C – I awoke this morning to a grumbling tummy and so our first mission was to go in search of a nice, big breakfast. As we wandered towards to the centre square, we watched the clouds drift over the mountains surrounding the town and then shivered as the drizzle began to fall. We settled on a little cafe which served a lovely, cheap breakfast and warmed up with a lovely cup of Chiapa coffee.
Our plan for today was to go and visit a few of the villages in the hills surrounding San Cristobal. These villages are Tzotzil and Tzeltal Mayan villages. However, by the time we were finished breakfast we had decided to spend the day in town, rather than venturing out on the bikes in the drizzly, cold weather.
We walked to the north of the centro historico and found the local municipal mercado that we had read about. It was a fascinating market, free from tourists, with the locals just going about their daily business. You can seriously buy anything at that market! The fresh produce all looked amazing, particularly the cuts of beef. We also had a little drool over the copious amounts of perfectly crackled pork crackling, but we did manage to resist buying any!!
What we had really come to this ‘locals’ area of town to see was the Mayan traditional medicine centre and museum. The museum was tastefully done and it was super interesting to see how the traditional Mayan belief system has melded with Catholicism. The museum introduced to the different types of Mayan healers, the variety of plants and animals used in healing ceremonies and yearly traditions that are aimed at warding off evil spirits and illness. Particularly interesting was the video on prenatal, birth and postnatal women’s health – with many practices which challenges the ways of the west.
After checking out the herb garden and the purification steam bath, we walked back into town and ventured to the eastern part of town for a look see. We ended up visiting Na-Bolom (house of the jaguar in the local Mayan language) a very well regarded Mayan cultural centre. We both found this interesting, particularly as the founder of Na-Bolom was a photographer and her photos of traditional Mayan life are on display.
T – There was a gorgeous tiny little cat there and I wanted to take her home! I got my fix of kitty cuddles though as she was a real smoocher!
Then it was time for me to find a barber. I haven’t had a haircut since Februaury and it was just starting to drive nuts! Plus I looked stupid everytime the humidity went up as I ended up looking some giant fluffball with legs. $2 got me sorted though!
C – After yet more wandering, we ended back in Centro Historico for dinner and then back to the hotel, both feeling a little worn out!
The weather forecast looks the same for tomorrow, but the draw of the Maya villages is strong and we will be heading there regardless… Hopefully we won’t have to drag the wet weather gear!!