Sunday, December 21, 2008


Oaxaca City, Mexico

We've safely arrived here in El Salvador! More later on's what we did in our last port:

Our big inland trip this year was up to the city of Oaxaca in Mexico! Whooo hoooo road trip. Just a 10-hour bus ride (each way) up a winding 2-lane highway. Usually there were steep cliffs on one side. Every few miles, there were little crosses and shrines set up along the side of the road to honor loved ones who lost their lives traveling this road. Are we feeling warm and fuzzy yet? Well, how about the fact that most drivers, including the busses and trucks consider a double-yellow line and 2 lanes to be really a 3-lane highway with a passing lane in the center?

Yep, that's what they do - the bus driver would pull out to pass a slow truck and he would straddle the yellow line. As a another vehicle would approach - usually around a blind curve - the other vehicle would pull over slightly but continue towards us. At one point there would be 3 vehicles in the same part of the road. Two going one direction and one going the other. Yep. Not just occasionally, but very, very often. It really helps not to look. Read, knit, look out the side window. Just don't watch what the driver or the other guys are doing on the road.

Obviously, we survived both directions of travel as I'm writing this blog now! Anyway, Oaxaca City (pronounced wah-HAH-cah) is a very old colonial city with some beautiful buildings. Unfortunately, earthquakes have ravaged many of the old buildings and they are abandoned. Just glancing down the street it's hard to tell which buildings are occupied and which are not - but up-close it is easy to spot the sad, old buildings. The original building materials and construction methods can't stand up to the earth's rumblings.

There are old cathedrals and historical official buildings everywhere around the city. We enjoyed sitting at various sidewalk cafes that surround the central town square (zocolo), drinking excellent coffee, eating the local foods, and people watching. The woman below is wearing a traditional dress (huipil) which is handwoven cotton with broad satin ribbons sewn on it. There are several different groups of indiginous peoples and each wear their own style of clothing - women only. All men seemed to wear western-style clothing. usual in Mexico, the sidewalks are often "interesting". Here is a photo of a place where they have placed a telephone pole in the middle of a the same place where the owner of the house has installed a window & balcony which juts out into the sidewalk. Oh, and then this truck parked right at the curb so you can't just walk around the pole. See that sign up on the pole of the E with the universal red "NO" circle and slash? Well, that is a "No Parking" sign. Whatever. Mexico.

Finally! I found some knitted objects for sale - and they were WOOL! Yes!! These little hats were knit with natural colored wool. Check out all the amazing patterns used on these hats!

And I thought the drivers in the BVIs were scary.

I'm glad you're back, I have a dye questing. I have some white yarn that is 70% wool 30% cotton. Do you think I can make dye blanks from it?
I've heard you're in a fantastic part of the country in this blog, how many of those hats did tou bring away to make the vendor a Merry Christmas?
Hey Jomamma - if you use RIT dye it will work on both the wool and the cotton portions of that YES you can make a sock blank from it!
Buy wool hats? hahahahaha
Thanks for your help, how do you think alpaca would do?
What an interesting post!
wow those are so pretty! and man there are lots of them lol
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