Thursday Feb 22: San Cristobal des las Casas
I arrived here at about 3pm – after a long day on the bus! The hostel I was staying at was called Hostel La Isla, and was a really welcoming, family-like place. After a shower, I stepped out in the town, which felt like a small town but actually housed a significant population. The town is at altitude, about 2400m above sea level. During the day it’s pretty warm, but in the evenings as the sun sets it gets cold really quickly and I was glad to have my warm winter jacket. I had a wander about the town, walking up a rather steep hill to a church with great views over the main drag which is closed off to pedestrians during daylight hours and has heaps of restaurants and shops with food and crafts from indigenous people and people from all around the world. It’s an extremely artistic kind of a place.
Friday Feb 23: San Cristobal des las Casas
Booked today on a tour out to the Sumidero Canyon. We were picked up at 9am from the hostel and of course one of the people from the bus yesterday was on the tour too – I keep running into people in each new place which is nice. Once we had arrived in the carpark, we were assigned to a boat that would take us down river to view the canyons. The boat driver gave the tour in Spanish, which made it difficult to understand most of what was being said; however, the canyon was spectacular, with the cliffs on either side rising up to about 1km in some places. We saw some vultures, some tiny monkeys and three Crocodiles. Two of the Crocs were relaxing on the shoreline of the river whilst the other was drifting down the river. After we had finished the boat part of the excursion, the driver took us up to a series of miradors (lookouts) up on the cliffs so we could look down on what we had seen below. Overall it was a great excursion and only cost 350 pesos ($23). After the excursion, I went out for some food with my new roommate and we had wander through the local market which sold clothing and souvenirs. We happened upon a bar which was showing a flamenco demonstration later in the evening so we decided to go and have a look – the woman who was doing the dancing was AMAZING and so in tune with the music. It was really something to see up close the concentration it takes to move the feet so quickly and when she added the maracas for good measure she was moving unbelievably quickly! The small crowd of locals was also really involved, cheering and clapping and adding to the atmosphere. It was certainly and experience that I will remember for a long time and we were very lucky to stumble upon it!