Alaska, Mexico and Beyond…

“One Journey Leads to Another”

Archive for the tag “Oaxaca”

Hiking Oaxaca – El Carrizal 2

El Carrizal, located high in the Sierras about 2 1/2 hours from the city of Oaxaca, is one of our favorite hiking/weekend excursion destinations. Some of the local delights from the trip last year can be viewed here.

3244

View of the village of El Carrizal from a trail side mirador (lookout).

A highlight of this visit was learning about three bakeries that produce flat, round and quite tasty loaves, which we savored at every meal! The bread is totally local – growing the trigo (wheat), separating the grain, grinding into flour, mixing, and finally baking.
Click on any photo for a slide show.

2 Photo by Lorna Stone.

The bakery below is owned by two families who bake bread twice a week.

4
The kneading of bread was in this enormous trough made from one tree, smoothed with years of work.

Photo and caption by Lorna Stone. Thanks, Lorna!

_
Tasting and learning!

Corn is another product totally grown and processed locally. Kernals are dried, ground, and made into delicious tortillas, and the husks and stalks are fed to animals. Maybe the husks are even used for tamales! As we were walking along the dirt road toward the mirador, these people waved us over to chat. The corn is typically put on the flat rooftops to dry then removed from the cobs and stored for grinding into the meal or flour for tortillas.
3201

The people of El Carrizal are exceptionally friendly and welcoming. Everyone agreed that these people are what made such a magical weekend! We’ll definitely be back next year.

Advertisements

Noche de Rabanos (Night of Radishes) 2016

Noche de Rabanos (Night of Radishes) is a splendid one day creative extravaganza unique to the city of Oaxaca. Imaginative people from around the state have been working on designs for many months, and on December 23 they display their artwork for the enjoyment and amazement of thousands of onlookers, plus they have a chance to win a prize!
Click on any image to enlarge or see a slide show.

rabanos-15-of-16

Photo by Rick

We begin our day by eating breakfast in one of the outdoor restaurants that surround the zócalo, the main plaza of Oaxaca where the event takes place. We enjoy watching people construct and put the finishing touches to their depictions of daily life, history, religion, and culture. Some of the radish carvings are done at the last minute!   Every tiny piece of the work must be of natural materials – no wire or plastic – and most of the radish figures are held together with toothpicks.

There are three categories of materials: specially grown giant rabanos (radishes), flor inmortal (looks like what I know as straw flowers), and totomoxtle, or corn husks.

Some photos show entire displays so you can see how elaborate they are, and some are of small sections to show the incredible detail. Photographer friend Rick Impett contributed some excellent photos – thanks, Rick!

MERCADOS (MARKETS)

rabanos-8-of-16

Photo by Rick

MUSIC AND DANCING

img_1657

RELIGIOUS LIFE

img_1597

 

WEAVERS

img_1584

NEFARIOUS CREATURES!

rabanos-2-of-16

Photo by Rick

Living lives surrounded with artisans creating textiles, carvings, metalwork, pottery, painting, music and dancing, children of Oaxaca learn to become artists, musicians and craftspeople at a very young age. It’s wonderful to see!

img_1632

SPECTACULAR PIECE and the ARTIST

img_1617

Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge #50: Alternate Entry

Houses in Oaxaca lack chimneys. But never fear, Santa will find another way to deliver those gifts!

dscn6109

Fuzzy Fellow

This hairy looking critter has been hanging out for several days on the trunk of a bougainvillea that is beside our porch in Oaxaca. The best ID I found is that it’s an arctia caja, which is the larva of one type of Tiger Moth.  It is about 3 inches long, and is known in other locations as “wooly bear.” If anyone out there knows differently, please speak up!

img_1076

I don’t know how long it stays in this stage, but I hope it returns as a colorful moth!

Cee’s Oddball Challenge #48: All Spiffed Up

Mexican grasshopper outfitted in true Mexican style!

img_0826

Beetle Heaven

Great numbers of VW Beetles in various states of repair or disrepair buzz around Oaxaca (and perhaps all of Mexico)! It’s obvious people love them, and I love seeing the creative paint jobs or other “fix-ups.” Often they are speeding by, making it impossible to take photos, but following are a few favorite Beetles that I captured while they were parked.

img_0056

Photos below were taken in Chiapas. This VW was a work of art from every direction!

You could alter your VW for a wedding getaway….

img_9877

Or you could build your own portable ice cream stand (definitely my choice).
img_3645

This Beetle desperately needs a sponser – what would you do if it were yours?

img_1689

Cee’s Photo Challenge: Contrast Colors

Contrasting colors in Oaxaca? Too easy.  Oaxaca is awash with bold color combinations. It could be the birthplace of color contrasts! A one hour walk around El Centro provided more photo ops than I imagined.  I did not have to find them – they found me!

DSCN5171

Click on any photo for a slide show

If you just can’t decide what color to use…why not use them all!

IMG_5040

Photo taken in San Martín Tilcajete

IMG_5637

IMG_5886

Throughout the day and even at sunset, the colors that surround us are intensified by the beautiful Oaxaca blue sky.

IMG_3570

IMG_3176

 

Oaxaca Bloomers

Seasons drift by subtly in Oaxaca, often defined by the blooming trees and bushes that delight us as the color palette changes throughout the year.

IMG_3577

Primavera amarilla, Guayacá, tabebuia chrysantha

IMG_3496

Bougainvillea and Primavera amarilla

IMG_2875

Flamboyán, Tabachín, Royal Poinciana, Arbol de Fuego, delonix regia

20150226-IMG_2480

Clavalina, Shaving brush tree, bombax palmeri

I used the following books for identification:
Arboles de México by Luis Lesur 2011 online store: http://www.etrillas.com.mx

Tropical Flowering Plants by Kirsten Albrecht Llamas, 2003 amazon.com

Cee’s Oddball Challenge #4 TEAMWORK

Standing on a street corner, chatting about the day’s destinations, a friend and I suddenly spotted a tortilla chip that was moving slowly down the sidewalk. Upon closer inspection we saw a brigade of ants lined up around the chip’s edge, toting it off to their secret hiding place.

IMG_4443

And those riding on top…slackers or supervisors?

Hiking Oaxaca: El Carrizal

The angle of the rising sun creates brilliant colors as village life unfolds below our cabañas. El Carrizal is the most pastoral and serene of any mountain village that we have explored so far. The town spreads out in a bowl – it WAS the view, in contrast to other villages that offer views of the vast valleys of Oaxaca.

IMG_2798

click on any photo for a slide show and full captions

Delighted by the lovely, peaceful village, hikers began the descent to the valley far below

Delighted by the lovely, peaceful village, hikers began the descent to the valley far below

IMG_3301

Cascadas spill over rocky ledges and force their way around boulders, forming streams that meander on down through the valleys, undoubtedly gathering into more cascadas along the way!

_DSC4493

A huge variety of plants grow in the Sierras – from this enormous maguey to a tiny cactus. Photographer Impett estimated the quiote (flower stalk) to be 40 feet tall!

 

Taking advantage of the cold mountain streams, people in many villages have built small trucha (trout) farms and restaurants. This man is catching our dinner – talk about fresh!   Photo by Rick Impett.

Whether hiking, biking, or relaxing with a good book, the friendly people and beautiful vistas of El Carrizal make it a wonderful place to visit!

BUT BEWARE – YOU NEVER KNOW WHO IS WATCHING…

_DSC4366

Photo by Rick Impett

 

 

 

Post Navigation