Thu January 03 2013  —  e-mail Manfred

Mystical, Modern Oaxaca.

Flag Mexico El Dia de los Muertos. Atlixco, Puebla.

Friday, November 11 2011

7 years, 3 months, 20 days

Oaxaca, Mexico

About Travel Photography,
Colors of the World.

Manfred is creator of ThisFabTrek.com, travel photography, a travel blog and a photography blog (a journey from 2004 to 2013). 'I set out to see the colors of the world, always I try to capture the colors'.

Seeing, is understanding, so I report and photograph, but formost enjoy and live those different conceptions of life (all that TV [and the web] cannot give). I reject jealousy, animosity, bigotry. Be free!

Manfred in the desert of the Western Sahara

The mind, when pondering at night and always asked those questions. What am I doing in corporate wonderland of bank, university, office or church? Who is the other animal asleep deep inside, the thinker, punk, creative, or Indian, vagabond and healer, maybe artist, writer, photographer, traveler, globetrotter? Oh God, dare you to think. When I saw the lies, gambles and manipulations I follow the old dream and set out for the journey of life lived, the journey to see the colors of the world.

During years on the road I have taken the turns as they came along, and realized one thing: Only such a small part of the planet can be explored and such a vast land and sea mass will always remain unknown, to me; many swamps, jungles, deserts and oceans will never be traveled. But then I am father of twin boys, Daniel and David, my most important, and I show them some of the wonders and colors out there.

ThisFabTrek, Photography and Journey, the Stories from the Road and Life around the World, stopped in August 2013 after more than 9 years, Love and Peace.

Last vehicle.

G20, Chevy Gladiator.

Chevrolet Gladiator G20, The boys in Cordillera Blanca, Peru.
The boys and Chevy van, Peru.

The G20, the vehicle that came to me for the Americas adventures.

6 wheeled Land Rover.

Land Rover Defender 6x6
Link to Foley

The vehicle of the Africa adventures, a Foley 6-Wheeled Land Rover Defender.

Before, the MB307.

Manfred and MB307
Journey, Middle East.

The vehicle of the Middle-East and North-Cape Journeys. See all vehicles.

Daniel and David with nanny Aisha, the best we ever had, black African Woman carrying white twin babies, in Bamako, Mali.

Current Vehicle 31,862km

Trekking 750km

Ferry 2,778km

Train 7,015km

Land Rover 73,588km

Other cars 171,453km

Travel Blog

contains Festival/Fiesta/Art photography.

"There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo.

"What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it, to tell the tale." Living to Tell the Tale - Gabriel García Márquez.

"They never taught wandering in any school I attended. ... they never taught the art of writing a book, either. It's all so mysterious."
"Wandering is an art in itself. Wandering and writing don't mix"
"Writing demands commitment and if one thing your wanderer is allergic to is that very quality of commitment, for once one is committed he runs that very risk of failure ..." Wanderer - Sterling Hayden.

"Photography enables you to grasp a place first time round. ... Photography is a means of exploration, it's a vital part of travel, almost as essential as a car or a plane. " - Wim Wenders.

"The worst prejudice we acquire during our youth is the idea that life is serious. Children have the right instincts: they know that life is not serious, and treat it as a game..." , Egon Friedell.

"How far you gonna go. Before you lose your way back home" - Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World, Achtung Baby, U2.

"If you want to be a hero well just follow me." - Working Class Hero, John Lennon.

"When I think of all the things I have done, I know that it's only just begun." - I love you, Lou Reed.

"One does not escape the Sahara - the Sahara let's you go or not" - Touareg.

"Planet earth is blue and there`s nothing I can do" - This is Ground Control to Major Tom, David Bowie.

"Glory for the crazy people/in this stupid world" - Ahmed Fouad Negm.

www.thisfabtrek.com > journey > north-america > mexico > 20111111-oaxaca

Atlixco receives us nicely, ahead of the night of the dead.

Map, Mexico City to Oaxaca to Ariaga to Tapachula.

Download GPS (KML) track/waypoints.

So we go via Puebla, - and on this sunny day's approach we can see four volcanoes, Popocatepetl which we know so well, Iztaccihuatl right near it, we also make out Paso de Cortez in-between the two and I remember how we passed with Daniel and David not so long ago. The 3rd, Tlaxcala volcano is a close drive-by today on our way to Puebla. Most striking still is the sight of Pico de Orizaba which is more than 100kms away further east, its summit, majestic and significant rises 5600m above sea-level. Such is our approach, and then we struggle through Puebla's traffic, only to head back toward old friend Popocatepetl and spend night on his foothills in Atlixco, and we are still in the state of Puebla.

Dance the Indian dance. Atlixco, Puebla, Dia de los Muertos street performance.
Dance the Indian dance.
El Dia de los Muertos. Atlixco, Puebla.
El Dia de los Muertos.

Exhausted we crave for huge bottles of cold beer, and Atlixco's dark streets churn out a pre Dia de los Muertos street fiesta, nightly drums and dance, glimmer and smoke all embracing us. Atlixco with the veil of night lifted the next morning evolves in a pleasant colorful town of painted houses, flowers and more flowers and blue skies and the king Popocatepetl rising above all.

Painted houses, morning sun. Atlixco.
Painted houses, morning sun.
Juan Manuel Martinez Caltenco, Atlixco mural.
Mural, Atlixco.
Street central Atlixco.
Street central Atlixco.

Zocalo church. Atlixco. A bed of flowers, El Dia de los Muertos.
Zocalo bed of flowers. Atlixco.
Mural street Atlixco.
Mural street Atlixco.
Street Atlixco, church on hill.
Street Atlixco.

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Huaquechula.

Huaquechula, church.
Huaquechula, church.
Huaquechula, street.
Huaquechula, street.

Enormous pipe cactus, southern state of Puebla, Mexico.
Enormous pipe cactus

Somebody suggest to see Huaquechula and we follow; the Discovery Channel people had been through here, we find a church and lively market - but Dia de los Muertos is still days away, the processions, offerings and ceremonies are in preparation behind the scenes. We leave before the narrow streets of this little town will jam completely.

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Huajuapan de Leon

Church Huajuapan de Leon, Oaxaca.
Church Huajuapan de Leon, Oaxaca.
Huajuapan de Leon, Oaxaca.
Different angle.

We end up in Huajuapan de León, finally in Estado de Oaxaca.

Huajuapan has this ochre cathedral and these afternoons it really sticks out unnaturally bright against the blue sky. But we have work to do. So many Mexican stories to recount from the summer travels with my boys; they kept me quite busy then.

We work and sleep over the very subdued Day of the Dead/All Saints celebrations here, yes we wonder a bit what all the hype was about, but then we should have stayed in Huaquechula, should have trusted that the Discovery Channel people know. Here food is a problem, only beer helps to down our plastic burgers and woody meat tacos.

Of sand, Dia de los Muertos grave..
Of sand.
Flowers Market for Dia de los Muertos.
Flowers for Dia de los Muertos.

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Santo Domingo de Yanhuitlan.

Iglesia Santo Domingo de Yanhuitlan.
Santo Domingo de Yanhuitlan.
Facade of Santo Domingo de Yanhuitlan.
Facade of St. Domingo.

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Oaxaca.

El Silencio Mata. Silence kills. Oaxaca mural.
El Silencio Mata.
Espacio Zapata, Oaxaca. Arte popular.
Espacio Zapata.

Take a picture down the street. Oaxaca.
Take a picture down the street.
Lila Downs, concert poster, Oaxaca, 2011.
Lila Downs, concert.

Colonial street Oaxaca.
Colonial street.
Chapulines, Grasshoppers in lemon and chili..
Chapulines, Grasshoppers.

A band, a marriage procession, Oaxaca..
A band, a marriage procession.
Marriage figures, puppets in a street parade, Oaxaca.
Marriage figures, puppets.
Flower girls in marriage parade, street Oaxaca
Flower girls in marriage parade.
Women carrying flowered baskets. Marriage parade Oaxaca.
Women carrying flowered baskets.

One travels and then you leave the best for last; sometimes.

We reach Oaxaca de Juárez (wiki), named so after Mexico's first indigenous president Benito Juárez (died 1872).

In Oaxaca, the UNESCO town we rent an apartment and stay 8 days, hey we can cook. One night some people break into the car parked outside and take only a pair of walking boots, may they bring warm feet to its new owner/thief.

We have a friend in Oaxaca, Paul from Olympia (WA), he owns Cafe Los Cuiles, we see the city, but really we work again a lot, we see Lila Downs, also so nice local artists in bars around our central place. I also finally get music working in the van (a 17-year old cassette player just does not do), I buy a little amp, connected all the wires, come on music is a must for Latin American travels.

Carrying flowers to Santo Domingo. Oaxaca.
Carrying flowers to Santo Domingo.
Girls and flower baskets, Oaxaca.
Girls and flower baskets.
Santo Domingo, Oaxaca. Front paza.
Santo Domingo, Oaxaca.

Santo Domingo cathedral, Oaxaca, mescal cacti in front, deep blue evening sky.
Santo Domingo cathedral.
Sto. Domingo, Oaxaca. from right, Mescal cacti in front.
Sto. Domingo, Oaxaca.

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Cathedral Oaxaca.

Catedral Oaxaquena. Oaxacan Cathedral.
Catedral Oaxaquena.
Front facade of Cathedral in Oaxaca.
Front facade of Cathedral in Oaxaca.

Eating Chapulines.
Eating Chapulines.
Taking pictures, professional.
Taking pictures.
Oaxaca, at night.
Oaxaca, at night.

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Monte Alban.

Monte Alban.
Monte Alban.
Monte Alban, Oaxaca, Mexico.
Monte Alban, Oaxaca.
Monte Alban, South Platform.
Monte Alban, South Platform.
Over Monte Alban, evening and clouds fall.
Sky turns black.

Then one day we leave, see Monte Albán (wiki) on our way out, under the dark clouds the late sun shows for a brief.

For night we stop in San Francisco. Early morning the old lady from the house in front of which we park invites us to some pan dulce, we can heat water for our nescafe. Her story, the story of so many: Her man used to beat her up, then left for another woman and deprived her of all means, the girls/women from next door, her ex's family, conspire against her, beat her on occasions, chase her away. A son went to the US many years ago, el clandestino picked crops in California, but he wrote, sent money regularly, last time is now 4 years ago, no word since then; in jail, dead, we wonder? We promise to investigate.

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Yagul.

Ballcourt Yagul, Oaxacan landscape.
Ballcourt, Yagul.
Yagul, reconstructions.
Yagul, reconstructions.
Christina, Yagul, Oaxaca.
Christina, Yagul.

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Mitla.

Mitla, church of San Pedro.
Mitla, church of San Pedro.
Fiesta de quince anos. Mitla, Oaxaca.
Fiesta de quince anos.

Rose Mexican girl, her 15 year celebrations (fiesta de quince anos) dressed in rose wedding dress, on steps of San Pedro church in Mitla, Oaxaca..
Rose Mexican girl.
Quinceaneras, possible grooms surround 15 year old Mexican girl.
Quinceañeras, possible grooms around.
San Pedro, Mitla.
San Pedro, Mitla.

After Yagul in the morning we reach Mitla (wiki), its famous 50 thousand pieces post classic Zapotec stone mosaics astound. Mitla has also a cathedral and a 15 year old girl celebrates her fiesta de quince anos, maybe the most important thing in a woman's life.

While in the hot under the blistering mid day sun our young pink lady still poses for pictures with her potential grooms another party pushes inside the cathedral, carrying lots of flowers for blessing and taking to the cementry to commemorate a husband or friend, 40 days after his death.

Life and death, in close distance from one another ...

Mitla, Zapotec post classic archeological site.
Mitla, archeological site.
Mitla mosaics.
Mitla mosaics.

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Hierve de Agua.

Hierve de Agua.
Hierve de Agua.
Early morning, Hierve de Agua.
Early morning...
Looking out over the Oaxaca landscape, Hierve de Agua.
Look out into Oaxaca landscape.
Cascades, Hierve de Agua.
Cascades, Hierve de Agua.

Me, Hierve de Agua.
Me, Hierve de Agua.

In the afternoon we take the strident dirt road up and down to Hierve de Agua, its cascades are in style Pamukkale (Turkey, thisfabtrek) just maybe even more destroyed. The dissolved rock is fragile, scratching with car keys, knocking with high heals to test it doesn't help to preserve it, idiots should be taught or watched, or both. Pamukkale after many years of unhindered destructions introduced great restrictions on where you can go and a strict no shoe policy. Is Turkey really so many years ahead of Mexico?

We spend night in Hierve de Agua and we are back down at the cascades just after 7 in the morning, the gracious quiet is usually empty of people...

Washed white rocks, Hierve de Agua.
Washed rocks, Hierve de Agua.
Moulded stones, Hierve de Agua.
Moulded stones.
White washed desolved rocks, Hierve de Agua.
White wash Hierve de Agua.
Forming puddles in rock. Hierve de Agua, Oaxaca.
Forming puddles in rock.

Maguey plantation, for Mescal. Oaxaca, mountain landscape.
Maguey plantation, for Mescal.
Pipe cacti, Oaxaca.
Pipe cacti, Oaxaca.
Late evening near Arriaga.
Late evening near Arriaga.

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Puerto Arista.

Back up and down the rough track, back to Mitla for a little market breakfast. Then we drive a lot, the Oaxaca State back bone, Sierra Madre de Oaxaca mountains, once again a most beautiful Mexico of pipes and Agave/Mescal cacti plantations. Just we are on a mission now and reach Arriaga at night. Next morning we dash to Puerto Arista on the Pacific where the waves were so high in summer when we passed with my boys. We are back in the tropics, the beach and sun, ceviche and beer. We stay 4 days then we go south to Tapachula, Playa Linda, then into Guatemala, the 19th of November. Mexico has been very good to us...

Baby in hammock, Beach Peurto Arista, Chiapas.
Baby in hammock.
Beach Peurto Arista, sunset. Mexico had been good to us.
Beach Peurto Arista, sunset.

Raking a beach cafe, early morning. Puerto Arista.
Raking a beach cafe, early morning.
Dogs on beach.
Dogs on beach.

www.thisfabtrek.com > journey > north-america > mexico > 20111111-oaxaca

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