Thursday 7 September 2023

1987 Travel Journal: Oaxaca

The next day I got up at 8:00, showered, packed all my bags, and left the Hotel Concordia in search of breakfast.  When I was walking down the sidewalk, the strap on my heavy camera bag suddenly broke, but luckily I was able to quickly catch the falling bag before it crashed onto the sidewalk, so none of my camera equipment was damaged.  However I had to gerry-rig the bag so I could carry it by hand, which complicated maneuvering down the crowded sidewalk with my backpack.  I soon found myself back at Burger Boy, eating my way through a “Huevo Mexicana (egg with chili relish).  It was quite tasty.

I caught a yellow VW Beetle Taxi, which accelerated me at Mach 2 speed toward the airport, not letting anything like red or yellow stop lights to impede its progress.  Thankfully, I arrived safely at the airport in one piece.  I had two hours to kill before my flight to Oaxaca, so dug out the horrible “Artifact” novel, striving to get closer to the end, so I could dump it.

I made my way to the lounge at Gate 7 with my boarding pass in my hand, waiting for the Mexicana Flight to Oaxaca to load.  As the scheduled boarding time approached, an airline official came out with a handheld megaphone, and so I gathered my bags around me, ready to line up.  The airline employee then proceeded to make an announcement in Spanish.   To my surprise, shock suddenly rippled through many of the travelers sitting around me.  They immediately got up, grabbed their bags, and quickly made a beeline, rushing toward the airline counter.

I was filled with confusion, not knowing what was going on, but relieved when the official with the megaphone began to repeat the message in English.  After he had finished, my frustration returned when I realized that, even with his English, I still didn’t know what he was saying.

I got up and walked over to a “Gringo” couple who seemed to know what was going on and asked them what was happening. They explained that our flight to Oaxaca didn’t end there, but continued on to Tuxtla Gutierrez, and that last leg of the flight had been cancelled.  All of the passengers going to Tuxtla Gutierrez had to go and exchange their tickets for the next flight.  I was relieved to learn that our flight to Oaxaca would proceed as scheduled.

I boarded the plane and for 45 minute, we flew over an arid, barren landscape, before landing in Oaxaca. Once we had landed, I took the mini-bus to the Hotel Plaza and had to take a double bed room, because they had no singles available.  The Hotel Plaza was recommended in my travel book, as being a real bargain, and it was, the room only cost me $14 Canadian.  It was spotlessly clean, and like many hotels in Mexico, the hotel building surrounded a quiet, comfortable, nicely decorated courtyard.  My room had white walls accented with brown wooden doors and trim and the red tiled floor.

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