Alaska, Mexico and Beyond…

“One Journey Leads to Another”

Archive for the tag “people”

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.
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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.

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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.

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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)

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Photo by Rick

MUSIC AND DANCING

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RELIGIOUS LIFE

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WEAVERS

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NEFARIOUS CREATURES!

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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!

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SPECTACULAR PIECE and the ARTIST

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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.

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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

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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!

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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…

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Photo by Rick Impett

 

 

 

Hiking Oaxaca: Benito Juárez

Perched at 10,000 ft. in the Sierras, overlooking the Tlacolula Valley, the village of Benito Juarez is a wonderful destination for hiking through cool pine forests, mountain biking, horseback riding, birdwatching, or just hanging out and enjoying the fresh mountain air.

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Looking down on Benito Juárez from the mirador. Rick Impett

Click on any photo to enlarge it. Photos contributed by other hikers have the photographer’s name in the caption.
A group of 20 hikers and birders, through the organization Hoofing It In Oaxaca, spent a fun weekend participating in a variety of outdoor activities.


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What goes up must come down and vice versa – the mirador is a steep hike UP, which creates a huff and puff situation at this altitude, but it’s so easy going back down (though sometimes hard on the knees). Hiking to the cascada was the opposite – DOWN to the bottom of a ravine followed by the steep climb up. Either way we passed through beautiful farmland where friendly local people waved to us from their fields.

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Giant maguey plants make perfect fences! – Rick Impett

 

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Hikers are dwarfed by one of the biggest maguey plants I have ever seen! A loaded crab apple tree is growing behind it.

Our group included a family with two kids excited to try the zip line that was built on the mirador.

Some zippers express unbounded joy!
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Others just hang out and marvel at the world far below.
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Ecotourism facilities are developed as a way to bring income and employment to mountain communities. People in the community take turns volunteering for a year at a time to support their villages. So welcoming and kind, they are really what make these excursions special. These ladies prepared tasty food that showcased local mushrooms, the hot chocolate is exceptional (no powdered mix here!) and of course there is mezcal.
Each cabaña has a fireplace, and in the evening a young man brings wood and a magic stick and builds a cozy fire. In the morning (or whenever you want) he will light a water heater so you can take a hot shower. Most of the villagers do not have these conveniences in their own homes. comment by hiker Bernie Goldray.
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After a day of hiking, zipping, and birdwatching, friends gather to relax before strolling up (yes, it was UP) to the comedor for a yummy dinner and a boot of mezcal.

Taking a well deserved siesta after a long day…our driver, guide who entertains us with stories and information, and friend extraordinaire, Nicolas Garcia.
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Benito Juárez was one of the highlights of my trip. I will remember the views, the early morning fog rolling up the hills, the goat herder who asked to give me a hug because I was ‘muy fuerte’, watercress cooked on the comal for breakfast, the astonishing view from the mirador, the easy comraderie of our group, how elegant I was (think Audrey Hepburn!) with a hat and shirt wrapped around my head as I tried to sleep in the cold. Comments by Amber Karr.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Faces

Faces, whether real or imagined, always tell a story…

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Click on any photo to enlarge.

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And those stories can also be true or invented.

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Enjoy many more FACES here: http://wheresmybackpack.com/2015/11/13/travel-theme-faces/

Weekly Photo Challenge: Careful

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Puebla, Mexico

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Oaxaca, Mexico

Click https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/careful/ to view more photos that depict the need to be careful!

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