San Felipe is an upscale suburb of Oaxaca, not far uphill north of Centro and a favored place for expats and winter visitors. I’d had no particular reason to check it out beyond vague curiosity, feeling it was probably just a bit far from town for my purposes. Then Sandy found herself in need of a replacement Airbnb home for a couple of months and the company arranged a great place for her in San Felipe. It confirmed my faith in Airbnb as a company who takes care of people and also gave me a great reason to go there.
Sandy is an experienced traveler and, being from the cold land to the north, had discovered how much she enjoyed spending winter not there. She arrived a month or so before me and stayed on about a month after I went back to winter. This was her habit and she did it well. She had the public buses figured out in no time so when the day arrived for my visit she rode the bus down the hill and we met at a stop not far from my place in Xochimilco on Centro’s northern edge. The buses to San Felipe go up a street from the city and arrive on the east side of the village, then make 2 left turns at the top and come down on the west side in a straight line back to Centro. So I met Sandy when she got off the bus, we walked several blocks east and got on one going north.
By the time we were on the bus it was lunchtime and Sandy knew a place that had, she was sure, the best shrimp tacos around. All we had to do was get off the bus part-way up the hill, walk a few steps and sit down at a table on the sidewalk. Our tacos arrived in no time and while I have no other shrimp taco experience with which to compare, can say they were excellent, the service attentive.
Then back on the bus and on up the hill. Sandy lived on the west side but we decided to get off the bus on the east side near the church where there was a market that day.
More Beautiful Oaxacan Produce
We meandered through the market, then through residential lanes until we reached Sandy’s place. We chatted a while, I met Jimmy Chew, her rescue pup from Ecuador, we had a cold drink and this was when I first tasted the fabulous tomato and chili jam that I bought later at the Llano Park market. We had a lovely visit, then Sandy walked me down the road to the bus stop and waited until I was on my way back down the hill toward home.
Decorative Paving & Roof Tiles
My visit to San Felipe was a good chance to get a glimpse into how it might be to stay somewhat out of the city. I found the local buses a very pleasant way to get around, remarkably cheap with friendly and helpful drivers and a jolly group of fellow bus riders on board. In that way it would be no sacrifice whatever to not be in Centro. The village was as pleasant as it could be, quiet and pretty. I’m not sure I could talk myself into staying there, I like having amenities on my doorstep, but I might be convinced given the right place and now have it as another possibility. There’s no such thing as too many possibilities.
Next week, my long-anticipated visit to the
Museo Textil de Oaxaca, the city's textile museum.
2017's Back to Oaxaca, all episodes.
PortMoresby's first trip to Oaxaca, Anatomy of a Trip.
To read others of PortMoresby’s contributions, click here.