Saturday 1st December
Late-ish breakfast at 8:15 then we re-traced our route down the mountain towards Miahuatlan and beyond. We were excited to find a single plant of Agave marmorata - impressively armed and with a surface texture like sandpaper.
At one point we also saw Agave rhodacantha and what appeared to be intergrades with Agave karwinskii, with which it sometimes grew.
But mostly the drive into Oaxaca was botanically uneventful, passing through a very arid and bare environment peppered intermittently with small populations of Agave karwinskii.
We reached Oaxaca and headed fro the colonial heart of the city – straight into a traffic jam. Saturday is market day and the whole place seemed grid-locked. Nevertheless we inched our way to our hotel – Posada Caterina – with private parking available at the nearby Hotel Roma. Very smart and good value at M$600.
We spent the afternoon exploring the city and doing a little shopping.
Below: the covered market in the middle of the city.
Below: one of the many 'carnicerias' adding to the general aroma significantly..
Below: huge sacks of dried chiles
Below: A local delicacy - chapulines. Fried grasshoppers.
Below: one of two massive churches - Iglesia de Santo Domingo, to the north of town...
....with some interesting bedding plants.... below Agave guiengola
below Agave titanota
below: a hechtia of some sort
Then, after a quick shower, we made for the guide book recommended restaurant called El Naranjo. It wasn’t wrong – superb meal. The place had recently changed hands and was owned by a really chatty American who recommended to us the house ańejo (aged) mezcal, rather than our usual tequila. Very nice, with a gorgeous smoky flavour, but not cheap at M$85 a pop. We finished off the evening with a wander around the buzzing zocalo – wonderful atmosphere.
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