Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 134 - Palanque - San Cristobal de las Casas

Distance travelled (by bike): 14,530

Leaving Palanque the day was already heating up. The road to San Cristobal was brilliant, from Palanque it started to twist up through the mountains, though the distance isn't that far it took some time to cover it. One of the problems is the sheer amount of topes (speed bumps), today i think i drove over about 800, and that is no exaggeration. I'd love to sending the bill for my suspension to the Mexican government. 
The further south i drove the cooler it became, then the scenery suddenly changed from tropical forest to alpine, at some points i could have been driving through the alps.
Stopping for petrol i met an American couple who were cycling back to the US having started in Guatemala, i can't say i envy them, but you have to respect it, the roads are not easy. We worked out by the time they get another 500 miles i'll be out of Mexico, think i'll stick with the motorbike. 
The centre of San Cristobal de las Casas is a spanish colonial town, cobble stoned streets, iron balconies and red tiled roofs. In contrast the outskirts are shanty towns inhabited by the indigenous communities. The centre is beautiful, pedestrian streets lined with shops selling nearly everything you can think of (but most aimed at tourists). The town is the cultural capital of the region, this is reflected in the vast verity of church, museums, markets and generally the integration of people.

alpine meadow

the warning of speed bumps, every 5 miles!!

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