July 02, 2009 GMT
To Oaxaca

We made a beeline to Oaxaca city where we visited the ruin of Monte Alban, and from there headed out via the Valles Centrales to Chiapas and San Cristobal de Los Casas.
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Toasted insects at the market in Oaxaca
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The ruins of Monte Alban

Our ride along the Valles Centrales road was a non-stop sightseeing tour. We visited two ruins, a busy local market, the biggest tree in Mexico, and finally arrived at Hierve El Agua, a petrified waterfall. We had seen pictures of the falls in Oaxaca, and had decided to check them out.
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The clifftop pools at Hierve El Agua
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We had originally planned to arrive at the falls at around 2pm, and then see if we wanted to stay overnight or to move on, but after a being delayed from all the sightseeing on the way , and by the last 11 miles of dirt road that slowed us to a mind numbing 10mph, our only option was a quick dip in the pools on top of the falls, and a night in the mountains. Our lights had dropped out of their casings after all the off-roading, and were now pointing squarely at my front fender, and showing a few inches of road ahead, so night riding was out of the question, and we had about one hour of daylight left, on top of that , my fuel consumption was dropping wildly, and instead of my usual 250 miles range, I was down to 150 miles, and I barely had any gas left in the tank, meaning we would have to backtrack to the nearest town before we could head out East.
Fortunately for us, there was one room left at Hierve El Agua, and we took it, we strolled down to the top of the falls and the sight took our breath away.
The pools are formed from sulphur springs gushing out over the granite rock. As the water washes over the edge of the rock, the sulphur deposits form a petrified waterfall down the side. We sat in the pool right at the top of the cliff and looked out over the gorgeous scenery around us.
We stayed in the pools for an hour or so, then made our way back up to the taco stands for dinner before walking into the nearby village to watch the Motherís Day celebrations before getting an early night in our bungalow. That night, from our porch, we watched an amazing light show, courtesy of a distant electrical storm, before jumping in our bunks for another early night in the middle of nowhere.
The next morning we bought an emergency litre and a half of gas from a shop in the village, before making our way back down the mountain and onward to San Cristobal.

Posted by Dan Shell at July 02, 2009 06:47 AM GMT
 



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