Market Day in Nochixtlan

May 2nd, 2016

Nothing note-worthy about the ride into the city of Oaxaca, until you get there, then it’s pretty hectic and happening!

What happened…

Andrew writes: Today was one of those days that I wish I could have hit some sort of fast-forward button on, and skip the cycling and just get to the part of the day where it’s time for bed. Despite our higher average speed, a 6-hour day in the saddle can just feel looooong. In some cases, 6 hours in the saddle is more like 10-12 hours of futzing around.

The first half of the day was harder than I expected. I think that I thought it would be downhill from Nochixtlan to Oaxaca. And then once we arrived, there was a lot of stress dealing with the taxicabs and buses that we had to share our lane with. I was already pretty unimpressed with the landscape and features in the area immediately outside of Oaxaca. I was even less impressed with the rather industrial facade the outer ring of Oaxaca presents. It’s all muffler shops and paint stores, and a couple of technical schools. Heck, it’s probably the same in a Canadian city too. These types of businesses find themselves where the real estate is cheaper. It wasn’t until we finally got into the centro historico of Oaxaca that I started to fall in love with the city.

The streets turn to cobbles, but not bone-jarring, shitty cobbles. Rather, they are like pavement with a light veneer of cobbles. Easy to ride on, nice wide lanes, and the deeper into the heart of the city we get, the lighter the traffic gets too. Then we come across the Zocalo, or main park/plaza of the city. It is full of people taking their lunch, or maybe enjoying a beer after work. We spend an hour sitting in the cover of a large tree as a light rain comes down from above.

I call Jason, our Warmshowers host, and let him know we’ll be a little bit longer getting to his house. We stop to buy groceries at the Soriano supermarket – it is always a treat to come across a real supermarket these days. Then we finish off the ride by climbing up out of the city centre into villages that the city has been absorbing…yet they still feel very special and remote, despite being a part of this larger city. Jason’s house is about as high up the mountain as you can get in Oaxaca, while still being a part of Oaxaca itself. That’s rather nice, and I know that we’ll likely have a few days of peace and quiet here in this tranquil corner, while still being able to enjoy the sights and sounds of the city below at our leisure.

Amanda writes:
Oaxaca seemed quite historic once we managed to get into the centre of town. It’s always an interesting mindset when you hear from so many other people that a place is gorgeous. You get so hyped up on it, it’s almost disappointing when you get there; that’s not the case here. It really is beautiful and as Andrew said I’m looking forward to exploring some more over the coming days.

One thing I’ve noticed as we’ve come closer to this area is the dogs seem different. They bark more, chase more and there are more of them. They’re just down right aggressive. Apparently our host warned Andrew about dogs close to his house which I didn’t hear about until the dogs were in our face; but the home owner showed us how to throw rocks at them to scare them off. And while I’d never want to hurt a dog, if it’s the dog or me; sorry buddy, you’re going down. The further we rode up the hill to our hosts house, the more rocks I stored in my easily accessible top tube bag. Let’s hope the trend doesn’t continue.

Today’s Photographs

Market Day in Nochixtlan