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Trip Start Dec 12, 2002
Trip End Aug 01, 2003

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Flag of Mexico  ,
Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Ha, the land of the beetles at last! Or was that England?
Didn't do much writing lately. Had a bit of a difficult week. First the crazy bus transfer from Ometepe, Nicaragua to San Christobal de las casas, Mexico. Two days and a half and two nights (one in a bus) it took me to go to Mexico. Four borders to cross a total of 38 hours bus ride, and 1 hour boat ride. This was really a very exhausting trip...But when I finally got to San Christobal, I thought it would be a good idea to go running, the first evening in this wonderful city. How bad sports can become you. People who run or who cycle know that dogs can be a real annoyance. Well I can tell you, the dogs in Mexico are from a different caliber. I was attacked and bitten by about five vicious street dogs. I hat to walk all the way back to the hotel with a bleeding leg.
I took care of my wounds myself but I decided to go to the hospital the following morning. There they gave me 3 shots, 1 tetanus and 2 against rabies. Together with a program to return to the (or a) hospital to get more shots later. In total I will get 7 shots! These shots made me very sleepy and together with the pain from the dog bites I was in no great mood to write travel stories!
San Christobal de las casas deserves better than a story about aggressive dogs. This city is really very beautiful. Old colonial houses and churches border narrow cobbled streets. Mayan indigenous people sell their handy crafts in a specialized market. And the city has a famous night life too, with live music, ranging from Jazz, Rock, Salsa, Merinque to Reggae music...
San Christobal is also the town where the Zapatistas of Subcommandante Marcos started their up rise against the Mexican government. Here 150 Zapatista rebels died when attacking and after defending government installations. But this put the problems of the indigenous people in the spotlights of the international press. Now that peace has broken out (more or less), tourist can buy T- shirts, postcards and little dolls of Marcos and the Zapatistas...
To hotel I choose was a nice hostel with dormitories for only 40 pesos (4 euro) a night and nice situated in the shoe neighborhood, close to the Maya market and the great food market. Since I like to cook so much and with a kitchen going with the hostel, I went to buy fresh fruits, vegetables and fish every day.
After my second session of rabies shots at the local hospital, all medical assistance is free in Mexico. I went for the town of Palenque, world famous for it's ruins. These were actually more impressive than the ruins at Copan, Honduras. And of course I couldn't resist a visit to the waterfalls of Aqua Azul... probably the most spectacular I have ever seen...
My first two weeks in Mexico were quite intense, lots of bus rides, dog bites and hospital visits, and a lot of nice things to see too! It's like this that one forms an opinion about a country...not always deserved because accidents and incidents can happen everywhere!
In travel guides Mexican criminals are called 'Bandidos', this to suggest that it is a phenomenon typical for this country. However, I do not agree, so let call robbers and bandits all over the world the same, so without the racist suggestion that 'Bandidos' are a local product...
So, lets go to Mexico city!!
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