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Bests from our trip to Mexico

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I have had the privilege of being married to @CopperCanyonGuy (Dave Hensleigh) for 40 years.  To celebrate that fact, we have talked of taking a trip for years.  Lots of options….the world is accessible.  But we decided to spend two weeks in Mexico….one week exploring new destinations for expanding Authentic Mexico Travel trip options, and another for visiting Chihuahua to see friends, and to continue our discussion and plans for the new not-for-profit, Friends of Copper Canyon

I offered to compile a list of “bests” from our trips south and north as a blog post for Dave:

Best shower was definitely at Hostal de la Noria in Oaxaca City.  It was a large area, marble walls, walk in and fabulous water pressure and plenty of hot water.

Best meal had a long list to choose from, each meal being wonderful in its own way, so that choosing the “best” was not easy.  Wine and carrots at De Jardin on the zocalo in Oaxaca City / salt encrusted sea bass with basic salad (me) in Veracruz and paella (Dave) / tostados (me) and chicken filet (Dave) at de Jardin on our first night in Oaxaca City / yummy quesadilla thing at Concepcion’s (cheese & squash blossoms) / yellow mole in Coyotepec, tortillas cooked on the open wood stove, Dave had beef kabob / breakfast at Marco Polo in Oaxaca City (Rick Bayless’ favorite restaurant) / and the onion soup to die for at San Isidro Lodge.  BUT, Dave and I both agree that the best meal we had was, hands down, beef stew, rice, beans, tortillas, cheese, and red wine from Chile at Gustavo & Natalia’s in Aereponapuchi. Gustavo is our right hand guide in the Sierras and their home is always a warm welcome.

Best drink we could not agree on.  Dave would say the special chocolate drink at any location in Oaxaca, I would say the café con leche at the 204 year old Gran Café de La Parroquia in Veracruz.

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Best snack is tied.  The fresh mango and cucumber slices from the vendor on the zocalo in Veracruz and the beet, orange, carrot, celery juice from the juice bar Dave found several blocks from our hotel in Oaxaca City.

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Best music was the trio at Mariscos Tano in Veracruz.  It was our first afternoon of the trip.  Perfect beginning.  Three “older” gentlemen with skill and humor playing two guitars and a harp…jarochos they call them.  They even sang a song about us and our 40 years, humorous, from the laughter of other patrons, though we did not understand much.

Best zocalo (or plaza) was hard to determine (like every category…), but I think the “danzon” in Veracruz wins out, mainly because of the delightful couples who show up to remind us all of a more elegant and respectful way to move to music.

Best shrimp, oh-my-goodness, was the shrimp cooked in garlic at the rustic, outdoor seaside restaurant in La Ventanilla along the coast of Oaxaca.

Best nature experience ….. olive ridley sea turtles at La Ventanilla, Oaxaca!  Babies and Mamas.

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Best tortillas were the not-to-be-imitated toasted coconut and corn tortillas made by Lola on the island at La Ventanilla.

Best transportation has to be Chepe….the train in Copper Canyon.

Best Driver of the many vans and buses and cars we were in, I am not willing to state, since I do not want to encourage competition or seem to practice favoritism among the quality guides we had.  I will say that the guides, Gustavo, Pablo, Alfredo, Mario were ALL to be preferred to the public transportation drivers, especially on windy and narrow roads up and down the mountain roads of Oaxaca!

Best hospitality was Mario and the staff at San Isidro Lodge.  Popcorn on first arrival.  Margaritas on second arrival.  And the only lodging where there was nothing missing in the bathroom (including tissues).

Best unexpected experience was the visit to Horacio and Enrequeta’s home and playing hide-and-seek with their shy, young Raramuri son, Rogelio.

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