Another Spanish town but yet charmed....

Trip Start Sep 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 04, 2006

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Flag of Mexico  ,
Monday, November 28, 2005

With ambitions to make it early into town from Palenque we had an early night in order to catch the 4am bus to San Cristobal. Ambitious? Yes. Did we make it? No. Taking our time the 9.30am bus was more of a feasible option and through winding roads and in coach entertainment of Robots and Shaolin Soccer in spanish I could not ask for a better ride. However the roads turned out to be rollercoaster ride making both Amber and I sick to our stomachs. She was sick due to the dairy in our homemade tuna sandwiches and I from trying to watch and listen in spanish to the movies whilst being tossed sideways from the twisting roads. We arrived in San Cristobal at 2.30pm, half an hour before our balance did and followed to our new friend to the Youth Hostal in town. With a fully equiped kitchen, we opted to a night in with vego pasta and all the garlic bread we could possibly eat washing it down with the local Aguadiente or otherwise known as "Fire Water" which is made with sugar cane and at less than 1USD a litre it was hard to beat.

Sunday being market day we joined in on a tour to the surrounding villages San Juan Chamula and San Lorenzo Zinacantan for an insight in Mayan culture living in full force till this day. Chamula still practices historic Mayan traditions and dress and is the only state in Mexico with Religious Autonomy in which Mayan tribal laws are still legal and crimes down in the state can be judged and punished through tribal courts or passed onto the federal government. I should also mention that it the Mayan´s in Chamula practice Poligamy, more than one wife. It was a rather spiritual visit and with our English speaking guide we rallied through the markets and had a peak inside the church where chants were being made for health and success among other things, candles and incense burnt, chickens sacrificed and Soda (Coca-cola, Sprite, etc.) and "Fire Water" was being drunk to please the gods. A tradition that has taken on western icons it is said to be good to burp out the sickness or the bad after the prayers and what better way to do that then with soda!
Zinacantan was a town which was more accepting of western cultures and less strict with their values. Here we could see how the locals weaved their crafts without the help of machines. Another highlight was that music was being pumped blaringly outside huge speakers next to the entrance of the church, for what purpose that this achieved still is beyond me.
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