Inside Golf Travel : Inside Golf Travel June 2015
39 June 2015 | INSIDE GOLF TRAVEL Alebrijes (Ah-lay-bree-haze). These bright, colourful carvings are modelled after a variety of mythical beings and nearly every animal under the sun, from lizards, turtles, flowers, monsters, dragons, dogs and more. Best of all, most are thoughtfully constructed with the tourist in mind (most can be taken apart for safe packing in your baggage). After a good session of fossicking, settle down for an authentic (and delicious) Mexican lunch of tlayudas; a big, crunchy tortilla covered with any combination of refried beans, cabbage, meat (shredded beef, chicken, chorizo or pork), Oaxacan cheese, and salsa – cooked over hot coals or a “comal”, which is a type of frying pan. On occasion, you may also get a generous spread of Mole Negro or Mole Poblano. Mole (moh-lay) is a special sauce prepared with a combination of dried/char-grilled chilies, ground nuts, seeds, spices, Mexican chocolate, salt, and any number of other ingredients. It can take hours (or even days) to prepare a proper mole, with very few chefs willing to give up their own secret recipe. Oaxaca is famous for their mole sauces -- hence the state’s nickname “Land of the Seven Moles”. The more adventurous traveller may wish to sample a local snack called Chapulines; a delicacy composed of grasshoppers fried with chilies, garlic and lemon juice. Chapulines are available in large or small sizes, and are thought to have been used as food for over 3000 years. (And what do they taste like, you ask? Well, they taste like...er....fried grasshoppers.). But not bad, really. When planning your day, keep in mind that most shops, businesses and, well everything really, close for siesta (nap/rest) between 2-4pm. In reality, this can extend from 1:00-4:30. During siesta, the city can be like a ghost town – and if you find yourself hungry (or in desperate need of something to buy) you’ll be out of luck. So plan your time wisely (or, simply go with the flow, find a nice, shady tree or hammock and take a nap like everyone else!) A few kilometres outside of Oaxaca City are the archaeological ruins of Monte Albán – the former capital of the Zapotec and Mixtec empire (circa 600 and 900 AD). Constructed on a flattened mountain-top around 500 BC, and reminiscent of many of the lost cities of the Maya and Aztecs, Monte Albán has a magnificent collection of stone carvings, pyramids, buildings, monuments, and, of course, wandering vendors. On any given day, the vendors may outnumber the tourists by at least 5 to 1, with just about every vendor offering “unique historical artefacts” for sale (usually coins, masks or mini pyramids made of malachite – most having no historical significance at all). Regardless, you can be certain that anything you buy from the vendor (or taxi driver, or kid on the street, etc) will be marked up by at least 500% compared to the prices from the vendors in the Zocalo. The ruins of Monte Albán are a real treat to explore, with hidden passageways, intricate carvings, unexplained structures (like the mysterious Ball Court), and sweeping views of the surrounding valleys and ranges. One mystery that I failed to solve: the doorways and interior tunnels of the buildings are quite low (suggesting that the Zapotecs/Mixtecs were a very short people) yet each stair on the exterior of the pyramids rises nearly half a metre (suggesting they had massively long legs). Whatever their stature, the people of Monte Alban certainly built an impressive city. A short plane “hop” down the mountain from Oaxaca City, the southern coast of Oaxaca has some of the most beautiful coastline in Mexico. With crystal-blue waters, pristine beaches (untouched by human “progress”) and breathtaking natural forests and vegetation, the coast provides a tranquil and almost surreal experience for the traveller looking to “get away from it all”. Among the standout cities/villages in the area are the Bahias de Huatulco, a collection of tranquil bays and beaches. Once touted as “a future Acapulco” the areas surrounding Huatulco were generously fitted with many of the modern conveniences that are generally lacking on other parts of Central America (fresh water, internet connections, electricity, outdoor plumbing, etc). There’s even a championship golf course in the area, Campo de Golf Tangolunda, which features its own resident crocodile. Challenging, scenic and recently upgraded, the course sits in a valley near the bay, and offers an enjoyable round for all players. So, whether you’re after a relaxing Central American holiday, or a rugged sightseeing adventure, Oaxaca offers a little something for everyone. Obviously the birds don’t read the sign at the golf course Golf at the lush Campo de Golf Tangolunda • 12 nights accommodation in your choice of Stateroom • $185 on board credit per cabin if booking before 30 June • Daily on board meals at selected restaurants (B,L,D) • 4 rounds of golf inc cart (Royal Wellington, Mount Maunganui, Otago and Akaroa-walking) • Welcome dinner & Farewell presentation dinner • Christmas Eve cocktail party • Christmas Day & New Years Eve on board celebration • Christmas Day & New Years Eve on board celebration • Commemorative tour polo shirt • Scenic cruising Fiordland National Parkm / Private winery tour • Fully escorted by Go Gollng’s experienced tour host Outside Stateroom Golfer* From $4,499 (twin share) Outside Stateroom Non Golfer* From $3,899 (twin share) Outside Stateroom Single Supplement* Add $2,231 *Cabins subject to availability at time of booking. Cabin upgrades available upon request. ** Early Birds** Book by 30 June to receive a GPS Watch valued at $440 plus bonus $100 cabin credit. #1.FORESCORTEDTOURS 13 Days of Christmas Cruise 21 December - 3 January 2016 +61 7 5508 2250| email@example.com Forget the last minute shopping, slaving in a kitchen and hosting family and replace all this with a luxury cruise this Christmas. Play 4 of New Zealand’s premier and most scenic courses while cruising the land of the long white cloud on the Golden Princess.
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