Tuesday, February 24, 2009

San Cristóbal

The need for a new passport stamp (our permitted 30 days were coming to an end) provided a great excuse to make a flying visit to Mexico! We hopped over the border (well, an eight hour journey!) to the gorgeous town of San Cristóbal de las Casas for a couple of days.

We spent a lovely sunny Valentine's Day sight-seeing and appreciating the warmth after so long in chilly Xela. We visited several pretty churches, including two high up on hillsides, with stunning views over the rooftops.

You can't escape the Valentine's hype, even in Mexico, with love hearts and flowers everywhere. Mind you, at 12 pesos each, less than $1, the roses are certainly more affordable than back home!

For some reason, old VW Beetles are extremely popular in San Cristóbal (and maybe in the rest of Mexico, too) and we even saw them used as taxis and driving instructors' cars. Even I might be convinced to drive again if I could re-learn in a Beetle!

We also visited an excellent museum, Na Balom, which used to be the home of two European anthropologists. It's full of their gorgeous belongings, a fascinating photography exhibition and displays about Mexican indigenous groups. It's also a hotel where Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera once stayed!

Oh and the town has a great market where I bought some souvenirs like this top!

The next day we took an excellent trip to Cañon de Sumidero, where we went on a boat through the gorge. The landscape was incredible; really stark and dry with enormous slabs of rock soaring into the air. It's hard to capture their size in the photographs.

Above is the Christmas Tree Waterfall. In the rainy season water pours down this cliff and, over the years, it's created these strange shapes. Kind of like a Christmas tree, I guess!

The real highlight, though, was the wildlife. We saw monkeys, an owl in a hole in the rock and loads of other birds. Oh and a good few crocodiles, too! As you can see, we got pretty close!

Rob's delighted as he thinks they're our best croc photos yet.

When we came to the end of the trip, we both agreed that we would love to see some more of Mexico. We're going to try to fit in another short visit soon or, failing that, we'll definitely be back sometime in the future. Only problem is, we'll have to change the blog to Central America and Mexico!

Rachel x

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