It took us another full day of relaxing at the great campsite in San Cristobal before we actually made it into town. With hot water, internet, a large field for playing and a great little neighborhood for scooter rides, we were happy to take a little break. It was raining off and on, but frankly we were enjoying the cool temperatures.
Once we finally got our butts in gear and walked the 20 minutes to town, we were pleasantly surprised. Here is the color, tradition and vibrancy I was expecting in Oaxaca… it’s all in San Cristobal. The colors seem to be turned up a notch here.
The town is an odd mix of international tourists and indigenous people in traditional clothing. Most are selling their wares for unbelievably low prices prices and their children are part of the family sales team. You couldn’t sit for a meal (outdoors) without being approached and offered beads or a shoeshine or textiles every couple of minutes.
It was a bizarre experience to be ogling their long furry skirts tied with colorful sashes and intricate shirts while they stared at Bode. The town is full of travelers, but I guess a blond kid is still something to see. Not many traveling kids – mostly rasta twenty-somethings.
The market was wonderful, with many hand embroidered tablecloths and bedspreads. As usual, I went away wishing we needed something. We always buy the fruits and veggies, but rarely pick up much else (okay, I bought 3 skirts.) Maybe we’ll find more room in the van on the way north.
As wonderful as the city was, the beggars and vendors really take a lot out of you. Luckily, our campsite just out of town was a nice respite. Goats and donkeys graze along the route home, and there were a few families in their beautiful clothing waiting while their sheep grazed on the neighboring field.
The lightning bugs keep coming back each night, so we’re sure to be home for the evening show. We still haven’t figured out how to take a picture of it.
Also, we may have finally perfected the cheapo awning. We’ve had a few nights of high winds, and the tent wants to be a sail. Despite Jason’s desire to have nothing in the ground, we tried staking it down. It didn’t work – the wind was so strong the stakes were just ripped out of the ground. Final solution : bend two of the original stakes, hook them into the wheels, and tighten them down with the extra cord. The poles are in compression and the cords are in tension. Solid as a rock… and nothing touching the ground. Plus, it’s a good place to hang the wet towels.