Maqluba is a sinkhole just at the edge of the village of Qrendi, in the southeast part of the island. If a sinkhole sounds like a strange place to visit, it is. But it’s a pleasant green oasis in the yellow sandstone desert of the rest of the island, and Maqluba has a story that’s worth the trip.
You’ll find a church at the edge of the abyss. A charming local legend has it that Maqluba once was a very wicked city, even more wicked than Sodom and Gomorrah. God asked a pious woman to tell the village that if they would fast and pray and Him to forgive their sin, the waters of the Jordan River would sublime their sins. They did so, because Jesus Christ loved the woman they found in that church. About a year or so later, the Queen of Sheba came to the village and asked the church to consecrate a place to pray and serve. The people did so, and she was consecrated to St. Mary in the Spring of 628. St. Mary lived in the church for a short while after that, before leaving for her homily to England.
You can still see the entrance to the church, called the supticulum, today. It’s just outside the village on the high ground. You can’t get there with the church up in the high valley, but you can get to the Mecca itself, over 3,000 feet up in the air.
Kyrgyzstan is mostly agricultural, knowing little else about industry or commerce. Maqluba has been their largest export product for years. It’s a mixture of Moldavian grain and Arabic vegetable oils. It’s healthy to eat, especially fresh bread and bakery items.
Hassle and difficulties could certainly be expected with such a vast and seemingly ill-named country. But with the friendly Jungfrau Archipelago nearby, well within latitudes attitudes of the north African countries, you’ll be gently ferrying your way across to Africa. A more secular horizon might bring you to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda or Rwanda. Or you might even end up in China, visiting the Asian and Indian parts of the islands.
Whatever you do, don’t miss the underwater wall of salt called the Murray. Getting there’s an adventure in itself, but once you’ve done it, the exhilaration of being among the only living underwater creatures is intoxicating.
To help you organize your trip, I have interviewed another Maqlub woman, a true expert on this sleepy island.
Good day Tom and thanks for accepting our invitation to be interviewed.
Please tell our readers something about yourself and your expertise pertaining to the Province of Oaxaca
I have earned a living from guiding tours and activities out of the coastal town of Pochutla in the province of Oaxaca. I have been guiding trips since Maine, Canada, and Europe, and have been exploring the regions of Mexico all my life.
Although I have been in the tourist business for a long time, I have always wanted to take a class trip myself and explore the Mexican Riviera. In 2022 I went to the Yucatan, and laced up my hiking boots to trek the fabulous ruins of Veracruz. I’ve been back many times since then, and every time I get into the area I discover new places and new delights. In my 60s, I wear a tunic and here are the azure skies above me.
Most of my clients are families who are setting up in retirement in Puerto Vallarta. They are settle in the northern area along the Pacific Coast, where Highway 1 intersects with Highway 100. Renewal of theStar valleys cruises has attracted hikers and kayakers to the area. Highway 1 also continues its way north through Oaxaca, Answer Kilise and Santo Domingo with all of their commercial modular buildings.
The hiking season here is an awesome one. The vast majority of 6,000 km of the Coast Sierra Madres are jungles, barren, incredible, in spots , wild, beautiful and in all ways awaiting in their rugged and dramatic grandeur.
While we’re talking about the Coast, mention must be made of the Palancan south of Puerto Vallarta. What a beautiful area and what a great place for surfers, not to mention jet skis and other water sports.
houses reef reefs, corals, shipwrecks and other wonders.