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Old 02-20-2011, 03:32 PM   #241
tricepilot OP
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Cuilapam de Guerrero

Santiago Apóstol Dominican Monastery Church And Archaeological Ruins



This is another Oaxaca gem, just a few miles south of the city and very near Monte Albán. In fact, it is not a mistake being located near Monte Albán – the Spanish and the Catholic Church wanted near Albán for a very specific reason.

The standout feature of this building is the open air space which is a roofless basilica, built adjacent to the enclosed portion of the monastery. Why open air? To cater to the Mixtec and Zapotec population, who likely were sensitive to enclosed spaces. The open air set up allowed the formal sense of being in a church but at the same time being outdoors to appeal to the maximum number of people. When you’re in the business of converting as many people as you can to your faith, you do whatever it takes.

Peaceful location. Easy to get to. I would say allow about 2 hours to visit the site and grab a bottle of water and a snack in the town. It makes a great stop when you plan a day to visit the other gems in the area just south of Oaxaca city.


















Nearby in Cuilapam, murals:









In the above mural, a quote:

"Es mejor morir de pie que vivir toda una vida arrodillado"

An excellent quote, and excellent advice. Most ADVers, who actually get out and explore on a motorcycle, live by that quote, I believe.

tricepilot screwed with this post 02-20-2011 at 05:06 PM
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:34 PM   #242
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"Es mejor morir de pie que vivir toda una vida arrodillado"

"It is better to die on your feet than to live a whole life on your knees."
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:57 AM   #243
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San Bartolo Coyotepec

Doña Rosa and the Black Pottery Capital of the World

We’re back to artesanias now – and any tour of Oaxaca undertaken for that purpose has to include San Bartolo Coyotepec. The art of Black Pottery was invented here, and has become copied elsewhere in the world. Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn even came here to visit and buy some pieces.

Pottery had been made for centuries in the Oaxaca valleys, but with the advent of more modern containers, everyday use of earthenware for practical purposes began to diminish. The potters had to figure out what to do. Enter Doña Rosa. She invented a way to use the local clays and to make magnificent black pottery, pottery that is now very desireable and collectable. I brought a single, small vase home, protected in the carpet that I bought at Teotitlán de Valle. It made the trip unscathed. If I had a truck, I would have brought home a load.

It must be remembered that black pottery can’t be used for cooking or even for potted plants. The clay is not fired in the usual manner, and the pottery isn’t waterproof. Fill it with water, and it will eventually break apart. Doña Rosa has died, but her son still runs her shop, and it is the largest in Oaxaca. He still gives demonstrations every day and afterwards, you wander the showroom and pick out what you can bring home. I’ve seen these pieces for sale in San Antonio – although I was never sure that they were original pieces from Oaxaca. I had to go to Oaxaca to be sure.

Doña Rosa figured out in the 1950s that when a matte gray piece of pottery is polished before firing, the gray color turns to a shiny black. It is this shiny black finish and the intricate carvings on many of the pieces that make it so collectable. The prices at the shop are incredibly inexpensive. And I mean shockingly so. to that end, I don’t recommend giving in to the common urge to bargain for prices or get into the “bazaar mode”. Do what you want, but I’d pay the piper, so to speak. Each piece is undervalued and worth every penny. Try to buy authentic black pottery elsewhere in Mexico or an authentic piece in the U.S., and you’ll see what I mean.



The man himself:







Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter's photo of the day they visited the shop in San Bartolo Coyotepec:






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Old 02-21-2011, 02:24 PM   #244
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My, What a Beautiful View

Cerro del Fortin

El Mirador

From almost anywhere in downtown Oaxaca you'll be able to look up and see the microwave towers on top of the mirador. They're also building an outdoor ampitheater there, that's what the olympic-style arches are for. You'll be tempted to want to get up there and take in the view. I was.

The mirador is so close that you can even walk there if you're feeling in the mood for some exercise. The views are mostly back down over the city of Oaxaca itself, there really aren't any 360 degree views to be had, unless you wish to go explore some of the dirt trails beyond the towers that lead through the thicket to the other side of the cerro.

But a word of caution: this is the only place in Oaxaca where the locals say be on top of your game with your wits. I recommend doing what I did - take a taxi. You can relax getting there and back and you'll have someone with you. Certainly dispense with taking any of the hiking trails that lead up to the viewpoint - muggings have occured on those trails.

Oaxaca is a very safe city and the authorities bend over backwards to ensure nobody is bothered. Like any place anywhere, just get the down-low on the places that you'll need that extra bit of vigilance, and you'll be fine. This is the one and only place in Oaxaca that I would place in that category.










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Old 02-24-2011, 10:59 PM   #245
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Oaxaca

Heading over mts fromTextepec in am. Going to stay in Qaxaca City few days till call of waves is to gerat. Wou;d like to meet at your convience.
Thanks
BB
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Old 03-13-2011, 10:48 PM   #246
Peregrine40
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Thanks for the wonderful write up, Tracepilot.
I'll be rolling in by bike (on my way to Brazil). A mountain bike attached to the rig as well so look forward to explore Oaxaca.

Where do you recommend staying for 3-5 days in the city? Biker friendly, reasonably priced and well located?

Thanks

DB
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Old 03-14-2011, 06:48 AM   #247
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine40 View Post
Where do you recommend staying for 3-5 days in the city? Biker friendly, reasonably priced and well located?
I was just in Oaxaca City for 15 days and was staying at a new hostel 2.5 blocks east of the Zocalo on Av Hidalgo called Hostel Amigos. It's 100 pesos a night for a private room, and the owners are motorcycle riders are love to have riders come through. Secure parking inside the restaurant, inexpensive, quiet, and they have a great selection of non-commercial Mezcal that you can get some shots/bottles of
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:17 AM   #248
tricepilot OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine40 View Post
Thanks for the wonderful write up, Tracepilot.
I'll be rolling in by bike (on my way to Brazil). A mountain bike attached to the rig as well so look forward to explore Oaxaca.

Where do you recommend staying for 3-5 days in the city? Biker friendly, reasonably priced and well located?

Thanks

DB
As to where to stay, see the new post below. Timely!

As to your mountain bike on the back of your moto - photo please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sasper View Post
I was just in Oaxaca City for 15 days and was staying at a new hostel 2.5 blocks east of the Zocalo on Av Hidalgo called Hostel Amigos. It's 100 pesos a night for a private room, and the owners are motorcycle riders are love to have riders come through. Secure parking inside the restaurant, inexpensive, quiet, and they have a great selection of non-commercial Mezcal that you can get some shots/bottles of
¡buenas sugerencias!
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:05 PM   #249
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Tagged for future research! Thanks for the RR!
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:37 AM   #250
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This is an awesome thread. My Mom lived in Mexico D.F. for 15 years and I got to visit a bunch and explore. I climbed Pico de Orizaba and spent 6 weeks sea kayaking around Bahia de Los Angeles.

I've done Baja on a bike a few times but now need to do a trip through the mainland too, this is great inspiration!! Thanks for posting!
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Old 09-15-2013, 03:00 PM   #251
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I'm supposed to be studying spanish while my wife takes a siesta so I went back and re-read this awesome RR!
Thanks for the lesson
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Old 10-20-2013, 01:27 PM   #252
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Tampico bribe - huh!

I will try and keep this brief but in retrospect it was very funny. We were riding 2 up on a multi lane highway in the left hand fast lane. We were warned in Vera Cruz about this practice by some very nice motorcycle policeman who gave us a police escort to the nearest m/c shop when a friend's chain needed replacing. In Tampico, however, we heard the familiar siren and indication to pull over to the side of the road. My husband, Bob, said "You handle it" as I had just attended a week's Spanish school in Antigua. His vocab was limited to cervesa. So I jumped off the bike and went to see what the problem was (having forgotten about our warning in VC). The policeman said he wanted 100 pesos. I said wait a moment and walked back to Bob and said he wants 100 pesos. When I returned the cop said no 100 dollars. Returned to Bob and told him 100 dollars. Returned to the cop he said we go to the police station. Bob said OK we go to the police station. Then the cop said police station closed. After about 8 trips back and forth he finally agreed, in total exasperation and frustration, to 100 pesos which I paid. And as I left he gave the "universal" sign by putting his index and middle finger in the direction of his eyes and then pointed them at me. I might add not a word of Spanish was spoken by me as it all left me.

We are getting ready to make a return trip after the 1 January to Guatemala. This time riding my own bike.
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