Saturday, February 25, 2012

From San Bartolome Tlapazola to San Marcos

My hiking buddy, Joan and her faithful companion Nieves, took a sabbatical this week.  And so, I boarded a bus with thirty-two non-Mexicans and one Mexican.  The Mexican, Jesus, had met us on a hike up Cerros Fortin, which overlooks the city of Oaxaca.  He asked if he could join us some time, Joan took his email address, and the rest is history.

Church in Tlacolula
We boarded the bus at the Oaxaca Lending Library and travelled to Tlacolula, where we made a twenty minute stop to look at the church.  I briefly looked at the church, took a few photos, and proceeded to scout out the public washrooms.  It cost a typical two pesos to use the facilities. The attendant handed me a large amount of toilet paper, and I used the facilities.  As is frequently the case, a toilet without a toilet seat.  But this bathroom was obviously a high class facility because I could flush.  There was hand soap to wash-up, which is not seldom the case.  Paper towels?  Forget about it.  Only in those places that cater to the tourists can you find towels to dry your hands.

After I had used the facilities, I thought perhaps other people might be wondering where the bathrooms were; I found the rest of the troop, announced I had found the washroom, and if anyone needed to use the facilities I'd show the way.  A parade of light skinned people followed me through the market to the public washroom.

On the way to San Marcos - goats, burros
and laundry
We found our way back to the bus, and our driver headed for San Bartolome Tlapazola.  He left us in San Bartolome.  We would hike to San Marcos, and he would meet us there. The hike was an easy one, almost boring, and far shorter than I generally like to hike, only two miles, or so.

Price 100 pesos (About $9.50)
Generally, I don't like to hike with the group because there are so many foreigners swooping down on these small villages.  Villagers, hoping to make a little money selling their wares, are frequently disappointed. 

Ruins, yet to be uncovered
Remembrance of another time
I did my best, walking amongst the hikers, showing my fine purchases.  I had spent only 100 pesos.  Some were annoyed at my efforts to promote local crafts.  Tough! We come to their village, we ought to help out a little bit.  Some of the other hikers gently teased me, and said  I was the local Chamber of Commerce.

Joan called today.  She's thinking that next Sunday we'll go south to a cave we've been hearing about.  Stay tuned.

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