San Cristobal... the beautiful city in Mexico.
We arrived by plane and bus, and at first we were not sure if it was worth it, if it was going to be too similar to all the other mexican cities. But we soon discovered that we were wrong.
It is set out around a Zocalo as Oaxaca was, but is set in the mountains, about 2100m above sea level. This was very noticable with cooler temperatures during the day and jumper weather in the evenings.
We explored the city streets and markets, with beautiful woven rugs, blankets, beanies and toys... all hand made. We reisted for a while not to buy anything as there is no way we could carry anything extra through to south america, but of course, Kate had to buy something and soon Mick was convinced that he would fit a large woven mexican blanket at the bottom of his bag...
We decided to do a huge tour the next day...14hours, to Palenque, ancient mayan ruins in the jungle. We were picked up at 6.30 in the morning and firstly travelled 3 hours to Agua Azul falls, a beautiful blue and green waterfall, we did not get time to swim but it was possible. Next we went to Miso Ha, a huge waterfall in the jungle, which was amazing and definately not something we were expecting to see in Mexico.
Lastly we arrived at Palenque at about 1pm. We had a guided tour of the ruins, which was the largest mayan cities that existed, with well over 1000 temples and palaces, most of these are still covered by the thick jungle. These will more than likely remain this way as there is no budget in Mexico for archeology.
There are beds, thrones and also burial sites still visible, however the human remains, jade etc found now belongs in Mexico City in the museum.
We finally made it back to San Cristobal after a terrorfying 5 hour drive back with a crazy mexican behind the wheel of the bus... I think we were on 2 wheels around the corners on the mountain..with nothing but the soothing sounds of "staying alive" from THE BEE GEES?????? we have discovered that they really really love the bee gees here... we hear them everywhere.
We spent the next day recovering and exploring the city, churches and food markets. The food markets were amazing, with stalls selling beans in every colour, thousands of chillies, and of course the meat and chicken markets, which has now turned us into vegetartians for the rest of the trip.
That night we followed our Palenque tour up with a theatre show about Palenque history with drums and dancing and it was all spoken in Mayan...so at least most mexicans couldnt understand either.
Our last day was spent on a rather basic tour (ok it was a family home that had two very anorexic horses) we rode to Chemula, a indiginous indian village just outside San Cristobal. The scenary was very beautiful getting there, ( though we are still in pain sitting down) and the town was very cute... we will try and include some pictures.
Off to Belize to relax in the sun near the beach!!
Till next time.