After a manic week of people and pollution in Mexico City, it was a welcome relief to spend a few days in beautiful Oaxaca. It’s a beautiful Spanish colonial town in the middle of three valleys, with a laid back and relaxed vibe. There was a lot to do in the area – I wandered around the ruins of Monte Alban and Mitla, refreshed myself in the freezing cold springs of Hierve el Agua, saw the world’s widest tree (not as exciting as it sounds), and drank mezcal with a bunch of crazy Aussies from the hostel (the expensive golden stuff is OK, the clear stuff is like drinking paint stripper).
From there, I travelled to San Cristobal de las Casas, high up in the Chiapas mountains. Being coffee country, I supercaffeinated myself and explored the hippie stores and lovely streets with alfresco dining and bars.
Despite desperate pleas from the Mexican manager of my hostel for me to change my ticket and stay in San Cristobal another night of salsa dancing (I’m clearly breaking hearts all over the country…ha!), I headed off to Palenque to see the amazing jungle ruins. I had pretty high expectations of Palenque, since everyone told me how amazing they were, and I was not disappointed at all. Our Spanish guide took us into the jungle to show us some unexcavated Mayan buildings, and gave us some fascinating background into the medicinal plants and the worshipping of Mayan deities.
For the last week or so, I’ve been chilling out in the Yucatan town of Merida, exploring the beautiful cenotes, the ruins of Uxmal, and indulging in some of the best pizza I’ve ever had (by Raffaello from Italy). It’s a welcome break from the hectic travel schedule of the last two weeks, and is a bit of recuperation break before I head to the party towns of Cancun and Playa del Carmen next week.
Well, Merida is known for its all-weekend festivities, so I’m off to find some beer!