Through the Jungle to San Cristobal

Trip Start Dec 12, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Mexico  ,
Sunday, December 23, 2007

Today I had the most amazing cultural experience!

We arrived in the morning from a night bus to San Cristobal.  This place is fairly high up, and you can notice it when you walk up and down alot of stairs sometimes, haha!  We booked into a hostel and headed off to see the small town.

The streets are very beautiful, with cobbled rocks that fill the road, and colourful houses which line the streets.  It is also very clean here and good looking.  We soon bumped into this Canadian and German bloke, which we got lunch from the local market and ate it towards the end of town in a grassy area.  I dont think many people venture out this far as EVERYONE just looks at ya as they go passed and giggle to themselves.  The food was good, and cheap too!  Spent approximately 56 pesos (about 5 aussie dollars) to feed all 4 of us a huge lunch... TWICE!

We wanted to do something different, so we wondered off the beaten track through a hole cut in a fence surrounding the town that the locals made to get through.  There was this big village which extended half way up the nearby mountain which we wandered through.  There was a local taxi which we caught to drive us as far up the top of the village as possible, so we could walk the rest.  The streets here were broken, and huts made out of sticks, mudbrick with peices of tin and matted leaves for a roof.  You could tell no one ever goes here, as when we walked through the broken streets, people would come rushing out of their little huts just to stand in their doorway and stare at us.  We waved and kept walking to the edge of the village near the top of the mountain where it turned into jungle.

Once we got there we attracted quite a crowed from all the little village kids.  Everyone would be walking, doing their dailey activities and then see us and stop dead in their tracks...  and just stare for about 10 to 15 minutes before they moved on.  The kids absolutely loved us and were playing and wrestling near by to try and attrack our attention.  Unlike us, they had absolutely nothing and you could tell the clothes they were wearing were there only pair, but they were so happy to see us.  A few got really closed and we tried to talk to them...  Most we got out was just giggling and playing.  One little curious boy wandered up really close and let us take a picture with him!  We gave him a Canadian dollar, which when we did his eyes lit up with absolute amazement!  I dont think he knew what it was, but he turned it into a game by throwing it and all the others chasing after to try and catch it.  We gave one of the little girls a ball in bucket game which one of the guys had baught for 20 pesos (2AUD).  You should of seen how happy they were!  It was quite rewarding...

We could see something through the start of the forest, like another town.  We said our goodbyes to the little children and headed off.  They all waved until they couldn't see us anymore.  We hit this other village, tucked away far up on the mountain and started conversing with a few people...  This guy had a ute, and offered us to take us to this hidden town over the mountain top.  We jumped in the back of his ute, and he raced off.  The wind was in our face as we reached our way over the mountain through other small village settlements before we got to this bigger one.  People this far in are completely reliant on their surroundings.  They wash their clothes and bath in small rivers which trickled through the scenery.  This village in which we arrived at we soon found out to be no ordinary village.  Here these people have been tucked away and are descendants from the Mayan culture.  They dont even speak spanish here, as their dialect is also a descendant from the Mayan language, so made it really hard to communicate.  But we managed and had a few laugh's along the way.  Here they have their own religion descended from their ancestors, and have shahman(?) rituals.  A church we wandered into they were sacrificing chickens by squeezing them to death as an offering.  I didnt really like seeing it, but definitely was eye opening.

Once more the people all would just stop and stare at you like I was a nice peice of furniture or something... haha!  The Mexicans generally are very small which I always feel like I'm a head height above everyone else, and the Canadian guy was nearly 2m tall, so you can imagine how much attentian that attracted!  However the people here in this local village were even smaller.  Which generally happens from early jungle tribes that they descended from. 

After wandering through the markets and seeing what life was like here we hitched a ride back for dinner and a chat before heading to bed.

My experience here today was definitely the most rewarding one I've had and made me think alot...

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melthelegend on

Hey Burky,
WOW - what a story! and how cute was that little kid. Im loving reading all your adventures so keep us all posted on your movements and the experiencing you are enduring that some of us will probably never get to have.
This story reminded me how human you can be he he!
Take care, Mel :)

geo_sutcliffe on

Hey there bud-dy!
Startin to miss ya now as did not get to see ya much before you left :(
New years sounded like a hoot!
Received my last update from matts mum who keeps comin to my work for lunch with this cute old lady :) hi matt!
Take care of yourselves, lookin forward to the next entry, sounds like another world over there x o x o x

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