Zapatistas, mountains, markets, music and vw's

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

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Flag of Mexico  ,
Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Really different town; very progressive socially and politically...really nice feel. Colonial layout with cobblestone streets, churches, single-story stone/fat wooden beamed houses...exudes charm.

Lots of indigenous peoples in all their gear kicking around the stunning markets; some of the more interesting/diverse we have seen (markets that is)!! Produce was out of this world, mangoes by the truckload!!!

Stayed at Mi Casa guesthouse, looked after by the lovely Matteo who swapped his almost waist length locks for a number one!! Nice rooftop terrace (perfect for scrabble, beers and taking in the mountains). Huge room, we really managed to spread out our stuff....

The Zucollo (central plaza) was a hive of activity every night (hangover from the easter festivities maybe). Marimba bands (guatemalan xylophones), famalies, food stalls, local people in all thier gear, beauty contests, popstar contests.... fun place to go and cool ones´heels for an hour or two.

Tamales are steamed ground corn meal stuffed with meat/gravy and wrapped in corn husks...really tasty!!! On thursday (?) night the Zucco hosted a Tamale fest, the whole square was hemmed in with tamale stands... we got our tamale fix during this day/evening.

San Christobel has to have the highest VW punch buggy per capita ratio on gods green earth!!! Clare and mark played punch buggies for less than 45 minutes and we were on 20 odd each..some tidy models rolling around, we both liked a certain lime green individual quite a lot (postscript: we decided that playing punch buggies required so much focus that it detracted from our holistic experience of san christobel and declared a perminant ¨barley´s¨)

Met ryan and mary in tulum and then in palenque and then here....had a night out, few beers on our rooftop, tamales in the zucollo, a little wander, a few more beers.... Really nice to be able to catch up again. These dudes are using San Christobel as a base for the next year, doing all sorts of good stuff...we think they picked their spot very well!!!

Na Bolom house; colonial mini-mansion lived in by Trudy and Frans Bolom (anthropologists, photograhers, explorer kinda people) at the turn of the century. Some really interesting displays, beautiful grounds and the house was pretty alright as well.

Lots of local arts, crafts and weaving...stocked up on some stuff for ourselves and some presents at a little co-operative shop; stacks of work in the local weaving, really nice stuff.

Amber is big in Chiapas, visited the amber museum, housed in an colonial convernt/converted prison..some lovely pieces of amber with bugs in it.

One of the most interesting things we saw in San Christobel was Carmen's Arch...built in 15-something it bridged over the main drag into town... the fascinating thing was the moorish influences in its design... the moors conquered spain, then the spanish conquered the americas and the moorish influences came with them.....

Rainy season kicking off; only at night, quite nice really..clears the air and brings down the temperature.

Churches and Cathedrals; grand, old, colonial....seem a little out of place at first, San Christobel is packed with churches.... walked up to one on top of a hill at the eastern end of town, great views....

outta mexico

another flash mexican bus to the border crossing, La Mesilla; crossed with some chilean girls who were pestering the imigration officials for extra stamps!!! because they looked cool!!!! pretty laid back crossing, as usual lots of trade going on, a interesting market, didn´t have the seedyness of some border towns...

picked up chicken bus one that took us to Huehuetenango...much different experience to mexican buses....

swapped at Heuheutenango for another chicken bus heading to Xela... amazing roads; volcanos, jungle, hairpin corners, loco chicken buses flying in the opposite direction... unfortunately this was all too much for the little girl sitting a few seats in front of Clare and she was sick out the window... and it flew back in the window onto Clare who coped very well for someone with spew in thier hair/on their clothes...
fairly relieved to arrive in Xela, at the bustelling terminal Minerva.....
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