicable reason, one coffee satchet and creamer between us! Doubly odd as there is no means of making the coffee that we can see. At least there are two loos and both are functioning. We settle down to sleep although it’s not easy. It’s impossible to see anything as it’s pitch black outside but we are clearly climbing a mountain as the bus is twisting and turning along a rough road. To add to this, there is a huge gale blowing which is shaking the bus. It’s slightly disturbing.


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