Day 4-5 San Cristobal

Trip Start Jun 26, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Mexico  ,
Friday, November 23, 2007

Day 4 - We left Palenque at 9am and made the short drive to the majestic Misol Ha waterfall. A 25 metre waterfall flowing into a nice deep pool with it refreshing water providing a great swimming opportunity. Also getting the ability to walk behind the falls or taking a shower beneath a smaller fall all adds to the magic of this site. Unfortunately we only had 40 minutes here before we boarded the mini bus again but only for another 50 minutes until we came to the cascading waterfalls known as Agua Azul. Unfortunately swimming oportunities were limited here due to the shallow water depth but it certainly made up for it with its beauty. Its a photographers paradise if only I had a camara (I misplaced mine somewhere in Palenque - but luckily it was only a cheap camera). Got pestered by a lot of young kids trying to sell bracelet, bananas or fried dough and despite saying no they are slow in picking up the message (unfortunately I don't know no in Mayan). We stopped for lunch here with Jenny ordering some greasy quesadillas which almost every one regretted as the grease overload upset a few stomachs.      

4 hours later and we finally arrived at San Cristobal and to our basic accomodation. The majority of the group decided to hang hammocks in the large dining room, while a few paid a few dollars to stay in some basic bedrooms. Once again we went out for dinner before going to a bar and meeting up with Jenny's friends again. It was good to see the majority of the group get up and dance. I could kid myself I nearly pulled a local girl when she joined me for a dance although when she stuck her hands down my trousers pocket and whispered something in Spanish which I never understood left me a bit surprised. However she disappeared as quickly as she appeared, prehaps she was left dissatisfied by my trouser snake, or couldn't find my wallet or just got bored with my lack of Spanish conversation.

Day 5 - Despite sleeping very well, by the time morning arrived it was absolutely freezing, with the cold mountain air entering the room thanks to gaps around the windows and door. Plus the crowing cockerals and meouwing cat meant a lie-in was out the question so everybody was up nice and early for beakfast. Jenny (out tour leader) made a late appearance after her night of debauchery but she did get up in time to drive us to a nearby village and to the home of a local family. A very interesting visit as we were offered this vodka like alcoholic drink and it is not even 10am. Prehaps we needed a drink to settle our pre-wedding nerves as we got dressed up in the Mayan wedding attire and finally we got to see the woman of the house make some floured tortillas.

Next stop was to the village of San Juan Chamula, just outside San Cristobal. This place is famous for its Catholic/Mayan church and its untraditional worshipping method. Unfortunately you can't take photos inside the church but it was so surreal. On the church wall is numerous saints and martyrs in boxes, there were hundreds of candles burning on the floor resulting in several wax streams flowing into the pine needles covered floor. Otherwise there is locals chanting loudly with their live chickens. This is a peculiar tradition with the worshippers drinking that alcoholic beverage we tried earlier or nowdays they use Coca-Cola to make them burped. For when they burp and flap a chicken around their head you can trade your disease to the chicken and if the chicken dies (assumingly with your disease) you become cleansed.
The church sit beside the colurful market square, with young boys playing with firecrackers and young girls trying to sell you tacky souvenirs. Just around the corner we stopped for lunch at a tacos stand which was opposite a prison where the cell is in full public view. Everything just feels so surreal!!

For the rest of the afternoon we had free time to walk around San Cristobal (not that there is alot to see), climbed up the hill in the middle of the town, walked through a few markets and visited an internet cafe only to discover England had failed to qualify for the Euro 2008. Although even more stupidly I asked my Swedish friend to write a get well comment for the sick Lina (who spent the whole day walking around Mexico in my arctic hat - crazy chick!). Not understanding Swedish I gave this note to Lina who just laughed at it and translated it back to English for me only to reveal it was a Roses are Red, Violets are blue poem. So thanks Anna for leaving me in that embarassing situation.      

That night we went out for Thanks Giving with Jenny and her friends (who are appearing alot on this trip). The food was average with boiled turkey, mashed potato and salad doing little to wet my apetite and it times like this when you crave for your mum's roast dinner with all the trimmings. Still I have a long wait until I taste that again. 
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