Today is Friday, we must be headed for Mitla and ‘the tree’!. Our first stop is in Santa Maria del Tule, to see a huge, several thousand year old tree. In the center of the town. Pretty amazing. The redwoods are taller, but this honker is huge at the trunk!
Playing ‘name that creature’ is an old game here. Supposedly this is a lion head.
Translated roughly the interesting bits are:
Common Name: Ahuehuete
Age: more than 2000 years.
Height: 42 meters
Diameter: 14.05 meters
Volume: 816,829 cuibic meters
Weight: 636,107 tons
This is a much younger version of the same tree.
Around here, your admission ticket doesn’t not include privileges to “Los banos”, gotta get a separate ticket for that. When you hand over your 2 pesos, you get a ticket and toilet paper! (TP not pictured)
There’s some bizarre topiary in the garden in St. Maria, here’s a squirrel with a nut!
On the hillside across the valley, they are mining lime. Looks too symmetrical and planned to be a mine to me. (Says Jim)
Civilization around these parts is so old, you can pull over on the side of the road and look at petroglyphs that are thousands of years old without ever getting out of the car.
And here we are at Mitla, one of my favorite Oaxacan archeological sites. The setting is beautiful, the designs wonderful, and it’s a bit more to human scale than Monte Alban is.
White boards?! Why would we need a white board? We got a perfectly good piece of dirt and a twig right here! (Nicolas Garcia, our guide and all around helluva nice guy!)
I love the fact that ancient stonework exists side-by-side with modern technology in this part of the world!
There are just a few bits of the original decoration still visible. These drawings were done in cochineal on stucco.
The view between two of the buildings, looking across the valley.
This is the large building in the southern portion of the complex.
I love the designs here. This section of the wall shows six different designs.
The unrestored portions of the compound show how rough the material is. A lot of the stone was taken to build the church.
Each frieze design is made up of thousands of small stones cut on the face and placed into a bed of mud or cement.
They are doing some archeology here, a pair of disembodied arms measures the stones.
A frieze with a very cool lightning design in it.
And the local vendors still use the old designs
Lara and Jim