Tuesday, December 13, 2011

hiking in Oaxaca - San Augustin Etla

Last Friday's hike involved a walk that followed the aqueduct from San Augustin Etla to a power plant. Etla is a valley adjacent to the city of Oaxaca. It's where the city gets its water. But, the city doesn't pay for the water it takes from the valley. There's the rub. The last time I was in San Augustin Etla, one of the many pueblos bearing the name Etla in the valley, we couldn't go into the museum.
The day before someone had been shot and killed over a reforestation dispute.
There are different hikers each week, but when my hiking buddy Joan is in town she and Nievas are pretty faithful. Nievas is our mascot. She's a gentle, but spoiled little dog of mixed breed; who was rescued from the streets. On this hike, she kept jumping in the water.
The water in the aqueduct flowed toward San Augustin Etla, therefore, as we walked toward the power plant, each time Nievas jumped in she drifted away from us. Rescuing her became the main preoccupation of Joan and I.
It was impossible to keep up with the rest of the hikers. We put Nievas on a leash to prevent her from jumping into the water. She wouldn't walk on the leash. She kept finding shady spots under trees where she'd lie down and wouldn't budge.
Finally, we gave up and went back to San Augustin. The hikers who made it to the power plant weren't far behind. We all had a beer, and then went our separate ways.
The hike was somewhat of a challenge; it wasn't steep but, in places, the trail was badly eroded. The drop into to valley could cost someone their life. At one point, I clung to the ridge of the aqueduct while my footing touched on loose stones. In other spots, we climbed up rocks with sheer drops into the valley below.
(Photo of Nievas and Joan at the beginning of the hike. Photo of me along the aqueduct)

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