Sojourn by Horseback in Rojas de Cuauhtemoc

A great way to experience the Oaxaca countryside is by horseback. Mary Jane Gagnier and her team of horses offer excursions onto trails less travelled for newbies and experienced riders alike.
One of the trails is in Rojas de Cuauhtemoc, a small puebla 20 minutes from the centre of Oaxaca. A Mestizo village known for its cheesemaking, the trail leads through part of the village to the surrounding terrain of hills and cacti offering spectacular views and a restful sojourn from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Evidence of the holiday season is seen in simple and lovely ways.

Alfalfa, the main crop of the village, feeds the cows whose milk makes the cheese. Kind of like a farm-to-curd-to-plate consciousness. There are about 10 cheesemakers in the village of under 1,000, plus many more dairy farmers that sell their milk to the cheesemakers. Here is a load of fresh alfalfa being transported by horse to a dairy farm. Talk about a low carbon footprint.

After an hour or so riding in the hot sun, we stop at the home of Dona Elena, the town tortilla and tejate maker. Tejate is a pre-hispanic fortifier and thirst quencher made from masa, water, toasted cacao and the dried, toasted flor de cacao (or rosita de cacao) – that gives the drink its aromatic flavouring.
We enjoy the beverage in a classic jicara, or bowl made from a dried and handpainted gourd. Mary Jane will deliver saddle-side.
Another treat awaited us up the street at Dona Gude’s house, where the table was set under a shady tree in her garden. Check out those red velvet chairs!!

Cold cervezas and agua de melon was enjoyed while waiting for the others………
along with local cheese and Elena’s tortillas.
The plato fuerte was estofado de pollo, a classic Oaxacan dish but made in Rojas chunky-style instead of the usual smooth pureed sauce. You can see the ingredients: almonds, raisins, tomatoes, chilies en vinagre, cinnamon and chicken. Delicious, Gude!
She then presented us with bowls of freshly roasted chickpeas while we relaxed under the shade.
We kind of floated out bidding adios to this exquisite day.

One Response to “Sojourn by Horseback in Rojas de Cuauhtemoc”

  1. Eric says:

    Well. This looks like an amazing time – can’t wait to do it!

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