To day it was south and a little west of town to the Zaachila valley. Traffic has been terrible this week so our guide Nico took us down a super-secret short-cut. Like going down the rabbit hole.
Speaking of rabbits. Our first stop was the wood carving village of Arrozola. Arsenio Moreles took a machete to a block of wood and created one of his signature long eared rabbits.
This is the view of the back yard (and studio) of one of the other carvers. I have really bad studio envy.
I haven’t been to Arrozola in about 5 years. The town looks much the same but the quality and variety of work being offered has gone way up. This peacock is one example.
All the way down this main street you can walk into the front room of any house and find carvings for sale.
At one house where I bought a lot of little things like earrings and hair sticks, this little parrot followed us around while we shopped. If you look closely you can see that he follows the painters around too. That’s a lovely shade of blue on his tail.
After Arrozola we went to Cuilapam de Guerroro. Their market day is Thursday. We walked through the animal market. They don’t get a lot of gringo tourists walking through the animal market.
Most land in this valley is worked with oxen.
Goats, with little bundles of alfalfa tied to the panels.
All of the pigs are this pale pink pricked ear type.
Turkey is native to Mexico and the favored meat for fiestas. All of these will end up under a mole this weekend.
This is looking over the town from the site of the large — abandoned Dominican church.
The Dominican church in Cuilapam was one of several being built in the Oaxaca area in the middle of the 16th century. There were more churches being built than there was money to build with. This one was abandoned in favor of the cathedral in Oaxaca city.
The chapel as been partially restored. It never had a roof. The indigenous people could not fathom the idea that you would go -inside- to pray to your god. The Dominicans met them half way. In a church but without a roof.
Today’s arty shot is of the tower of the chapel and the clear blue sky.
No one can say how many of the Zapotec Indians were baptized in this font. Something between thousands and hundreds of thousands. The angels faces were clearly carved by locals rather than Europeans.
One last look at the valley before heading back into town for lunch.
Lunch at La Biznaga (barrel cactus). Most places have a fixed price lunch special called the Comida Corrida. Running lunch. Today it was porkchops and apple sauce.
La Biznaga has one of the great bars in Oaxaca. There are so many votaries in this city. It’s nice to have one devoted to the agave plant.