What we did on our holidays
It has been such a whirlwind since we got back from Mexico that my plan to update the blog with details of all of our travels has become slightly waylaid. Now that I have five minutes I thought I should let you know about some of the places we visited and where we found the stock we're selling in our new pop up shop in Hay on Wye.
We started off in Xalapa, about four hours east of Mexico City. This was the home for the Hay Festival for a few days, which featured an incredible line up of literary talent, including Jeanette Winterson, Ed Vulliamy and Wole Soyinka. An incredible dry clean for our brains, and a beautiful city which we'd never visited before.
From Xalapa we headed south to Oaxaca. When we had visited previously in 2005 we'd been disappointed - the central square was being renovated, there seemed to be loud tourists everywhere and the whole city had the air of somewhere slightly down at heel. This visit was very different. The air was clear, the people were welcoming, the food was incredible, and crucially we made two very significant contacts. One, a government run co-operative, helped groups of artisans in the surrounding towns to pool their labour and ensured they were paid a fair wage. The second was run more commercially, though still along fairly traded principles, which meant they could help with larger quantities and a clear route to get more stock when we need it. This felt like a great leap forward.
After a quick pit stop in Mexico City we headed south again to Cuernavaca. Having lived here in the past we had a fair idea of where to go and again we managed to make contact with two or three really interesting suppliers.
All in all it was a hugely important trip for us, and one which has allowed us to open our pop up shop with some really enticing products and a truly hand-picked range. Come and see us in Hay on Wye, or sign up to our mailing list to find out when our online store opens.