Ruins, jungle and heat

Trip Start May 12, 2005
Trip End May 14, 2006

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Flag of Mexico  ,
Monday, April 17, 2006

night bus

- from tulum, pretty bad timing, left at 6pm and arrived at 2 in the morning....
- mexican buses are amazingly flash; even 2nd class buses have air-con, seatbelts, toilets, tvs!!! similar prices to parts of europe!!!!!!!!!
- looked for accomodation out of town a little bit, but everywhere had closed up.
- Stayed in a nice cheap place in town.

the town

- unlike tulum and isla mujeres, Palenque is a real mexican town.
- Nice atmosphere, a very different area to the Yucatan penninsulla.
- Chiapas is mostly mountainous, with a strong Mayan presence (lots of ladies in traditional dress around the streets/little market areas; everywhere we have been, the women are much more likely to be dressed traditionally!?)
- the Zapatista movement is very strong in these parts; left wing political movement pushing to end the oppression of indegenous and other disadvantaged groups, came to international attention in 1994 when they staged a coup of sorts....
- great little central square area, nice and relaxed.
- hemmed in by mountains and jungle on all sides.

the ruins
- a very impressive collection of mayan ruins, much more extensive than the ones we saw in Tulum.
- set in the jungle, there are some quite large temples and the ´royal´ palace dominates the scene.
- seriously hot and humid; climbing up the temple stairs was a sweat-fest.
- lots of hawkers selling arts and crafts, bought a couple of little things, really nice interactions with non-pushy, friendly folk.
- strolled through a quieter group of buildings being swallowed up by the jungle; really atmospheric and a little cooler.
- compact and informative museum with reliefs, statues and other artefacts, good finishing point to the visit.
- got a couple of ice-cold beverages (maybe they were beer, can´t remember) and enjoyed them in a cold shower at our hotel...

the food
- splashed out and had a fancy lunch at don muchos, a resturant set in the jungle on the way out to the ruins...
- ran into Mary and Ryan, an American couple who were also staying at Rancho Tranquilo (tulum), they are spending a year doing various things in Chiapas; nice to bump into each other again.
- highlight of our palenque eating experience was a little local eatery serving tortas (big sandwiches) and these taco-thingies, fried and crispy on one side with delectable toppings.

onto san christobel

- the quality of mexican buses was reinforced once again, along with the sanity of the dirvers!!!
- fantastic mountain scenary....lots of little mayan villages and some quaint towns as well.
- arrived mid-arvo in san christobel.....
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