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Dag 5: Travel to San Cristóbal

Mexico - Wednesday 24 November 1999

It's my birthday!!!!!!!!

We leave as early as 7.00 AM, without breakfast. We're heading to a waterfall, Misol-Ha. Absolutely beautiful, 35 meters high.

Right across from the waterfall is a little restaurant where we have breakfast. I go for pancakes, I'm quite hungry. Somehow, you often get relatively little food here. Maybe I've just been a bit unlucky so far. Now, I can hold out again.

A little further, there's another waterfall, Agua Azul. It's not as high but rather wide. Not as spectacular, but very beautiful.

Children here want to sell all sorts of things. I buy a bunch of small bananas.

Gert buys bananas too. Now we have too many for seven people. We enthusiastically share them around.

We're now in the highlands of Chiapas. Many small villages amid rugged nature. It's cloudier here and colder. The high mountains and the clouds hanging between them are very beautiful.

We stop at a coffee farm. We have coffee, but also coconut milk. They crack open a coconut right in front of us! There's also fruit salad.

Two monkeys are in a cage. Sad, but very cute. We feed them loads of bananas. At one point, they're so full they lazily lie down and pay no more attention to us.

Our hotel in San Cristobal de las Casas is also a museum.

It was founded by the old Danish archaeologist Frans Blom. There are items everywhere that he plundered during excavations. His wife was a photographer. The hotel displays hundreds of beautiful photos she took of the indigenous people.

We have some time to explore the city. I initially go alone but run into Wolfgang and Gert. It's a nice little town, but there's not a lot to do. There are lovely markets and a few churches.

You practically have to fend off the kids; they all want to sell you necklaces or other trinkets.

We dine at the hotel, sitting at a long table with all the guests together. Very enjoyable! The dessert is a surprise. They turn off the lights, and then they come in with an enormous cream cake with candles! (all thirteen!) And they sing for me. I'm genuinely moved; I hadn't expected so much.

They also made a card for me, very artistically on a piece of coarse blue cardboard. Very nice.

After dinner, we have some drinks, and, of course, it's my treat. There's a bar with delightful mixes. Quite expensive, but extremely cozy.

I'm offered various drinks. As it's my birthday, I receive a 'Maya sacrifice': a mix with a lot of alcohol, set on fire first. I have to drink it all at once, then the waiter shakes my head. Boing!

As we leave, we each receive another mix. I'm seriously tipsy; I can barely walk. And I'll pay for it: at the hotel, I throw up massively three times. After that, I sleep wonderfully (though it's a bit cold).


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