Our first stop of the day after leaving Veracruz was Tlacotalpan, a very nice colonial city near a river. We saw signs all over the place saying that they were going to make the city more beautiful by repainting and fixing the old colonial style buildings and this all between 2014 and 2017. While we were there, we could see that they had managed to spruce up some of the buildings already and that they were eagerly working on the others. The downside to all of this is that they are doing everything by hand and at a very southern pace, meaning that the work they do now in three years time, can be done in half a year in Europe. This is actually part of the charm of Mexico, the fact that almost everything still involves manual labour and there is almost no machinery to help them.
The church in Tlacotalpan was painted a very peachy color and the inside seemed to have been well maintained during the years.
The cool ceiling of the church.
The peachy outside of the church.
When we were taking our picture in front of the welcome sign, we were approached by the local tourist police. They were so fascinated to see two foreigners there that they asked us where we were from and they told us that if ever we needed any information on their city that they would be happy to inform us.
Fraternizing with the local police!
In Tuxtepec we went to another Love Motel, but at first the guy running the motel wasn’t to keen on letting us stay for the whole night and he said that we could only stay for 12 hours. Being as it was only 5 in the evening, we thanked him and just wanted to leave, when one of the girls working there started a big argument with the guy. In the end, we were allowed to stay the whole night and it seemed as though we were guests of honour. Everyone wanted to have their picture taken on the bike and with Kim and these pictures were the first to go on their facebook bragging that they had gotten the chance to sit on these two enormous bikes. The room was huge and when I say huge, I mean HUGE! The room was very purple (I don’t know what they have with purple rooms, but they seem to love them), it had a seating area, a large bathroom and a big bed and some kind of glass space between the seating area and the bedroom.
Our living room for the night.
Best room EVER for 350MXN – 24$ – 21€ – 16£
In the evening we decided to go Western and have a pizza from Domino’s pizza, so we hopped on one bike and rode to the pizza place. When we stopped in the parking lot and went inside, all the conversations fell quiet and everyone stared at us. We ordered the pizza and said it was to go because we felt we had such a nice seating area in our room so we would eat it there. When they gave us our pizza and we hopped back on the bike, Seb saw that all of the employees were leaning on the counter, looking at us in amazement, so I guess they haven’t seen a lot of tourists on motorcycles lately…
Late in the evening Kim got a phone call in the room and it was the girl who had the argument with the guy earlier, saying that her shift was finished and she was going home and whishing us a safe continuation of our travels.
In the morning when we wanted to leave, it was a whole other crew working, but they had been briefed by the last crew, because they came over to us to give us a present. Someone they knew had made a motorcycle out of a soda can and they wanted us to have it. They also off course wanted to have their picture taken on the bike and they also whished us a safe journey.
They were all very proud of the fact that they could pose on the bikes and we just love to make people happy with small things like this.
When we told them that it was Kim’s birthday that day, they all felt sorry for her that she had to be on the bike the whole day, but Kim got a very nice surprise for her birthday…shit weather!
The weather even forced us to stop somewhere to have a hot chocolate just to warm up a bit. The place we stopped at had some roadwork going on in front of it and here was also another example of the manual labour they use here in Mexico. They had a pallet of bricks on top of a truck and they had an empty pallet on the ground. Instead of using some kind of crane to put the full pallet on the ground, they just put three men there. One guy was on the truck and two were on the ground and the guy on the truck was picking up the bricks on the truck and throwing them to the guys on the ground so that they could stack them on the empty pallet. We really took pity with them, especially in this bad weather!
Mmmhhhmmm hot chocolate!
After the rain, you get some sunshine at last.
In Oaxaca we naturally went to another love motel, but this was the least pretty of them all, but it did have a very funky add on bonus in the room, a pole and a mirror above the bed. Seb didn’t like the mirror and Kim couldn’t dance around the pole if her life depended on it, but we got a discount because we wanted to stay two whole nights, so in the end we were both very happy.
When we wanted to go to the ruins of Monte Alban in the morning, we decided to use our GPS to get us there, but this turned out to be a big mistake and I think it would have been faster if we had just looked for some signs pointing us in the right direction. We saw all the little side streets of Oaxaca and this wouldn’t be so bad where it not for all the bloody f*cking Topes in the streets (speed bumps)! These ones were so high that we almost hit every single on of them with the exhaust on Seb’s bike. We were two up on the bike, so that could explain it also, although we didn’t have any luggage with us.
Monte Alban was very touristy but a nice place to wander around and learn about the history of the city. Seb found his ancestors in the form of the Olmec people, because they had a sign explaining what they look like, just read the text in the picture and you will know.
The Zapotec name of the city of what is now called Monte Alban is not known since the city was abandoned centuries before the earliest written sources.
Because the city was built atop an artificially leveled ridge at 1,940 meters above sea level, the city had an easily defensible location.
At one point in time around 500 BC, the city was the socio-political and economical center for about a thousand years, but after losing this position the city was mostly abandoned.
They say Oaxaca is the food capital of Mexico and we can only agree. We went to a place to have some lunch and we had a three course meal with a drink for only 60 pesos per person and the meal was excellent! We couldn’t even figure out how they could make enough money like that to cover their own expenses, let alone make some profit.