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North America » Mexico » Oaxaca » Teotitlan del Valle
September 19th 2007
Published: October 6th 2007
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First thing this morning we stopped at the famous Tule cypress tree. It's apparently 4,000 years old and the circumference is an incredible 60m (164ft). I took lots of photos but I don't think they will show just how magnificant this tree is.

We spent the morning at Teotitlan del Valle which is a Zapotec Indian village located outside of Oaxaca that specialises in hand woven rugs. We went to the home of one particular family who explained that the boys and girls from the age of seven years are taught all the skills to dye and hand weave carpets. They showed us how they refine the wool, dye the wool using natural fruits, leaves and flowers and how they actually weave the wool. It was amazing. They are encouraging people who would like to know more about their traditions to stay with them for a period of time and learn how to weave and will teach the visitor how to make their own rug. I'm going to email them to find out availability. I think it would be a wonderful experience living with the Zapotecs, learning their language and traditions and learning how to weave.

Afterwards we went to the Mescal factory for a tour. It's a popular drink here in Mexico. I'm not a fan of it, it tastes like an oily rag. It is made from the Maguey cactus. We learnt the distillation process and its history. Contrary to popular belief, only real Mescal has the worm in the bottom of the bottle, real Tequila does not. The worm is found within the cactus so they include it in the Mescal bottle to prove its authenticity. After the tour we had a taste test. I was the first one of the group to swallow the gusano (the worm in the bottom of the bottle). I couldn't taste anything after the lime and salt but the texture was gross. Next gross out food will be guinea pig in Peru and alpaca in Bolivia.

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