Today is December 27, 2021 and my D day to ride is a mere 20 days away – Leg 1 is Riverside, California to Tucson; Leg 2 is Tucson to – Lagunas de Chacahua, Oaxaca Mexico, approximately 2,076 miles away.
This little story starts out as a motorcycle riding adventure story but, first, you have to endure some reminiscing and then a brief history lesson.
The road to the Oaxaca coastline now serves up a feast for my senses and it also just happens to be a Mexico top foodie destination for dishes like for example rich mole negro, carefully conjured up from dozens of different ingredients and lovingly prepared over days or even weeks. On my list to try.
For those of you not yet familiar with Oaxaca, it’s about the size of our Indiana state, or for the less geographically challenged, the size of the country of Portugal. Oaxaca is also located in a tropical climate region and bordered by the states of Guerrero (home to Acapulco) to the west; Puebla and Veracruz to the north; Chiapas to the west; and the Pacific Ocean to the south.
These Zapotec original founders of Oaxaca were so industrious that they leveled entire mountaintops for their planned cities such as Monte Albán. The city was even completed with a sewage system and sports stadiums; only about 300 years before the Chinese started on their Great Wall of China.
One thing we learn in history today is that there’s always other humans around or nearby waiting to take over our prosperity and way of life.
And just at about the time when the Moors began to take over the Iberian Peninsula (Spain) the original Zapotecs also began to lose out to the new and more powerful Mixtecs.
Fast forward many, many moons later and now Spain started their little Inquisition. Unfortunately for those on the wrong side of the correct god to worship, about a quarter of a million (250,000 people) were killed or burned alive. And who says history is boring?
In Mesoamerica, a similar (thing) was also happening with cities that now resisted, such as the Yuhuitlán and Oaxaca. Their outcome for not having a strong defense was thousands of civilians marched off to the newly built stadiums to be sacrificed for the crowds.
And only about 572 years ago the Aztec military arrived in Oaxaca, and was able to defeat both the Zapotecs and the Mixtecs. Yet a world away, in Medellín, Spain, an infant boy, by the name of Hernán Cortés, was now learning how to crawl.
Who knew that in 1492, someone also from Spain would sail the ocean blue and bring their two worlds together. And today, here in America, we honor him with a holiday.
I really didn’t plan being that long winded in my brief history lesson. Somehow, I’m at this point in my story where I’m beginning to feel like Bubba. You know Bubba, don’t you? Forrest had the nerve to ask him the question, do you like shrimp, Bubba?
Do I like shrimp! Yea, I like shrimp, says Bubba Blue: Anyway, like I was sayin’, shrimp is the fruit of the sea where you can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it……………..
At least to the rest of the world Oaxaca is still a foodie destination but, not to my US of A. Now why is that you may wonder?
Well, it’s sort of like how the news reports it. In the news this morning it was reported that almost 30 inches of snow fell in California over a 24-hour period causing endless road closures and or pile ups. Yet in my California we only got rain. California is over a thousand miles long and over 500 miles wide. But, we group all of Mexico’s 31 cities into one. And god help USA to Mexico tourism, if just one cartel shooting makes the local US papers.
Earlier we all stood atop and marveled from the mountaintop of the Zapotec ruins. I can also now picture myself on a small sailboat, cruising gently downwind pushing me down the sublime beaches; that’s partially the plan in my mind but, first we have some riding to do to get there.
Speaking of sailboats, says Bubba. I’m now updating this blog while waiting in a metal lumber, or rather a metal yard, waiting on a will call order for metal for the trailer to my little West Wight Potter pocket cruiser.
I’m rebuilding everything so, that shouldn’t surprise anyone that the trailer is also an important part of the renovation project.
And so this is how the start of the next few stories of our ride to the heart and soul of Mexico will go.
D Day minus 20.