Oaxaca, Mexico

Latitude 17.06477°N Longitude 96.72417°W

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

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This morning we boarded a 10am ADO bus from Mexico City's Terminal Oriente (TAPO) and arrived in the city of Oaxaca around 5pm.

We got a room at the Hotel Pasaje on Calle Mina, right in the heart of the shopping district and a few blocks from the central square or Zócalo. For 190 pesos it was a very simple and basic room; and, as we found later, it included a thriving community of cockroaches at no extra cost.

We walked around the Zócalo after we checked in. Our first impression of Oaxaca is a very cool, laid back place. It is a major cultural and handicraft center. And as an extra bonus, it is a real "Chocolate City" (but not of the George Clinton / Parliament variety); Chocolate is a local specialty here and there are lots of chocolate shops dotted about town that blend their own Oaxacan chocolate from ingredients such raw cacao beans, vanilla, almonds, cinnamon and sugar! Have I died somehow without noticing and arrived in heaven? After trying a cup of steaming Mayordomo "special blend" hot chocolate, I could well have.

Had dinner at La Casa de la Abuela overlooking the Zócalo. I tried the Pollo Negro, chicken served with a thick, dark mole negro sauce. This Oaxaqueño speciality is made from many ingredients including chilies, bananas, chocolate, pepper and cinamon! My only comments are (1) yes, it was black, and (2) the flavour was totally unique and absolutely delicious.

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