Today was a free today in San Cristobal de las Casas. This was the toughest day to decide what to do. We had two great optional activities (boating down a massive canyon or visiting some traditional Mayan folk) as well the the thought of just wandering the city. That was super appealing since what we had seen so far looked incredible.
But we, like most, decided to head to the canyon! We knew we would have a number of hours in the afternoon to explore, so thought we had better get on the rapids of Mexico while we could. An hour in the bus and we were at our destination. This wasn’t going to be rapids, nor NZ jetboating, rather a small group in a fast boat, doing a round trip of about 80km, through the massive canyon. It sounded perfect.
Off we went. Like many things of this nature, you think you see a postcard at every turn. In this case it got more impressive as it went on, as the height of the cliffs grew and grew to about 1000m. We were dwarfed by the scale of it.
What was extra special that I didn’t expect was being able to see some wildlife as well. A couple of crocs, an iguana feeding in a tree and 3 spider monkeys added some extra excitement to the ride.
Along the way hidden in a cave was a shrine which was quite incredible. Apparently we just a week ago missed the big celebration for her… how all the people get there and put the things on her I will never know.
We meandered to the end point, which was the location of a newish hydro-electric plant. Nothing particularly to see. In fact the highlight was the random appearance of a boat selling snacks. They sure seem to love their snacks here.
From that point we could hammer back to base much quicker. With that expedition a success we jumped back in the van back to San Cris.
We got back at about 2pm leaving plenty of time to explore. Kate and I wandered first to the seemingly imposing church at the end of our street, Our Lady of Guadalupe. From distance it looked huge, but as we got closer its size seemed to diminish.
In the end, while cool, it was not too impressive. Inside was a strange, slightly garish mix of religious iconography and neon. Mexican tradition maybe.
From there we headed back to the centre of town to check out some of the markets. On our way I hit paydirt. I had one thing I wanted to get while in Mexico, and bingo! You can check out the photo at the end of this entry.
The markets were not too bad. In the end it ended up being the same handful of items over and over… blankets, stuffed handcrafted toys and clothes. Kate picked up something for the house, but in the end we were not too entranced by the goods. We knew we would have further opportunities later.
So we wandered some more until dusk, when I thought I had better try and catch up on all the news. Shortly it will be out for some dinner before an early night ready for the epic journey into Guatemala tomorrow!
Oh, and as promised, here is my purchase…