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.
Casas Na Bolom ( House of the Jaguar ) is a beautiful home and now museum dedicated to the lives and works of two prominent immigrants who lived and worked in the area from the early 1
We try to spend some time camping away from others and camp sites. The ability to do this varies greatly from country to country and even region to region. The Cascades at El Corralito in Chiapas were a welcome break after the vibrant town of San Cristobel de las Casas. A little slice of heaven.
Historically Mexico has been dominated by two main indigenous cultures. The Aztecs in the north and the Mayans in the South. There has, and still is, many other groups but these are the main ones. Within these groups, there are hundreds of subcultures such as the Zapotecs and the Tzeltales.
Sadly we made this journey just a few minutes too late as the car in front of us had to stop to let a Jaguar cross the road.
A short walk into the jungle in the evening enabled us to witness the nightly display of approximately 4 million bats leaving a cave.