Tues, March 18th: We arrived at the border around
lunchtime, and decided to eat before we started the process of the border crossing.
After 3 months and 4,170 miles in Central America, we bid Guatemala a fond farewell.
We then entered Mexico, our 49th country, where the US$1 ~ 10.7 pesos.
The formalities were fairly simple, but not cheap. Two hours later, it cost us US$25
each bike and $4 each for fumigation to enter Mexico. The $25 had to be charged to each of
our credit cards; each vehicle owner must have a credit card in their name. The roads on
the Mexican side are markedly better than in Guatemala. A Guatemalan friend said he
thought the cities in Mexico were much cleaner and that the diesel fuel must be cleaner
here because the buses and trucks dont cough up so much black smoke. I think
hes right about all that.
Driving through several small towns, some 197 kms, and arriving in San Cristóbal de
las Casas, we immediately notice that the city streets are immaculate, and we didnt
choke on diesel smoke along the way! We had expected high prices for hotels here, but were
able to find a nice little posada for US$12 with enclosed parking. Its actually a
step up in quality for us so we are quite happy!
Wed, March 19th: After a nice sleep-in, we venture out to find breakfast and
explore this colonial city. We find breakfast in the form of tacos with minced beef and
egg, not bad for 10 cents each! Then we promptly climb up to a small church at the top of
a hill in town. The church is cute, but the views are obscured by pine trees. Later we are
able to hook up with Hugh, an English Africa Twin rider who lives and works in San
Cristobal. Our friend Steffen from Guatemala highly recommended we contact him. Hugh and a
friend of his hold the Guinness Book of World Records title for fastest bike trip from
Alaska to Ushuaia in 47 days!!! This included 7 days in the hospital in Alaska after a
major accident. Hes a wealth of information on riding around Mexico and he is kind
enough to take the time to give us some advice. Check out his website at
San Cristóbal is a very interesting city because of
its blend of indigenous culture and color, along with its generous quantity of
3 different kinds of architecture: Baroque, Neo-Clasical, Plateresque (meaning silversmith
style). There are several different Mayan groups who also populate the city and
bring much color into the mix as well.
We will leave here tomorrow morning (Friday), and head up towards Palenque, another
famous site of Mayan Ruins.