To the jungle! Well Palenque to be more precise! We got on the bus at 6.15pm and arrived at 7.15am, via some interesting pit stops – one of which consisted of a slightly dodgy looking chicken burger which turned out to be amazing! I’m pretty impressed with the Mexican ADO buses. Really comfy…..and I am definitely going to miss them in Guatemala. Soon it will be shuttle buses which I cannot fit my legs in and serious pot holes. The Mexicans just love a speed bump ha
When we arrived in Palenque we jumped straight into a taxi to El Pachan, a little community of cabanas in the jungle! We found Margirita and Eds cabanas. Margirita found us a lovely private room, with an ensuite and towels (the dream)! We did have a little visitor ( for people who don’t like spiders maybe look away)
We decided to be really good and go straight into the park and go to the ruins. Otherwise I think we could have slept all day!
The ruins were beautiful and it was so early in the morning not many people were there. These put Tulum to shame, situated in dense jungle it was so much easier to get a feel for how the Maya people actually lived ( better photos to come on my DSL)
We wandered, climbed, and bought Mayan star sign necklaces ( which turned out not to be our star signs haha) for a couple of hours and then walked back through the waterfalls back towards El Pachan. I’d highly recommend these ruins and coming into the Mexican jungle. I was going to miss it completely but it was definitely worth it. Although it’s bloody hot and you need some serious deet!
We slept pretty much all afternoon to the sounds of monkeys in the jungle and all sorts of birds – it was bliss! Nice double bed and a hot shower. I know by this point I’d only been away for 10 days but still so good!
In the evening there is only one place to go, Don Mucho’s for live music, interesting food and flame throwing. It did not disappoint.
After an early night, and less than 24 hours in Palenque we were up for our day time bus to San Cristobal – from the jungle to the mountains. It’s too dangerous to go over the mountains at night, so we went around during the day which took another 9 hours!
San Cristobal de las Casas – my favourite place so far! Such a cute, colonial town set in the mountains in the Chiapas region. We stayed in a lovely hostel, 10 mins from the bus station called Snail hostel. Really friendly place with a Mexican manager Sophia who was lovely.
After the long journeys of the last couple of days we decided to stay put in San Cristobal for a couple of days before another long journey into Guatemala.
We saw a free walking tour advertised in our hostel so we decided to check it out. It turned out to be one of the best things we’ve done and we met Claudio (our guide); a Mexican from the north totally in awe of San Cristobal and what it had to offer. His enthusiasm was catching and I soon fell in love with the place. It was amazing, and he took us to places we’d never normally see as a tourist wandering the town. We had coffee tasting, local Poxna (seriously strong alcohol) and some local broths too. Was so good and lasted pretty much all day. It torrentially rained for a couple of hours so we camped out at Frieda’s. An eccentric Mexican ran this cafe/bar/space and in the evenings he dressed up as Frieda and performed stand up comedy as a woman. I imagine it would have been hilarious but sadly we weren’t there the right night.
After our walk Claudio invited Lucy and I out with him and his friends in the evening – they were easy to find as they all hung out in our hostel. Firstly though we thought we’d find the cheap wine bar everyone was talking about which was a charming buzzing place – La Vina de Bacco. Each glass of wine, only 25 pesos ( ~ £1.20) came with free tapas. I had a lovely Mexican Malbec. As you can imagine I was in heaven. Haha! We stayed, longer than we planned surrounded by groups of Mexicans chilling out over tapas and delicious vino. It was so good we came back the following night!
After our vina we went in hunt of Claudio and found them drinking Poxna at our hostel – they kindly let us join and we drank whilst trying to practice our terrible Spanish. Well actually mine is terrible. Lucy’s is ok. At midnight when the poxna ran out it was time for dancing! We found an amazing little bar full of locals that from the outside looked like a closed shop. Such a fun night but the next morning I definitely felt 30 – ouch. And needless to say Claudio was very late for his free walking tour the next day haha
We were good though, we walked through our hangover or should I say slowly shuffled through it up to one of the churches with beautiful views of the little town I’d totally fallen in love with
Right I’ve done enough jabbering – next instalment will be Guatemala