I stayed in Morelia for five days and got very rested up from my long trip there and what was sure to be a long trip to Oaxaca. The trip to Oaxaca was indeed difficult. I had to wait in the terminal at Morelia until 2PM for the bus to Puebla, as there wasn’t a direct route to Oaxaca. Eight hours later I struggled with my heavy backpack and guitar through the huge terminal at Puebla where I discovered I had just missed the latest bus by 15 minutes and had to wait until Midnight for the next one. I had a nice sandwich (Torta) and waited. The trip to Oaxaca was only four hours, and I slept the whole way. I had made reservations the previous day for the Hostel Paulina, so I felt confident arriving there at 4:30AM, and they didn’t even charge me for that night. It turned out to be a great deal, including a satisfying breakfast included, for around $15 and night.
The hostel was populated by a large group of students studying Acts (from the Bible) of the Covenant Church. They were great folks, mostly Swedish with some Central American kids as well, and we got along quite well especially after I started playing guitar and singing. I stayed in a dorm room, but shared it only with one Japanese guy who was very agreeable.
I spent my days taking my promo packets to hotels and restaurants, and I had interviews with a couple of interested parties, but mostly I played my music in the Central Plaza with my guitar case open for tips. I gained a few dollars a day, enough for lunch, and I met a number of friendly locals that were big music fans. One interesting fellow named Porfirio Diaz (!) had a helluva story to tell: he had been a heroin addict for the last 20 years and finally pulled himself out of the gutter and was working in a sports shop in Morelia, just visiting family in Oaxaca, and passing the days shining shoes for extra cash. He’s a really good guy and I sure hope he can keep on keeping on.
Oaxaca was actually quite comfortable, but even with the cheap hotel and free breakfast, lunch and dinner were pushing me over my $20 a day budget, so I was ready to head south. My goal was Tehuantepec, a little town half way to the border of Guatemala that I had visited fifteen years before. The trip was a long four hours and when I arrived I made the mistake of hoisting on my backpack and walking from the bus terminal to the hotel I had stayed at long ago. The town had grown enormously and I was in great pain from walking more than ten blocks when I arrived at the Hotel Donaji, which had since become a grand hotel charging $30 a night for a single with only a fan. I felt I had no choice, so I forked it over and planned to get up early to catch the early morning bus to Arriaga.
The ride to Arriaga was quite pleasant, even though the bus was second class and spent alot of time picking up students and locals along the way. Arriaga was much more my kind of town, and I could have spent more time there if I wasn’t so eager to reach Guatemala. The taxi driver took me to a brand new hotel that charged $15 a night for single with fan. The market was just a couple of blocks away.
I bought a few tacos at around .5o cents each, then bought some avocado, cheese and tortillas for my dinner. When I got back to my room I realized I had forgotten my avocado, so I hustled back to the same vendor and told them what happened, and they went ahead and gave me my avocado without argument.