Hello my dear reader! If you’re still curious about my adventures, keep reading. If not, I just salute you from a hot terrace of a hostel in Valladolid (yes, I know, I am moving fast and I don’t write much).
I spent about a week in San Cristobal de las Casas and the surrounding area. San Cristobal is one of those “Pueblos Magicos” that you find in many places around Mexico. I spent that much time waiting for my motorcycle papers, not because I loved it so much. After a day spent in the hostel and a day tour to “Canion de los Sumideros” and , I met Alex and Ally, former guests of Azul Cielo and spend a few days together. Here I also met the first Romanian traveler in the last 7 months.
First things first: Canion de los Sumideros. That’s the defining place for Chiapas district. It’s a protected canyon where you can see plenty of wild birds, a nice waterfall, some crocodiles if you’re lucky, and an electrical power plant at the end of the boar ride. The canyon’s walls are part of the coat of arms for Chiapas. However, probably the lack of fun company made it pretty dull. After 1h drive, a boat takes you around and the guide explains in Spanish all the stuff (not much to do for the majority of non-speakers on board). The front side of the boat lacks visibility, and the rear makes you wet and everyone is in your pictures. The Christmas tree waterfall was the highlight of the whole tour. The rest of the afternoon I went to another little village to see a church with very weird traditions: San Juan Chamula. It’s a catholic church not recognized by Vatican, where the mix of local traditions and the Christian elements is quite strong. The five elements of the world, adorned by huge flags – earth, water, wind, fire, and…. CORN! Also, the entire tiled floor was covered in pine needles to symbolize the connection of man with nature (or to have fun of people slipping). This is the church where chicken are used to absorb diseases and then sacrificed to heal the person (wish I saw this live, but no, didn’t happen that day).
After the boat trip, and a day spent walking around the city and shopping, Alex and Ally asked me if I wanted to go climbing. Apparently, the guide is a Romanian guy, Vladimir, who would also like to meet me. So we spent a whole day climbing (I was mostly looking, taking pictures, or talking to Vlad). That’s how I found out he’s got a bike more or less like mine and a little cob house he built on top of the mountain. The exciting climbing day ended with a nice talk over few beers at Vlad and his girlfriend’s place, making plans for the next day – a moto trip to the mountains, to Vlad and Esti’s pretty little cob house.
Riding with Vlad
San Cristobal is a nice city with a colorful market and plenty of people wearing traditional costumes during their day to day life. The markets are large and colorful, full of fresh produce and nice textiles. However, these winter nights were so cold that 3 blankets were barely enough. Also staying out at night was not a option, even by the fire. The days went by in tshirt and shorts and flip-flops, the regular tourist outfit. But again, it’s just winter time. I’m happy I met Alex and Ally again, and that I finally got the motorcycle in my name.
As soon as I got my papers, I left to Palenque. Not a very short road, but nice and twisted, through the mountains.