December 17, 2014
We just got back to Huatulco and the boat after five days away in Oaxaca City, where we parted company with our much valued crew and good friends Luis and Janice. We all took a seven hour van trip to get there, over high tropical mountains, breathtaking to see. Also exciting to see the van driver dodging around car-sized gaps where chunks of the road had fallen down the nearly vertical slopes of the high mountain valleys.
Oaxaca is beautiful, culturally complex and captivating, the food is wonderful, and the city is alive with politics and art. Birgit will be posting a series of photos, of the city and of our wonderful and stunning trip to Monte Alban. Both the city and the mile-high ruins of the Zapotec capital are utterly unforgettable, and should be on everyone’s list of places not to miss. Hannah was fortunate to be able to celebrate her 27th birthday there, and I bet she’ll be back.
As we were there, the zocalo, or central square of the city, was “occupied” by a large encampment of people, from indigenous ethnic groups to unions, teachers and students protesting the murders of 43 student protestors by the police and bureaucracy of Ayotzinapa – a small city in the State of Guerrero. The protests also decried the “criminalization of social protest” and the frighteningly frequent disappearances and assassinations of progressive activists. It was an impressive outpouring, echoed by the small merchants in the square, on school walls around the city, and almost everywhere we went. Luis was able to get an interview with one of the spokespeople for the protest, and I hope we will be able to provide a link here soon. Meanwhile, we will post under “Pics” a series of photos relating to the protest that I shot with my cell phone in the square and a few other places around the city see https://www.flickr.com/photos/
We were fortunate that the marina here provided a secure place to leave the boat, but we were pleased to get back today (after another 7 hours through the mountains) to see that all is well. We’ll spend a couple days on an oil change and provisioning, laundry and so forth, then head across the intimidating Gulf of Tehuantepec – which features 40 knot gales every week or so this time of year.
Our next stop will be our last port in Mexico – Puerto Madero (aka “Puerto Chiapas”) – right on the border with Guatemala. We’ll spend Christmas there, and then head on down the coast of Central America for Costa Rica and Panama.
Oaxaca City is high enough to provide a welcome break from the heat and the bugs, which have been chewing on us here. We’ll be glad to get out to sea!