January 10, 2016
My third excursion was a success! A trip to Hierve el Augua took about an hour, but the view from the top of the mountains was transcendental. The clouds just laid on top of the mountains in a peaceful way as we hiked through the scenery. The trails we took were wrought with stairs, but it was easy to forget about the burning glutes whenever we would see the views of the petrified springs. It’s amazing to see nature’s artwork preserved so well and placed in spots that are perfectly breathtaking. Some of us who like to climb scaled the up the sides of these petrified springs to get a closer look (and touch)…I love climbing. J There was one part we had to climb that was pretty steep, but it was worth it to make it to the top and overlook the springs, the valley, and the birds that glided through the air. After completing the scenic hike, it was time to enjoy the springs! The name implies that the water was hot/boiling, however I would like to inform you that it was NOT! In fact it was quite cold! This did not stop some of us from swimming however! There were areas we could stand in and others where the water was above my head and this is where we did our dives. Since the springs are natural everything was made of rock but the sides of the “pool” were really soft rock to touch. We just sat on these edges observing the other people enjoying the pool and its cool blue-green water. What a relaxing time! When it was time to leave, we saw a little place selling Pina loca and auga de coco. These are basically hollowed out pineapple or coconut and then you drink the juice inside…completely delicious! I did not know a coconut weighed so much….it was like a small child! Our last stop was Arbol del Tule which is a GINORMOUS tree about 3,000 years old! I couldn’t even fit all of it within the range of my camera. There are little hidden faces within some of the knots of the tree which are pretty cool to see if you have an imagination! There is also a market there so we visited that for a while and I had one of the best quesadillas of my life! Finally coming back to the house, Gloria had some pan dulce and hot chocolate for us to eat and drink. We enjoyed an evening of just sitting and conversing around the dinner table learning about the way of life here in Oaxaca!
Today I learned that there are many creative names for nature here: mala mujer, bolas viejos, hierve el augua (for cold water), etc.
P.S. This morning on our way to the bus there was a man walking with his pants around his ankles…found out today is the 15th year of “no pants subway ride”…………