Mitla & Matatlán Tour (Oaxaca) – 01/15/2018

This is another retro-post (June 2018), about one of the excursions during our visit to Oaxaca in Jan 2018. We engaged Eduardo, a great guide, for a visit to the villages of Mitla and Matatlán. 

The Tour

Mitla Matatlán Tour.PatJay.2018-01-15

Mitla, in the village of  San Pablo Villa de Mitla, is an important archeological site and the Zapotec culture.  We visited the ruins of the Zapotec village including the courtyards and mosaics, and the San Pablo Mitla Church.  These are quite amazing for the architecture and structure as well as the patterns one sees in the mosaics.  And … we visited the famous “El Tule” tree in the nearby town of Santa Maria del Tule.

We then headed for Matatlán, a village known for its production of Mezcal.  Driving towards and into the village we saw numerous palenques (distilleries for mezcal) along the road.  Eduardo had chosen the El Sabino palenque for our visit. We learned some about the processes that take the cooked fibers of the agave pino through fermentation, then distillation of the liquid from fermentation to produce their varieties of mezcal.  They served us a very nice lunch, after which we were offered the chance to sample various styles of mezcal – and of course to purchase some to take with us.

Jay here: Having Eduardo (Lalo) for a guide made this a most interesting trip. He offered up many insights into what we were seeing. E.g. stones for the zapatecan and mixtecan constructions were recycled into the Spanish built churches; the red dye used for the murals and decorative treatments contained mercury, so it kept on poisoning the painters; the short steps and tall risers in the stadium like seating were meant to make people look down out of respect. All in all, a very informative trip.

GPS Track Files for Download
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I urge you to explore our hiking tracks with Google Earth. With the virtual 3-dimensional presentation, achieved by panning and tilting the view, you can get a much better idea of the hikes and terrain than you can get from the 2-dimensional screenshot above. For assistance: Using Google Earth Track Files.

References

Mitla:
     Wikipedia: Mitla
     TripAdvisor: Mitla

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