Bernard Gerrard wrote:
Oaxaca is a marvelous travel destination and it is great to hear that
things have settled down. The great things to do and see there have
already been addressed. Here is one more item: forget bringing back
coffee unless you find a better source than we did. I bought a bunch of
whole bean roasted from a high volume Supermercado. (High
volume=fresher?) This stuff tasted as if it had been roasted in the
time of the Conquistadores. Stick to SM's Tried and True. We are going
to Nicaragua next month and probably will not be able to resist a "point
of origin" purchase. Bernard C. Gerrard
Michael and his wife will have the opportunity to purchase the fresh new crop Pluma about 3 months before Tom can get any and make some available from Sweet Marias. Buying coffee from supermarkets is a bad idea anywhere. I've written to Michael, and he'll know where to get the primo greens, as well as the best chocolate in Mexico, a short (6 miles) distance from Oaxaca city. A number of other Sweet Marias list members have made this pilgrimage. Finding out where to go and who to see is one of the privileges of being on the list ;o)
The political situation isn't getting better (anywhere in Mexico, but especially in Oaxaca), but nobody in Oaxaca has anything against tourists. I was there through the worst of it (so far) in October and November, and I was in no danger whatsoever. Safer than usual, really because the greatest dangers in Oaxaca are the crazy bus and truck drivers, and most of them were off the road. When the state govt. was shut down, no police on the streets for months, and no tourists at all except me and a handful of hard core Oaxaca lovers, it was actually in many ways the best time to be there in many years. People had plenty of time to chat, fiestas went on as usual, the crime rate went down, the air cleaned up because of little traffic, and there was a great deal of hope among the humble majority that desperately needed reforms were just around the corner. Usually crowded destinations like Monte Alban were eerily deserted, yet open to visitors, and there was unprecedented
freedom of political and artistic expression. Fox sent in the feds, heavy repression is back and worse than ever, more police than tourists, but they rarely bother tourists, unlike in some other Mexican states. I've never been hit up for a bribe from a cop in Oaxaca, in well over 30 years of going there. The anti govt. opposition has a strick no guns or bombs policy, which is nice, I think...
You should be able to get good new crop Nicaraguan greens months in advance of Tom ( it's a mystery why it takes so long long for containers to get from central america to the US when the coffee is ready in March. I've heard that most of the world's containers are tied up in transit between Shanghai and Walmart-?) but don't buy the supermarket stuff!
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