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Headin' South: Cuernavaca to Oaxaca

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Posted by Charlie G. on January 23, 1999

Headin' South - Part 5…. Cuernavaca to Oaxaca

January 22nd … Adios Cuernavaca…Hola Oaxaca. Not sure how long it would take us to get to Oaxaca, we took off about 7 AM north out of Cuernavaca on Hwy 95D towards Mexico City and shortly thereafter turned south on Hwy 115D (which became 160 at Cuatla) towards Cuatla and Izucar de Matamoros. Although it looked longer on the map than continuing south from Izucar, the plan was to get as soon as possible to the Autopista for Puebla and then go south to Oaxaca on toll roads all the way. Although expensive, toll roads are the way to go as far as I'm concerned.

We traveled on good, but narrow two lane roads for about two hours or so to Izucar and then turned north on Hwy 190 towards Puebla. Within ½ hour we caught the Autopista at Atlixco, which took us the rest of the way to Puebla by 10AM. We found very good signage all the way. The trick, I am finding, is to know the name of the next fairly large town in the direction you are going and then just follow the signs carefully. If you miss a turn, it's sometimes really hard to get back on track. We got through the large city of Puebla without any wrong turns and took the Cuota roads southeast, 150D, which was clearly marked first for Vera Cruz and then for Oaxaca. Not far out of Puebla we took the 135D Autopista south towards Tehuacan and Oaxaca. It was easy driving on the Autopista all the rest of the way. We made Oaxaca about 1:30 PM in plenty of time to find our hotel and have a pleasant comida at the Restaurant Primavera, under the arches at the Zocalo, not far from the hotel Posada del Centro where we settled in. Parking is very tight around the Centro. We had to park the truck six blocks away from the hotel until we got oriented and were directed to a parking garage on another street available to hotel guests for an extra charge. It runs 13 pesos per night for hotel guests to park from 9PM to 7AM, but so as to keep my truck off the street, I made a temporary deal to leave it inside all 24 hours for another 40 pesos per day.

We paid eight more tolls today totaling $208 Pesos. The Banamex in Oaxaca is changing dollars at 9.98 pesos to one. Total tolls for the entire trip (one way) added up to $73.00 US and worth every penny to me.

So, here we are…. almost 3,000 miles from Reno to Oaxaca. A smooth and interesting trip. Even after entering the state of Oaxaca, where I've have read there is some guerrilla activity, we saw very little military or police presence, except for a few soldiers at toll booths. We were never stopped or searched during the whole trip and found everyone we dealt with to be very friendly and helpful. Roads were good and well marked all the way. At least from my present experience I see no reason why anyone should have any anxiety about driving through Mexico as long as main highways are used, in daylight hours, and the same reasonable precautions about parking and locking up that one would take in the States are observed.

This looks to me like a good place to hang out for a while. I'm going to see my son off back to Nevada in a couple of days and then kick back in the warm Oaxacan sun and work on my Spanish and my tennis game.

Saludos desde Oaxaca

Charlie G.

Published or Updated on: January 23, 1999 by Discussion Thread Forum © 2009
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