Monday, March 24th: We left early and took an
alternate route back south to San Cristóbal. Carlos from Guatemala recommended this route
as being extremely scenic and twisty, calling it the Black Forest route. Well, he was
definitely correct about that. It was even more scenic than the first road we took up to
Palenque, and nearly 300 kms of twisty mountain roads. We arrived late in the afternoon
and hooked up again with Hugh, who promptly invited us to stay at his place for the next
We were all a bit tired that night so Hugh ordered up some Dominoes Pizza (when was the
last time we had that???) and watched a DVD movie----such comfort! The next afternoon we
met up again with Chris and Simi who had just arrived across the border from Guatemala.
While Chris worked out some things with Chris at the internet café, I helped Simi do some
serious shopping at the outdoor market near the Santo Domingo church.
In the evening the 5 of us enjoyed a homecooked pasta meal with good Spanish wine and
lots of good conversation. It almost felt like being home again. Thanks Hugh for providing
the lovely home and welcoming atmosphere!
Wednesday, March 26th: After a quick photo taking session with Hugh in front
of the Cathedral, we were off again together with Chris and Simi. Our next big destination
was the Pacific Coast of Oaxaca state, but first we wanted to make a stop at the Sumidero
Canyon. Hugh had highly recommended a stop here to take a scenic boat ride up the canyon.
We found the tourist boats in the quaint little colonial town of Chiapa de Corzo. We
quickly shed our riding gear, locked and covered the bikes and jumped into a boat for a
2-hour ride. The canyon is indeed scenic with steep cliffs, interesting vegetation like
cactus growing out from the sheer cliffs, cave openings with big stalactites hanging in
the entrances, and unusual rock formations that looked like big evergreen trees coming out
from the 1,100 meter hich cliffs. The wildlife was also extraordinary with crocodiles and
many different rare species of birds living on the riverbank. A brief lunch of quesidillas
in the shade, then we returned to the bikes to put our gear on in the mid-day heat.
We didnt get too far that day so we stopped in the small dusty town of
Cintalapa for the night.