San Cristobal de las Casas, Palenque and now Tulum!
05.11.2014 - 17.11.2014 30 °C
Mexico surprises and delights us at every turn. We are considering moving here....
San Cristobal de las Casas
We visited Cañón del Sumidero today which was an amazing experience!!! The drive from San Cristobal was supposed to only take about 40 mins but ended up taking 2.5 hrs! The main roads were closed due to protests (a very common occurrence in Mexico) so we had to go through the mountains to get there. Yuri and I slept most of the way but what we saw of the scenery was beautiful!
When we finally got there we all jumped into a speed boat for a 2 hr ride through the canyon. All I can say is WOW!
Cañón del Sumidero
We had a very lazy day today. Woke late then had some brunch at the house. Went out for a bit of a walk and then back home to find accommodation in Palenque and Tulum....
Strange but good day. We took a tour to two indigenous towns near San Cristobal. Both were so different though. The first was San Juan de Chamula. The people of Chamula are very wary about being photographed, so I can’t show you much of it. Chamula has a unique independent status with its own police force (and no other police allowed into the town). A lot of people probably think that the Mayans died out. This is untrue. The civilisation collapsed, but the people remain to this day, in Guatemala, Honduras, and Chiapas. San Juan de Chamula is a Mayan town, and the church really shows the syncretism of Mayan religion. Apparently, throughout Central America, the Spanish more or less allowed the indigenous people to swap their gods for saints, and change their rituals a bit to make them close enough to Christian rituals. Certainly, when we visited the church it was barely recognisable as having any connection to Roman Catholicism at all, other than the building itself (built in 1522 and dedicated to St John the Baptist) although even that wasn't in the shape of a cross. This church had the busy, multi-faceted, primal, feeling of a market or bus station from this part of the world.
The second town was Zinacantán. The people here were a lot more open and we could take a few pictures here. I purchased some goodies and we ate the most delicious tortillas!
It was a very interesting day but our visit to San Juan de Chamula left us feeling guilty and almost intrusive.
We were supposed to leave today but we love this place so much we decided to stay an extra day. We spent the day exploring the town of San Cristobal de las Casas. This place is so freaking beautiful! We walked an walked and climbed what felt like a million steps!
Awesome day though and we are really going to miss it here!
We are at the bus station waiting to leave for Palenque (ruins in the jungle? Yes please!).
So we boarded the bus when the driver apologises but unfortunately our 5hr journey will now be 8.5 because the main highways have been blocked by protesters. Not so bad for us but there were people on our bus continuing to Cancun (overnight and adding 3 hrs? No thank you!).
The roads were crazy, small and some not quite finished but we got here in one piece! Quick dinner before bed. Big day tomorrow :-).
Palenque ruins - wow, wow, wow!
We walked a hell of a lot and climbed what felt like a million stairs.
I found super cheap flights from Cancun to Mexico City so I have just avoided a 25 hr bus trip back - oh joy!
Just killing time now till we jump on an overnight bus to Tulum!
So we just got to the bus station to find out our bus is running 1.5 hrs late oh joy...
Our bus ended up being about 3 hrs late. We slept most of the way which was good. We were stopped twice by immigration and drug police...
We arrived in Tulum about lunch time and headed to our home for the next 2 weeks - Villa Clarita. It's very nice!
We showered and then headed to the biggest supermarket I've ever seen to buy some groceries. This place is seriously huge! It's like coles, K Mart, Target and Big W all rolled into one...
In the afternoon we caught up with Alex which was so, so good! We had a few drinks at home and then went out for a delicious seafood dinner. The ceviche here is AMAZING! We had that as an entree and fried fish, pulpo (octopus) and calamari for mains - oh my god! Have I died and gone to seafood heaven???
Today was a perfect day!
Tulum is so, so beautiful!
Alex picked us up to head to Akumal to do some snorkelling. We stopped at Chedraui (the massive supermarket) to buy snorkeling gear first and then stopped at Alex's place to pick something up. Alex suggested we take a walk across the street to check out the beach and that was it, we didn't want to leave! The beach is spectacular! We spent the day swimming, relaxing, reading, snorkeling, drinking and eating. It was perfect! We stayed on the beach till pretty late watching the sky filled with stars and then headed to a place called "Simple" for dinner. The food was outstanding!
All in all it was a perfect day!
Another fantastic day!
We started at the Tulum Ruins - wow! The Mayans had the right idea - prime location!
The ruins are situated on 12-meter tall cliffs, along the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula on the Caribbean Sea - WOW!
After that we headed to this little shack on the beach called Chamica for some lunch. Fried fish, ceviche and calamari - delicious!
Last stop was "Dos Ojos Cenote". A cenote is a natural pit, or sinkhole resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. It was SO cool to go snorkelling there!
We then ended up at the same bar as yesterday (Aura). The guys that run the place are Argentinian and very cool. We also ran into Nilton again. A Brazilian guy that we met on the beach yesterday. He ended up coming to dinner with us which was nice! We stopped past Aura again for last drinks and then all too soon it was time to say bye to Alex (boo).
Slightly exhausted and hungover from the last 2 days so we chilled out today which was lovely. Lunch at home then a siesta then some planning for the US before a delicious dinner at home then we caught up on Sons of Anarchy and NCIS.
Up bright and early for a walk and we came back with a hire car! Yuri had looked at prices the day before so we walked to Avis this morning to pick it up. The whole process took about 4 hrs (Mexican time) but for the next 2 weeks we have a car to explore the Yucatan Peninsula in!
After lunch we took a drive to the beach for a swim. It really is paradise here!
Major chill out day, our tans are coming along very nicely!
Today was perfect!
We took a drive out to a national park called XCACEL (in The Mayan language) and it was simply stunning! This is a slice of unspoiled Caribbean paradise (no hotels, restaurants etc). It's a turtle sanctuary (you need to make a donation to enter) and there is a freshwater cenote on site. We had the most amazing, relaxing day here......