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October 27th, 2009
October 27th, 2009

From Dead Sea Scrolls to the Days of the Dead

A garland of skulls (Oaxaca)
A garland of skulls (Oaxaca)
We left Vancouver Island October 10th for a busy week in Toronto with daughter Christina, son-in-law Sam and granddaughter Anahita - laid two bamboo floors in their new/old house, ate the best Pakistani food since our visit to Peshawar on the
Afghan border in 2005, and visited the Royal Ontario Museum´s spectacular exhibit of the Ten Commandments and the Dead Sea Scrolls.  (This last was Sam´s generous gift and though visitors´ lines snaked around the block outside and moved at a snail´s pace inside, Anahita - at eight months - stayed cheerful and entertained the multitudes.)

The following week we flew to Miami, rented a car, crossed Florida from east to west via the “Alligator Highway” and then north to St. Petersburg to inspect Namasté, a 31 foot Southern Cross cutter we had found on the internet with the intention of cruising the Gulf of Mexico.  Regretfully, the little ship needed more work than we were prepared to spend, and so, within the week, we were on a flight to Mexico City, where we dined at La Mansion (our favourite steak house) for Martyn´s birthday on October 23rd.

The next day we caught a bus to the ancient colonial city of Oaxaca and stayed two nights on the edge of the zocalo (town square) where we lapped up the sights and sounds of a city revving up for one of Mexico´s premiere festivities, Los Dias De Los Muertos, the Days of the Dead (November 1-2, 2009).  Oaxaca, the city, and the capital of Oaxaca, the state, arguably treats Los Dias de los Muertos with more enthusiasm than elsewhere in Mexico and hotel rooms are at a premium during the festival; hence, we jumped on another bus that twisted through the mountain passes, deviated to the infamously windy Gulf of Tehuantepec (across which we have sailed three times - once getting blown 200 miles to sea by a “Tehuantepecer”) and arrived in Puerto Escondido eleven hours after we departed.

Puerto, as the locals call it, is a surfers´ haven, and though the sand beaches extend for miles it has maintained it low profile, eschewing five-star resorts for comfy cabanas at moderate prices.

As I write, the surf is up, a good breeze is rustling the palms, dogs chase every passing jalopy, and we´ve just emerged from a morning dip in the hotel pool.




More Images

The Captain surfing for surf
The Captain surfing for surf
moutain views on way to Oaxaca
moutain views on way to Oaxaca
preparations for The Days of the Dead, Oaxaca
preparations for The Days of the Dead, Oaxaca
Puerto Escondido´s fishing fleet
Puerto Escondido´s fishing fleet

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