El Tule

Today we ventured east of the city to the pueblo of Santa Maria del Tule, the famed home of El Tule, a 2000 year old cypress tree that many say is the oldest and largest tree in Latin America. It has a trunk the width of a house and limbs that climb several stories high. A large iron courtyard now surrounds it and you have to pay roughly 50 cents to enter. This is not a bad thing, as the growing pollution is killing the tree and this helps maintain it… or so they say. It seemed more cloistered that it did 25 years ago, but it is still impressive and lovely nonetheless. The gnarled trunk is completely mind boggling the way the branches slither around one another and continue reaching towards the light.

El Tule

El Tule 2

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Then of course, we ran into that wacky tour guide again who had his own take on things.

We took a taxi there and back, passing the year-old Wal-Mart on the outskirts of town. Our taxi driver said no one likes it because it puts small stores out of business, but that is the joy of development. Sound familiar? Yeah! (insert sarcasm here)

We spent the rest of the day napping, eating amazing guava mole with plantains in salsa verde, searching for ice cream, watching Marty nonchalantly tag a wall! (he insisted because it was charcoal it would disappear in the rain), and haggling for hand-made crafts. It was another successful day.

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Tomorrow we head south out of town to a few villages famous for local crafts. Should be fun.

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