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Cruising with the crew of CALOU on the Baja Ha-ha and Pacific Puddle Jump
Pascale's journal - Ixtapa to Puebla
02/04/2010

Our Land Trip in Central and Southern Mexico

Jan 10, 2010

We left Ixtapa at around 1pm going to Patzcuaro. We got there at dusk.
We stayed at " Hotel Ricon de Josefa ", which was nice, but chilly at
night. Still, we had hot water to shower. The next day,
we moved to another hotel on the main square " Hotel de Los Escudos ".
We stayed in the Suite with KIng size bed on the lower level and 2
matrimonials on the upper loft. It had a cheminee and exquisitely
furnished ( $1000 pesos/night ). The town of Patzcuaro is beautiful
and charming. We visited the Island de Janitzio with the statue of
Lazaro de Cardenas dominating the Island ( Cardenas was
governor of Michoacan from 1928-1932 and President of Mexico from
1934-1940 ). We walked to the top on steep stepped streets adorned by
vendors and restaurants.

Jan 12

The next day, we drove to Morelia, gorgeous town with Colonial
architecture. We stayed in the ' Centro Historico ' at the Hotel
Catedral, an OK hotel modern rooms, but in a nice colonial building.
We took the tour bus of the city. We saw the aqueduct and other colonial buildings and finished by the ' Museum de Dulce ', where we tasted fruit paste.

Jan 13

We drove to Toluca, a very ugly town. We checked a hotel downtownand
it was scary and dirty. We then asked a taxi to take us to a more
decent hotel. After, we located a hotel, the taxi took us back to get
our car and we followed him back to the Hotel Del Rey Inn. Except for the
decor of the restaurant, it was a nice hotel outside of dowtown for
business people.

Jan 14

We were happy the next day to get out of Toluca and drive to
Cuernavaca. We had to go over a moutain on a very curvy road. We
arrived at Cuernavaca at around 5pm. We stayed 3 nights at "Casa
Colonial ", which is in an old colonial private mansion. The first evening, we had dinner at " Gaia " by the Palacio de Cortez. It was expensive, but
delicious and elegant. The day after, we visited the Mayan pyramids of
XOCHICALCO.

We found a guide , who was an archeologist on the site It was
magnificent ! For dinner we stayed at Casa Colonial our hotel with
excellent food and service. The next day, we hired a guide at the
Palacio de Cortez ( old residence of Cortez and Fort built by Cortez ). Alfredo, our guide, recommended having lunch at " Indian Bonita ", very good mole. We took the double decker tour bus. Except for the folkloric dance mocking the Moors (spanish with long robe, beard, mask and tall hat ), it was not really worth it.

Again, we dinned at Casa Colonial. I had the beef with a cherry sauce
sublime ! From Alfredo's recommendation, we went to Tepoztlan a few
miles away from Cuernavaca, where there is a pyramid. The streets were
so packed with people that it was hard to get by with our car. We
asked a local what was going on and he said every Sunday it was like
this. The Mercado was going on and visitor walking to the top of the
mountain where the Pyramid is. Some believe if they make a wish at the pyramid, their wish will be granted. We were all so exhausted after climbing the 900m elevation that cheked in at a Posada with a splendid view of
the cliff with the pyramid. Next day, we had lunch at " Los Colorines " on
main street.

Jan 17

We drove for about 2 hrs from Cuernavaca to Puebla with splendid views
of the volcan Popocatepetl 5465m. We stayed near Centro Historico main
square at Hotel Real Santander ( very nice, near resto, shops,

Cathedral ). We had dinner 3 nights in a row at " Mural Poblano " very
close to the hotel walking. It was excellent food and reasonably priced.

We went on the Turibus the next day sightseeing the city. ( very good
tour ). Next day, we drove to Cholula to visit the largest pyramid
ever built in the world. It's not been excavated because of the
Catholic church that has been built on the top in the 1600's. Three pyramids were built one on top of the other. Archeologists have dug tunnels to be able to study the pyramids under the church. There is a replica worth seeing in the little museum that really show the structures well.

We had a guide, who also took us to Tonantzila, where there is a
Mexican Baroque church that was just beautiful. The same afternoon, we
saw Santo Domingo in Puebla, which is European Baroque. The 2 churches
are very amazing to see and worth the visit. Puebla was called before
Ciudade de Los Angeles

Mexico Sailing Trip 2008-2011
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Monte Alban video
01/25/2010, Oaxaca, Oaxaca State, Mexico


This is a short video of our visit to Monte Alban

Mexico Sailing Trip 2008-2011
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Monte Alban
01/24/2010, Oaxaca, Oaxaca State, Mexico

Francois and Antoine admire the ancient city of Monte Alban, near Oaxaca. Monte Alban was built in the 5th century B.C. by the Zapotec indians, flourished for about a thousand years, and was finally abandoned in the 7th century AD, probably because of lack of water.



The early Zapotecs had no writing system at the time but left beautiful stone carvings.







Mexico Sailing Trip 2008-2011
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If it ain't baroque, don't fix it
01/24/2010, Oaxaca, Oaxaca State, Mexico

The incredibly beautiful interior of the 16th century baroque church, Santo Domingo, in Oaxaca City. Construction began in 1572, not long after the Spanish conquistadors arrived in Mexico.

Mexico Sailing Trip 2008-2011
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Oaxacan pickup truck & taxi
01/24/2010

On the road between Oaxaca and the Pacific coast, a donkey powered pickup truck and the ubiquitous three wheeled Mexican taxi.

Mexico Sailing Trip 2008-2011
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Chapulines
01/23/2010, Oaxaca, Oaxaca State, Mexico

Chapulines (cha-poo-LEE-ness) are a Oaxaca specialty. Fried grasshoppers. I'm not kidding. Here they are on a restaurant menu.

Mexico Sailing Trip 2008-2011
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Zapotec temple at Mitla
01/23/2010, Oaxaca

Pascale and Francois climb the beautiful 7th century Zapotec temple at Mitla, near Oaxaca.

Mexico Sailing Trip 2008-2011
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Oaxaca
01/22/2010, Oaxaca, Oaxaca State, Mexico

We drove a couple hundred miles south to the historic city of Oaxaca. This ancient city has pre-Columbian history and architecture dating back to 600 A.D. We toured the grounds of Monte Alban, a 7th century mountaintop city, and the nearby village of Mitla, where the Zapotec temple ruins are in such good condition they look brand new. The photo of us here is at Mitla with its exquisitely well preserved stone walls.

Mexico Sailing Trip 2008-2011
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