from smog to dust

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December 21st 2009
Published: February 5th 2010
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Swimming in Mexico City through thick layers of smog and drowning in pollution.
Winding up and down two lane highways for hours upon hours on our way to Oaxaca.
Surrounded by untouched lands of barren landscape full of rocky terrain that is adorned with lanky cacti that are highlighted by the setting sun behind us.
Racing against the descending sun and losing miserably into the dark highway of abyss.
Upon arrival, Oaxaca's festive lights shine upon the vibrant essence of the Zocolo.
Cafes and live music quench the thirst of both locals and tourists.
Cobble stone streets escalate towards colorful colonial architecture.
Simplicity...less is more.
Out of the smog and into the dust we venture away form the tourist track.
Four by four, side by side.
Indulging in the city's cultural beauty and continuing onto the deserted outskirts.
Hierve de Agua...
Passing through impoverished villages and trusting intuition as our only navigation.
In what feels to be the middle of nowhere, pools of natural mineral water sit amongst a modern adobe structure.
Views of vast vegetation infinitely surround us as pools of glowing turquoise blues and greens tempt my sticky skin.
Sierra Norte...
Again without a plan, we venture onto the open roads that seem to lead us nowhere, but quite contrarily bring us to bliss.
Dry dessert transforms into lush greenery as we turn the corner of the mountain.
Arriving to Cuajimoloya, we are greeted by the friendly smiles of the locals of this village.
Colorful houses with red roof tops stand proudly beside vibrant livestock and blossoming wildflowers.
We hike up to the mirador where the air sits fresh.
At almost ten thousand feet of elevation we take small sips of thin air.
My gratitude elevates with each step, reaching the top with epic views of rolling hills, dense forest, and shanty houses.
Tasting Mexico with champulines (grasshoppers) in my teeth, dessert rocks in my toes, and shining sun rays on my skin.
To me, this is true happiness...


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