Having returned to Colombia in November 2021, we soon found that we needed to ship out and made our way to Mexico.
Here are some of the highlights so far.
We Hope you enjoy them.
With the new shower all fixed and working perfectly we ventured east and into our third state called Chiapas.
The climate was definitely changing.
Some of the roads here are famous for illegal road blocks and robberies. With Pat's expert research we avoided most of the known locations, but some we simply had to run the gauntlet. Luckily so far we haven't experienced such an event.
After a quick overnight stop in the car park of Puerto Chiapas by Isla Cahuare, we took a boat trip on the Rio Grijalva into the Parc Nacional Canon Del Sumidero.
The pretty, and very popular, town of San Cristobel de las Casas is famous for many reasons. Its Culture, Its Cuisine and its Churches to name but a few. Unfortunately, it is most famous for stomach upsets and diarrhea.
Collectively the town must produce thousands of gallons of the stuff every day.
I am not sure as to the reasons why this is the case, but I suspect it's probably that the general water supply is in some way contaminated. It's very hard to avoid if you eat out. Armed with this prior knowledge we made the decision that we wouldn't be eating out here. This lasted about a day and we found ourselves eating in several restaurants. On a recommendation, we tried a vegan restaurant. This was the one that caught us out. Don't think I will do Vegan again.
Gravity soon becomes your arch enemy in San Cristobel de las Casas.
Despite this, we still managed to visit a few of the local places of interest.
The Caves at el Arcotete just outside the town were amazing.
From the outside, it is quite unremarkable and very similar to the hundreds of other churches in the region. However, once inside you have to just stand there with your mouth open. This church is where Indigenous beliefs and Christianity fuse.
Despite there being many Christian effigies, crosses, and paintings etc, the personal praying was very different from your traditional Christian style and was heavily influenced by ancient Mayan cultures including the Tzotzil, Tzeltal, and Mame people. This means that additional deities such as the Sun and the Moon are included in the enthusiastic and ritualistic chanting and praying that can be seen in every part of the Church.
The floor of the church is covered with straw and pine needles. Thousands of candles are everywhere and the smell of Incense is overpowering. Everywhere people are chanting, mainly in Mayan. Shamans are on hand to bless anything you feel might need a blessing, for a modest fee of course.
The sacrificing of animals such as Chickens etc is common during ceremonies. I am quite glad we didn't see this.
Sorry, its been a few weeks since my last post.
We are still in the Mexican State of Oaxaca. Coming from such a small country like the UK it's hard to get your head around the size of countries like Mexico. For example, Oaxaca , which is one of 32 states, is 4 times bigger than Wales and the same size as Portugal.
So far we have only been in 2 states, Veracruz and Oaxaca. We are coming to the conclusion that getting around the remaining 30 States might take a few years.
Our last Blog post ended at the Pacific coast town of Zipolite, which was an eye opening experience. Heading slightly north we found ourselves at the very small coastal village of Ventanilla. The community here rely on tourists who come to see their sea turtle hatcheries and Crocodile infested Mangroves.
Every night Patrols comb the beaches looking for either the huge Pacific Green Turtles or the smaller Dolfino Turtle.
I was lucky enough to join one of the patrols. Their aim is to protect the turtles themselves from being killed for their meat and shells and to also collect the eggs and hatch them out in a much safer, well protected, sanctuary. Turtle meat and eggs are a well desired delicacy in the restaurants of Mexico.
After a few hours of patrolling, we came across a huge, 150 kg, Pacific green turtle and stayed with her until near daybreak whilst she hauled herself up the beach, dug a huge hole in the sand, and layed about 70 eggs and buried them before returning to the ocean. We then retrieved the eggs and delivered them safely to the hatchery. It was a real privilege to witness.
We were only able to use a red light to see the event as white light can disturb the Turtles and cause them distress.