My first real day in Oaxaca and I honestly had no idea what to do. The hostel I’m staying at is not conducive to meeting people which is a shame because they are the best source of what to see and do around town.
So, I did what all good backpackers do – I just headed out and walked the streets to see what was out there.
I’ve got a pretty good sunburn going on on my face from the last few days so I wanted to keep my walk short and, hopefully, to the shady sides of the streets.
Oh, and if you think I’m exaggerating about my sunburn, here’s a closeup of my swollen eyes and forehead.
Yup, I am slowly becoming the elephant man…
Anyway, so, yeah, I wanted to stay outta the sun as much as I could…
I ended up walking around for quite a bit and just taking in the quaint feel of a small town after being in a bustling metropolis like Mexico City for the last few days.
I took alot of photos of the great architecture and some of the magnificent buildings in town but my main mission was food.
I was hungry and I wanted something Mexican.
Of course walking into the central part of town where all the tourists are wasn’t the best way to complete my mission as I wanted some authentic Mexican food. You know, a place where I can sit down with the locals and eat.
I ended up stumbling upon a food market inside a building. At first I thought it was just a place for the locals to buy fresh seafood, poultry and vegetables but as I soldiered on I came upon another building with food stalls set up.
And I was the only gringo!
This was what I wanted!
I sat at a stall and took a look at the menu. After some broken Spanish back and forth with the woman behind the stall, I ordered chicken in a mole sauce.
A few minutes later I was sitting with a plate of chicken and rice drenched in mole sauce.
Really, drenched is the word for it…
Of course, me being the only white guy in there I was bombarded by people walking up to me offering to sell me stuff.
I’ve gotten really good at saying “No Gracias”…
The rest of the afternoon I spent back at the hostel and decided that I’m gonna move hostels to one across the city that is higher rated and looks like it’s got an atmosphere.
I’m doing this even though I have 2 more nights booked here and I can’t get a refund. At least it’s only $12 a night I’m throwing away but money is money. In the end I just knew I had to get out of this hostel otherwise I was destined to walk the streets alone for 3 more days.
In the early evening I decided to go out for a nice meal at a sit down restaurant. I chose Cabuche because it was highly rated on Trip Advisor and the prices seemed alright.
I started by ordering wine but instead of white I somehow managed to order red wine.
For dinner I leaned heavily on my waiter’s recommendation as he spoke English. I ended up getting something under the Huaraches section called a Menonita.
What’s a Huaraches? What’s a Menonita? No clue.
What’s going to be on the plate that arrives at the table? No clue.
Bring it on.
I ended up getting a huge plate of beef and cheese topped with avocado all on a handmade shell.
The meal and wine cost me 180 pesos plus a 20 peso tip for a total of 200 pesos ($13). Expensive by Mexican standards but cheap by Canadian standards so all is good with the world.
As I walked the streets home to my hostel I relished on the day. I didn’t do much but still managed to have an amazing day. Sometimes you really just need days like today.
Tomorrow I’m checking in to my new hostel here in Oaxaca and hopefully there’s some great people waiting for me there…