29th August 2015

Saturday 29 August - Monday 31 August 2015: Mexico mainland

Since I did not want to drive the distance of Puerto Angel to San Cristobal de las Casas in one day, I took some time and went on one of the countless, beautiful beaches and have a swim. That was actually not that easy as there sometimes had been really big waves. But it was nice to cool down a little form the heat. 

Later in the afternoon I still had quite a long, almost completely straight part of street coming. I wanted to drive some more so I then the next morning could drive right into the nice curvy mountain road. Soon I saw a huge wind-farm right and left of the road. Oh, no just right and left - as far as you could see hundreds of wind turbines. Totally impressed with that sight I obviously did not realise in time that such huge wind turbines of course indeed require corresponding huge winds to rotate. What followed was really a torture: permanent brutal crosswinds, repeatedly interrupted by still more violent gusts of wind. I had all the trouble to keep my bike in the land. Had her all the time just a little leftwards but again had to be aware of windbreaks for not fall to the side. Passing trucks made the already uncomfortable situation not better. But I got through and was so happy that I just headed to the next available Motel. As usual reasonabe price, sage paring spot and near to the village to stock up with some food and a beer (and a lot of water). And once again I was approached by the seller of the village shop: where from, what sort of machine; he seemed really interested and happy to chat with me - and me too, of course. For these sort of conversations my Spanish is ok meanwhile.

The next day - Sunday - then the cozy mountain route up to San Cristobal de Las Casas. As always on Sunday as good as no traffic and I enjoyed the drive up the mountain from sea level to 2000m again. Well, "as good as no traffic" came to an abrupt end when I arrived in San Cristobal. A totally charming, but crazy tourist town. Through the narrow and often “one-way” streets through and all of a sudden  stopped by a parade. Not what I had seen in the USA but far more like our carnival-parades in Switzerland: crazy masks and sort of carnival music. Although it was quite warm even at this level, I've enjoyed this spectacle but was after about one hour happy when I arrived in my hostel. And again I could park the motorcycle in the middle of the  courtyard. And what a surprise: motorcyclists and cyclists were given the first night for free! The Rossco's is really a great hostel, in the middle of the city. And there I went as well after having a quick shower. Many market stands with local products (woven garments, scarves, jewellery, leather goods, etc.) and as always throughout the mobile street vendors, many of them from the indigenous people of the Tzotzil Maya. What rather surprised (and annoyed me personally) were the many stranded hippies selling as well some self-made tinkered jewellery. At the hostel they explained to me that there were originally mainly Argentines meanwhile but as good as all nationalities were represented – I did not really found out why they had chosen San Cristobal. But the mobile street vendors not always being easy to handle: sometimes quite troublesome to be addressed every few minutes and over and over again: „no, muchas gracias, compro nada“.Well but I guess that is just part of everyday life here. On Monday then I decided to have a lazy day, washed my bike clothes and planned the coming days; now it is definite that my days in Mexico are counted. As it was pouring down like as if it was world’s finest day for two hours in the afternoon I was quite glad that I had not taken the first planned ride around the city – wouldn’t have been no fun. In the evening a "bonfire" in the courtyard of the hostel and tastings of various mojito's... too many of them are not for me - but they are fine.

Tuesday an early start because I wanted to go to Palenque and also look at the famous Mayan ruins. Meanwhile I have learned that - even if the roads are ok - more than an average of 50kmh is not to make. Too much time eating the many villages with the countless "bumps" (hey, they really do get on my nerves by now!). 

And finally of course I always “had” to take some pictures and wanted to see as much as possible from the landscape - and in between a taco stop against hunger of course ;-)

The population in this area (Chiapas = feared Zapatistas) often lives very poor and exploited every meter to mostly grow corn. Many houses (sometimes really just shacks) apparently still without electricity and other amenities of the "modern world". What at first glance seems to be quite dangerous but here also belongs to the everyday life: many people with huge machetes on the street. But of course not to threaten passing Swiss female motorcyclists but do their daily work in the fields. But still quite an unusual sight.