Galloping like Emiliano Zapata...andale, andale!

Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
Trip End Nov 04, 2008

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Flag of Mexico  ,
Friday, August 1, 2008

Up early with the sun shine in order to have breakfast with sufficient time before we started our horsie ride around San Cristobal de Casas towards San Juan Chamula.

Saldy the cinema experience last night was not too good. Although cheap at $2 per head and comfortable, the first documentary (Zapatista) was a total attempt at brainwashing any non-communist. The piece of crapo was produced by US university students and was a few film cuts which they repeated over and over, had no mexican involved in the project and definetly no comments from the authorities or any non-commie. A total waste of time!

The second movie "No World for the Old" with Javier Bardem (another declared commie) was an excellent show of violence without any plot, and another reason for laughing each time we read the word "Oscar". 

Anyway, less anti communist banter and back to our day story. We met with the horse company guide at the centre and she took us with about 12 other gringos and frenchies to a farm just outside San Cristobal. Given that most of the people were obviously first timers for horse riding and the size of the group, we had the feeling that it was going to turn out to be a terrible and slow horse ride...but we were wrong.

Thanks to the total irresponsability of the local horse guides we were taken along incredible hills and forrests, and allowed to gallop as much as we wanted. Veronika actually was riding a "completo" male (i.e. the one that still has all its parts!) and therefore was trying to show off in front of the females all along and would not allow anyone else to overtake.

The first timers must have been in total shock with some of the areas as the hills were quite a challenge for even season riders. At one stage a gringo teen ager jumped off her horse and lost her shoe in the mud when she thought the horse was going to topple over!

The ride to San Juan Chamula (an indian town) takes about one hour. There we were allowed one free hour to do some negotiating with the local ladies for all sorts of  souvenirs, and a visit to the church built in 1522. Then it was another hour and a half back to the farm. Well worth it for $10 (100 pesos) per person.

The village itself is just a large market in the main plaza, where for the first time in quite a few years we managed to see a person selling "cassettes" with music. In all South America and Central America we always saw CD and DVDs sold quite cheaply. Obviously there are some old tape recorders around here still. Nice to see.

Veronika practised her negotiating power and was quite tough on one of the sales which she reduced from 250 pesos to 180 ( only $7 for us but a hell of a lot in local negotiating!).

After a well earned siesta we had dinner at the "Gato Gordo" which has cheap menus (35 pesos = $3.5 per person) and enjoyed the song versions of a local band, with the interesting fact that the singer has a speach difficulty with the letter "s". Somehow most of his songs involved pronouncing lots of "s"...very enjoyable.


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