From the winding mountain region of Palenque we drove through the remote Chiapas highlands, Zapatista rebel country, to the city of San Cristobal; one of the most indigenous areas of Mexico where it’s consequently really hard to take photos of people because they are very opposed to it. We had new friends, Peter and Zuzy from Slovakia travelling with us in our VW Jetta which is seeing some serious mileage now and covered in dust. No wonder a lot of people drive high clearance vehicles like 4 x 4 pick ups because the speed bumps are so high we have barely made it over some of them. We all arrived in the city at 6pm when it was already dark and really bloody cold!….and quickly found a hotel to stay at for 2 nights; £17 a night a double room – bargain apart from the very lumpy pillows. The 4 of us headed out to explore the city to find that it was in full swing for the Guadalupe festival which San Cristobal appears to be one of the main gathering points for as one of the main churches of the Guadalupe is based here. It was a great introduction as the whole place was in full on festival mood with loud rockets being fired in to the sky, streets hung with flags and crowded with food stalls and street vendors, a big wheel which none of us fancied our chances on at close inspection as it was a bit too wooden and rickety! The atmosphere was amazing. The streets were really crowded with people; city dwellers and people who looked like they had travelled from their homes in the remote mountains. The church of Guadalupe is based at the top of a hill reached by a long street which culminates in a set of steep steps. It was completely lit up and the steps were packed with people carrying flowers to decorate the inside of the church. Our timing of arrival was perfect as we never expected to witness a major Mexican festival and it has left us with amazing memories of this city.
Still no wi-fi access from here in our hotel in Oaxaca….so again I am lagging behind. Remember that you can post comments on the blog – let me know how we are doing so far with the words and pictures! Message for Kate – honest – Dave has changed T-shirts – though from the photos he is starting to look a little feral round the edges – if he starts to smell – we are travelling separately!