Thursday, January 31, 2008

Puebla, Tlaxcala, and...Puerto Escondido!

I traveled from Guanajuato to Puebla via bus, which took 7 hrs. It is 2 hrs south of Mexico D.F. and is famous for hand-painted ceramics. The Catedral Basilica de Puebla was so neat with the Spanish and Baroque influence. I will have to post photos later. Most of my time in the city was spent checking out churches, walking down the streets of the city, and spending the next day at Cholula. Cholula is a city about 30 minutes away by bus and has the great pyramid of the city. The interesting thing about this pyramid is, you wouldn't know it was a pyramid until you got to the top and saw the church. It just kind of looks like a hill and you walk up the hill and that is pretty much it. Compared to the pyramid at Teotihuacan, this didn't seem like anything.

We then spent a few hours in a nearby city called Tlaxcala, a colonial city. It really has a small town charm to it and is a pueblocito if you will. The zocalo or main square area is the smallest I have ever seen, but is so quaint. I spent time being in total awe of the paintings of the Spanish conquest in Mexico at the Palacio de Gobierno which was built in the 16th century. The Desiderio Hernandez Xochitiotzin murals depicted Cortez' stay, the indigenous people of Mexico in that region, and the Wars of Independence. Then I went to the Ex-Convento Franciscano de la Asuncion built in the mid-1500s. The doors and interior of the ex-convent are laden with Muslim-influenced art. It reminded me a lot of southern Spain. By 7:40PM, I had a bus to Puerto Escondido waiting in Puebla...

This is definitely one of many long bus rides I have ever had but one of the most beautiful as well. It took a total of 16 hours to get to Puerto Escondido! Yes, I needed to get to the beach THAT bad. The bus ride went overnight and over windy mountainous roads as well. But I have to say that the different shades of black under a star-filled sky was so amazing! After that long bus ride, the sun, sand, and beach was waiting. I spent 2 days basking in the sun, went on a lancha, a boat out to the ocean. We even got to see a sea turtle, or tortuga, swim around and hung out with it onboard! This beach was paradise..I stayed on Zicatela Beach, literally steps from the hostal, and saw Playa Manzanillo, Angelito, Carriazalillo, Principal, Marinero, and Bacocho. This was just a string of beaches all relatively close and a surfer's paradise by the way! Met some really awesome Dutch people from all over Holland, some Americans, and Germans. This beach is a hidden treasure and is not contaminated with tourists. The main street, Calle del Morro isn't flooded with people like Huntington Beach or Venice Beach are back in California. People here care so much about the environment, and are super easy-going. However, I did see sharks being hunted and then cleaned out on the beach which was upsetting. Apparently it is legal here in Mexico. I am just glad that they don't merely cut off it's fins and then throw it back in the ocean to die, but actually use the rest of the animal as well. Still sad nonetheless...

So today is Thursday and just took my first charter flight out of Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca this morning. Definitely have videos and photos to post so hang in there!

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