In the “About Me” section on this blog, I wrote that my soul belongs in BC and searches for respite in Southern Oaxaca, Mexico. After being in Mexico for four weeks now, I’m finally feeling the relaxation and serenity that this place can provide. I’m not certain why it has taken this long to feel relaxed, but it could be because I worked up to December 23 and work is work, no matter where you do it. It could also be that I’m becoming familiar with San Agustinillo so much so that it’s like home instead of a vacation spot. Or, it could be that I feel some of the usual anxieties because I’m keeping up with the news of the world and family/friends via the internet. Whatever the case, I’m finally sleeping more than normal, reading a lot and going to the beach just because I can. This place is forcing me to slow down. I think I need that once in a while.
I’ve posted some of the photos we’ve taken since our arrival. You’ll find them on my flickr. Again this year, we had the good fortune to have Rosi and Nacho pick us up at the airport in Mexico City and take us to Cuernavaca, where we spent the night before going on to Cocoyoc, which is in the state of Morelos. There we spent the evening with Rosi’s family and ate the best Mexican food ever. The chile rellenos rocked my world and the morning’s chilquiles inspired me to learn to cook more authentic foods while we’re here. Our trip south continued through to Mitla and Agua Hervida. The road to the hot springs was the worst road I’ve ever been on and I’ve been on a few. This one doesn’t look bad from the pictures, but imagine a one lane, loose gravel trail going up the side of a mountain with no guard rails. I had to keep sending mental messages to any on coming cars while thinking about all the things in life that I’m thankful for just in case we went over. I’ve never been so happy to arrive at a tourist site before in my life.
Near Mitla, we had lunch in one of the many restaurant/mezcal factories with friends of R and N– two artists who lived in Nova Scotia but now make their home in Teotitlan del Valle. Laura and Christopher are both artists who are extremely talented. You can see their work on their homepage: Huck Fisher Metalworkers. I had heard about them from my friend Carole, who is a wood artist at Island View Design, but had never met them while they were living in NS. Don’t you think it’s one of life’s great surprises when things like this happen? We finally met, and it was through our Mexican friends. The new friendship was sealed when both Laura and Brent ate the worm!
After two nights in Oaxaca City, we headed home to the coast. For those of you who know this route, you can appreciate that it was nice to have Nacho driving. For those of you who don’t, let me just say that it’s 250 k but it takes more than six hours to drive. On the Oaxaca side of it, we blew off our oil filter and I thought for certain we were going to be stranded. We were, but for not more than ten minutes. You see, Mexico has these travelling saviours called Angels Verdes. Green Angels. They’re men who drive back and forth on certain stretches of highway just to look out for people like us. The angel looked under our hood, diagnosed what Brent had suspected, loaded Nacho in his truck to go and buy a replacement in a nearby village. They weren’t gone but five minutes when a small truck drove by and blew a tire! Certainly, we’d ended up in the Bermuda Triangle of Oaxaca Highway, I said. And, I was right! It turned out that the previous weekend there was an accident in the same stretch in which, sadly, several people were killed. Needless to say, I was extremely happy to get back on the road.
And here we are. Our little stretch of paradise. San Agustinillo. After wonderful holiday celebrations with James and Melissa and Reto, we’ve settled into a little routine. While Brent has been working his you-know-what off, I’ve filled my days with shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables, reading, doing yoga and walking on the beach with our loaned puppy, Canelo. I’ve had my butt whooped by Melissa in Dominos and had a high-score Yahtzee record for at least 30 minutes. One day, I saw two snakes: one big one on the trail to the beach and then one small one in our bathroom as I was preparing to go down the path again so that I wouldn’t be paralyzed by fear! I drank 2-for-1 margaritas with Melissa at a place appropriately called Nice Place on the Beach. I’ve even pulled out my Spanish text so that I can improve enough to have it noticed by Olivia, Adriana and Roni.
Last Saturday, we went to clear some trees off our land. Well, Seve actually cleared the trees– with a machete! We helped a little. While looking out over our view, we saw a pod of three whales. A reminder, I think, that what really matters is only that which you find beautiful.