This morning I wake up to witness from my rooftop - Consuela and Carlos taking part in what looks like a religious ritual in their courtyard garden. There is a table laid out with great swathes of rosemary and freshly boiled eggs - and another man (some kind of priest) looks like he is blessing Carlos. I'm guessing they are not Catholics!
I google it later – and i'm right its an old Zapotec ritual. Curanderismos are healers - Meso American energy workers. Aztec Ometeotl is a sacred union that looks into the heart and soul of the patients.
Altars are placed in all directons then the patient in question goes through an "undrowning" to let out what is in their heart. The Limpia or spiritual cleansing uses eggs, flowers and fresh rosemary which are all seen as representing and indeed having life giving properties.
Today I visit Monte Alban temple and settlement which the Zapotecs who set about levelling off a mountain to build it. This (in case you were wondering) is the Number 1 # Archaeological site in Oaxaca. There are a series of tombs, altars, palaces, temples and pyramids. There is also an ancient sports court. The Zapotecs played something called Juego de Pelota - a type of football. Fun came at a price - the game was tricky in that players had to manipulate the ball using their knees, hips, elbows and shoulders and losers were often put to death by being sacrificed!
One of the tombs - Los Danzantes (building of the dancers) has large stone slabs outside with grotesque dancers carved into them with large phallic shapes. Apparently they used to cut off the members of men and push them into their mouths before sacrifice...mmm tasty - although i can think of a few men i would have liked to do that to...!
I get back around early afternoon and doze like a seal, its thundering ominously outside (well it is rainy season.)
Oaxaca is famous for its dark chocolate so I have a hot chocolate followed by a chocolate crepe to celebrate this fact and then decide to have a “holiday day” rather than a “traveller” day.
I wander around the brightly coloured schools of the main square and visit its main church and former monastery - the 16th century Santo Domingo.
I go clothes shopping and buy some playsuits and a pair of white shorts, walk in the park and sit in the sun, then go for a lovely lunch of lobster tacos and beer in a seafood restaurant The waiter follows me out:
“I have your number?” he enquires hopefully. Er. No.
Zeb is baking his suffolk beer cakes back home. I miss him.
The tents occuping all of the streets around the main square are beginning to annoy me now – I constantly have to bend over double to avoid being garotted by their lines. Time to ship on out and head for the mountains -and somewhere i'm very excited to see - San Christobal de la Casas.