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Posts Tagged ‘Los Huamuches’

Sometimes a Sunday drive is just what the doctor ordered.  Though when in Oaxaca, one can’t assume the course will run smooth.

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After being blocked by bloqueos a couple of times last week, blogger buddy Chris and I were in the midst of congratulating ourselves when our leisurely drive south on Hwy. 190 came to a halt as we attempted to turn west at San Dionisio Ocotepec.  At least ten men and a few trucks were positioned across the turnoff.  Oh, no, not again… another protest?

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No, a bike race had closed the road.  Seeing our disappointment, we were directed to make a U-turn, backtrack a mile (or so), and turn onto the dirt road that skirted the hillside, in order to bypass the race.  It was easier said than done, but after a few fits and starts, gullies and rocky outcroppings, and inquiries of all manner of vehicles coming from the opposite direction, we eventually wound up back on the paved road — right where we wanted to be!

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We weren’t the only ones westward bound.  These guys, while not part of the race, were also enjoying a Sunday ride.  We passed them on our way to San Baltazar Chichicapam.

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And, why were we going to Chichicapam?  To fill up our 5 liter “gas” canisters with some of our favorite mezcal made from locally grown agave, of course!  Muy suave…

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Sunday or not, a campesino’s work is never done.  Cattle, burros, and herds of goats were a common sight as we continued our Sunday drive.  And, speaking of goats…  By the time we turned north at Ocotlán de Morelos, we were starving.  Lucky for us, Los Huamuches, our “go to” roadside restaurant between Santo Tomás Jalieza and San Martín Tilcajete, wasn’t far away.

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What can I say?  Mild temperatures, spectacular scenery, good company, and barbacoa muy sabrosa — the “doctor” was right!

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Domingo’s escape from the city out into the countryside of Oaxaca brought back one of my fondest childhood memories:  Sunday drives with my grandparents into the golden hills of northern California.  Two-lane winding roads with only the occasional car or pickup truck; farms, fields, and roadside stands outside my rolled down window always brought a sense of adventure mixed with freedom and serenity.  And, it still does…

Oaxaca city to Teotitlán del Valle, where we yielded to a herd of cattle.

Close-up white bull

Santiago Matalán past fields of agave to San Baltazar Chichicapam.

Agave fields with mountain in distance

We continued on the mostly deserted road  towards Octotlán de Morelos.

Tile roof lean-to on rocky outcrop

Onto Hwy. 175 and a lunch stop at the roadside restaurant, between Santo Tomás Jalieza and San Martín Tilcajete, from almost two weeks earlier.

Sign for Los Huamuches with tables in background

And this time we noted the name:  Los Huamuches.  Another delicious comida… a perfect way to end our meandering and head for home.

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Tuesday, not only brought the previously mentioned Carnaval, San Martín Tilcajete style, it also provided comida, muy sabrosa.  No, not one of the 4 restaurants in Oaxaca recently listed in the 101 Best Restaurants in Latin America and the Caribbean.  I’m talking about al fresco dining in a roadside restaurant.  Sitting under the branches of a large shade tree on plastic chairs, around a plastic table, with cars and trucks speeding by, it was surprisingly tranquil.

Woman cooking on comal

We had ringside seats as our lunch was prepared on a well seasoned comal.  I couldn’t help thinking as we sat at this unpretentious restaurant, in the middle of the fields that yielded the ingredients for our lunch, prepared according to culinary traditions passed down through generations of Zapotecos, this is quintessential “slow food.”

Woman lifting tlayuda off comal

That’s my tlayuda (sometimes spelled, clayuda) being lifted off the comal — and it was one of the best I’ve eaten!  Fyi, tlayudas are one of the 10 Essential Things To Eat And Drink In Oaxaca.

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For more on our yummy lunch, see Chris’s blog post, Fat Tuesday done right.  Alas, neither one of us took note of the name of the restaurant — all I know is it’s on the east side of Hwy 175, between San Martín Tilcajete and San Tomás Jalieza.

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