Roaming Through Retirement



April 2022

April--What an Adventure!

We finished our three-week vacation in the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico.  This picture was taken a few miles east of Oaxaca city, which sports this one-of-a-kind "El Tule tree" in the background. We spent the remainder of the month saying farewell to our friends, finished up on our volunteer projects, remodeling and prepped the house and ourselves for the summer North of the Border.

April 2022
April 2022
While driving from Chiapas to Oaxaca, the road was blocked by this group of indigenous people protesting the conditions imposed by their government.  After a two-hour wait, the road was peacefully reopened for 50 pesos. The Pacific Ocean meets the rugged Sierra Mountains and a dozen bays and inlets with incredible beaches. The Oaxaca coast is over 300 miles long and has  crystal clear warm water.
April 2022
April 2022
Our hotel was a few blocks from Santa Cruz Bay, which is one of the most popular and accessible beach with lots of restaurants and nightlife. Santa Cruz Bay is Mexico's newest cruise ship destination that provides excursions to coffee plantations and local archeological sites. 
April 2022
April 2022
We drove through a national park to get to Entrega beach, where the snorkeling was awesome.  Warm clear water with lots of corral and tropical fish. En route to Oaxaca city, we stopped to overlook Santa Cruz Bay, with their harbor filled with both private and tour boats, nicely protected from the rough seas.
April 2022
April 2022
After a five-hour drive over the most impressive mountain ranges, we arrived Oaxaca city, the capital and the largest city in Oaxaca (1/4 million people).   Oaxaca is a UNESCO World Heritage site with candy-colored homes, stunning artwork displayed on streets and parks.
April 2022
April 2022
The Zocalo is the main plaza, skirted by churches, cafes and souvenir vendors.  This evening a band was playing Mexican music with people of all ages listening and many dancing. We toured the Oaxaca Lending Library (built by expats to serve expats) and so much more.  They expanded their library to reach 70 communities throughout Oaxaca with 120 new children and preteen book gotten each year. 
April 2022
April 2022
Oaxaca is known for its vast array of textiles, from weaving to embroidery.  Here we are touring the  textile museum displaying these wall hangings. Their focus is on weaving current and past designs from throughout the world. Of the 570 communities in Oaxaca, 418 are indigenous dating back to 1500 BCE. Most are governed by local customs and traditions.  This state is the poorest and has the highest illiteracy, malnutrition, and infant mortality. Thus, reasons for many protests and sit ins. 
April 2022
April 2022
Benito Juarez was the first person of indigenous origin to serve as the president of Mexico. In addition to  nationalizing lands held by the Catholic church that were not used for worship and instruction, he helped overthrow the French occupation of Mexico. One afternoon, this massive tree fell across Benito Juarez Avenue from a park across the street from the hotel we were staying. Our grey Honda on the lower side of this picture had some minor damage, but not enough to cover the deductible. 
April 2022
April 2022
Once we saw the damage to the car parked next to the tree, we were relieved and decided we could live with the dings and scratches. It took workmen most of the night to clean up the mess. While Tequila is produced in the state of Jalisco, nearly 70 percent of its sister drink, Mezcal, is produced in Oaxaca. Larry is savoring the smoky taste of Mezcal along with a Tlayudas (a Mexican pizza) unique to Oaxaca.
April 2022
April 2022
Ancient Mayan cities line most Mexican states, but mainly in the southern part.  This ruin is Monte Alban, located about five mile west of Oaxaca City.  Unlike Palenque, which got swallowed up by the jungle, Monte Alban sits on a high plateau about 6,500 feet above sea level.
April 2022
April 2022
Archeologist suggest that as many as 5,000 people lived here and was the economic center of the region as far back as 500 BC. These stone carvings depict disfigured people, thought to be the offspring of royalty who intermarried with other family members.
April 2022
April 2022
Alebrijes is a distinctive form of animal wood carving unique to Oaxaca. They often combine animal and human features with colorful and intricate detail.  Because of that, it was quite expensive. Our tour companions included our driver and two young men, Tom from France and Tomer from Russia, both on student exchange programs in Mexico City. Both spoke English and had quite interesting stories.
April 2022
April 2022
Another unique art form from Oaxaca is pottery formed from black clay.  Glorine used an old potters wheel, turning it with her foot, while crafting this bowl. After the fun, Glorine had making the clay bowl, we shopped at their store where we bought this black clay statue hand crafted by this young lady.
April 2022
April 2022
That evening, we drove to the town of El Tule to witness, what they say is the widest tree with stoutest trunk in the world.  It is a Montezuma cypress and is about 1,400 years old. On our two-day road trip back to Ajijic, we stopped in Puebla, an awesome city of about three million people. Here we are in the Cathedral of Puebla, which has a central alter, with ten-mini alters along the perimeter.
April 2022
April 2022
The downtown area is modern looking while exuding a European flair with renaissance architecture.  We dined at an outdoor cafe next to the main plaza. Back in Ajijic, where the streets were decorated for all the upcoming Easter festivities, which brings in thousands of tourists from throughout Mexico. 
April 2022
April 2022
Friends Chris and Barbara invited us over for pizza and wine. They are leaving on their summer vacation NOB about the same time as we are and will be seeing many of the same landmarks. This would be Larry's last meeting with the LCS Everyday Mindfulness group this season. Todd (the tall guy) was our leader for many years, is preparing to move to Sierra Vista, Arizona.
April 2022
April 2022
We met up with friends Randy and Andy at one of our old hangouts, Adelita's restaurant.  They too will be heading back north, first to Florida, then to their hometown in upstate New York.  Friends Jim and Margo treated us to an awesome steak dinner that Jim prepared on the grill, then played some cards. We will see them in Regina on our trip to Alaska in July.
April 2022
April 2022
Friends Mark and Bernice invited us to their massive going away party, including lots of neighbors.  Here some of us are on the rooftop with the Sierra Mountains in the background.  With family reunions being planned for this summer, we were both busy updating family trees. Here Larry designed the "apple doesn't fall very far from the tree" theme for the ancestors that date back to the 1600s.
April 2022
April 2022
We replaced all our exterior windows with modern, more airtight windows. This French Door leading into our bedroom had 1/2" gaps. Instead of crank out windows, we went with a double hung window and with one door (we could actually fit through).
April 2022
April 2022
Our last outing with sister Maureen and Wayne was at a Concert in the Park, where the president of the Lake Chapala Society recognized them as an LCS Angles, having purchased this table with their names on it.  Having said farewell to our friends, we headed north, but had this incident with the RV.  The problem was a engine part on factory recall. Good Sam's took care of the tow and Mercedes Benz took care of the rest.  




April's web page includes April 1 through April 31.