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the exciting travel story that wasn’t

June 10, 2010

I’m here in Teotitlan and I’m pretty tired. I arrived on Sunday via collectivo. There were many points during the trip where I thought it was going to turn into a crazy adventure, but it was relatively tame. The first point was when my host mother Helvia stopped on the side of a 6 lane road and pointed to the opposite corner and said that was where the collectivos left from. Well, she must have seen the look on my face when I thought about crossing that highway with my insanely heaving mochila and she offered to drive around. The next point was well I was standing at the corner waiting for the collectivo. The collectivo drivers were all very nice and told me the collectivo I had to wait for. I told the driver for the Tlacolula collectivo that I was going to Teotitlan and he said that he only went to the crucero, turns out that means intersection. I knew from another travel to Teotitlan story that meant a 4 km walk into town. Several images went through my head, one was of me walking 4 km with that heavy backpack, the other was of me hitchhiking and wondering if I could talk about hitchhiking on my blog, the other was of finding a random taxi at the intersection and the last one was of me hailing down a tour bus on the way to Teotitlan (that was my favorite image). Then he offered a private trip to Teotitlan for $110 pesos, I thought I accepted that but while we were putting my backpack in the trunk 4 other people got in the car and turns out we were headed to Tlacolula. We went 100 km down the 40 km highway and got to the crucero relatively quickly. As I was paying him I asked if I could just flag a taxi and he paused and was like “Do you want me to just take you there on the way back?” I said sure, got back in the car, this time in the front seat sitting on the emergency brake (cleverly padded, who needs and emergency brake when that means you can squeeze 3 people into the front seat of your 80s model Toyota) so I had a clear view of the windshield I might fly through.

On our way back through Tlalocula I got a nice tour of the town and we had a nice chat about the market that happens every Sunday. We got into Teotitlan and he asked around for the place where I am staying…another point where I was worried that things could go awry-the first two people we asked didn’t know, but it turned out they weren’t from around here (now I get in a mototaxi and tell the driver where I’m going and they ask if I’m staying with this family). We asked some police officers and he drove me right to the door. There was some guy leaving the alleyway and I said that I was looking for Janet and he looked at me blankly. I barely had time to worry because at the same time Janet came running out of the house shouting my name.

So, that’s my arrival story. More to come.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 12, 2010 12:24 pm

    There’s a much easier, though less adventurous way to get to Teotitlan del Valle. There is a bus that runs every hour on the quarter hour that leaves from Chedraui. It is about 10 pesos. It drives right into the village and drops you at any street that crosses Av. Benito Juarez. Every village in the Oaxaca valley contracts for its own bus service to the city and back. Buses are identifiable by the colors they are painted. Each village bus is marked by a different color. The one to Teotitlan is terra cotta and bright yellow. See http://oaxacaculture.wordpress.com for ways to travel to Teotitlan.

    • June 12, 2010 3:17 pm

      That bus doesn’t run on Sunday though! :)

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