jueves, 20 de septiembre de 2012

50 days of Julia

I always cry when I have to say good-bye. It's one of those things I've picked up as I've grown older, like feeling anxious during airplane take-offs and landings. After almost two months of travelling with Julia, we split ways yesterday as she stayed in San Cristobal de las Casas and I headed back with my parents to Mexico City.

Driving through Zapatista territory

After a 5 hour ride on the pothole-ridden road from Palenque, we arrived to San Cristobal de las Casas on Monday night. We stopped twice on our way, to see the Misol-Ha cascade and later on to have lunch and swim in Agua Azul. Unfortunately, Agua Azul ("blue water") did not do justice to its name that day and had a murky brownish color due to heavy rainfall in the past days. Our arrival to San Cristobal was uneventful, as Monday nights don't seem to be party nights for coletos (the people from San Cris).
Misol-Ha and Agua Azul

Our next day started out early with a very aquatic agenda, as we went to see the beautiful lagoons of Montebello and El Chiflón, another cascade. The drive to Montebello was (surprise!) long and bumpy, but definitely worth it. The Montebello lagoons are composed of 26 individual lagoons which vary in color, ranging from dark blue to turquoise to green and with names just as colorful as the water, such as Laguna de Ensueño and Laguna Encantada. We stopped for lunch and had amazing cheese, zuccini flower and mushroom quesadillas with handmade tortilla. We moved on to El Chiflón, where we climbed our way up to the cascade and got totally drenched from the water that was carried by the breeze. Our second night in San Cristobal was very tame and we had some typical Chiapanecan food like sopa de pan (a soup made with bread, vegetables and banana), mole chiapaneco and coleto ham. 

Lagunas de Montebello
Our third day was less active, as we took a boat ride in the Cañón del Sumidero and then headed out to Chiapa de Corzo, a colonial city nearby. It was quite surprising to see that the zocalo (city center) in Chiapa de Corzo is decorated in a mudejar style, a type of architecture that is a fusion of moorish and spanish styles and is typical for areas of southern Spain. We had some more typical food for lunch and I had some chiapanecan enchiladas with a little too much Escherichia coli. 

Cañón del Sumidero and Chiapa de Corzo

We spent the rest of the afternoon in San Cristobal de las Casas, where I explored the city and its markets with the Acuñas while Julia went to the hostel were she will work. I went to the textile market and the handcrafts and sweets market with my mom and dad, walking down several streets and visiting churches on our way. San Cristobal is a beautiful and very enjoyable city. I only wish I had more time to stay.

San Cristobal de las Casas

At night, we met up with Julia's new found hostel friends in a bar, to have a beer and meet other travelers. This seemingly mild plan of going out for one drink was quickly watered with pox (pronounced posh, is not a deadly viral disease but a chiapanecan liquor similar to mezcal or tequila, although they probably make you feel equally bad the next morning). This slowly degenerated into a salsa class, more beers and unwanted invitations to elope. Julia and I made it safely back home through the rain and puddles. It was a very nice last night out.


For our last day, we visited San Juan Chamula and I think we couldn't have picked a better day. It was the day of San Martín and the entire village was a big party with music, firecrackers and pox. San Juan Chamula is special enough to deserve its own blog entry, so I won't go any deeper into it. We then went to Zinacantán, where we visited an indigenous family who works making textile handcrafts with a telar de cintura (a waist loom) and had lunch with them. Finally, we drove back to San Cristobal de las Casas to leave Julia in her new home for the next few weeks and then made our way to Villahermosa to take an airplane back to Mexico City.

I always cry when I say good-bye. It's one of those things I've picked up as I've grown older.

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