T – We were both really excited to get to San Cristobal. We have read and heard so many amazing things about this little gem of a place up in the mountains, set in a small valley and surrounded by Mayan villages! Sounds amazing!
It wasn’t too far to ride today which gave us some time to go and have a look at the Zoomat here in Tuxtla before we headed out. Not being much of a fan of zoo’s I was in two minds about this but when in Rome and all that!
C – We generally avoid zoos and animal based tourism, but we were interested in seeing a jaguar and the reviews pointed to the zoo being set in a somewhat natural environment. After navigating traffic for 30 mins, we ended up on the right road. The drive in showed natural jungle on both sides of the road, which pleased us.
T – Well it turns out we weren’t allowed in anyway. As we rode up to the gate, in a long line of taxis and other cars, the guy on the front gate signalled to us to pull off to one side. He then firmly planted himself in front of me and started to give us directions on going around to the side and up another street. We were a little confused but we swung around and off we went, following his directions.We ended up at a dead end. Something was weird.
C – I had the feeling that he thought maybe we wanted to meet up with the highway, which was on the other side of the zoo. So I said to Todd perhaps it was all lost in translation and I would go and try to talk to him again.
T – So we swung back and Chantelle went back to the main gate again. He was still firm in that there was no way we were going in. Even though streams of vehicles were pouring through the gates we weren’t allowed. We never did understand why but in the end Chantelle thanked him for his help and we rode out of town.
C – We were both a little confused about the whole thing as plenty of people entered the zoo whilst we were there. Neither of us were particularly disappointed though – another win to not spending our money in an industry which makes us uncomfortable.
T – We were soon free of the city traffic and heading upwards into the mountains. We climbed and climbed and climbed before eventually we were flagged down at a military checkpoint where for the first time so far we were properly inspected. Obviously we had nothing exciting on board our already overloaded bikes and soon they were helping us repack our panniers and waving goodbye as we continued our climb.
The road weaved back and forth and climbed higher and higher until eventually we were enveloped in fast moving clouds. It was so beautiful up there with huge crops of what looked like passionfruit vines clinging to the steep hillsides and loaded with fat purple fruit.
C – The ride was particularly stunning and with each incline and corner we would drift in and out of the clouds. We noticed a change in the villages too, particularly with the clothing and colours. The Mayan woman looked beautiful in their traditional dress, made with brilliantly coloured fabrics.
T – Eventually we popped out over a ridge and below us was the city of San Cristobal.
We raced down the winding road and soon we were lost in the one way streets and alleys of the city. We were both a bit peckish and upon spying a torta place we pulled up and soon had a huge, and I mean HUGE torta Cubana sitting on the table. What a feast!
Then we went in search of a hotel in the city centre and soon had a gorgeous room and secure parking all sorted out thus freeing us up to wander the centro hisotrico. San Cristobal is a very laid back andfun place. The bonus for us was the huge celebrations that started up as the sun went down for the Day of the Dead. It was brilliant! Mums, Dads and kiddies all dressed up and singing for candy. Bikers in full costume were riding through the crowds and handing out lollies. What a fun thing!
Then we discovered the amazing food on a stick. Corn on the cob, slathered in mayo, liberally coated with cheese and all dusted off with a bit of chilli stuff. For less than 60cents it was a hell of a good dinner!
C – The atmosphere was addictive and we soon found ourselves engaging with the trick or treaters, with lots of laughter to be had. Todd played trucks with a small boy who made a very half hearted effort of selling us some handicrafts, before plonking himself down at our table and pulling out his toy trucks. We had noticed that the children were singing in exchange for candy and we both excited to get in on the action (and perhaps eat a few pieces for ourselves!!!).
T – We went and bought some lollies so we could get a little involved in the festivities and soon we had hordes of kids singing at us and exhausting our lolly supplies within minutes! We had a ball and it is one of the first times in our lives we have interacted with children like this.
What a great day. An awesome night. We are going to be stopped here for a few days while we relax and get the most out of this area.
C – The city was electric and alive and there were people everywhere. It was a truly memorable experience!
T – As a side note, Mexico is incredible. For every reason over the last 6 months that we were given as to why we shouldn’t travel to Mexico we can give twenty reasons as to why you SHOULD travel to Mexico. The kindness and generosity the Mexican people show to us and each other blows us away and touches our hearts every day. They look after the people less fortunate in the streets, they look out for each other’s kids, people always seem to have a handful of candy in their pockets to hand out to children. They are such a kind and beautiful people with such a polite and warm culture. If you ever get the chance, come to Mexico.