Time to ride to San Cristóbal de las Casas for some cool weather. San Cristóbal is in the mountains and the weather forecasts showed mid 20s Celsius. Perfect! But they also showed rain everyday 🙁 I debated staying in Palenque longer to avoid the rain. But there seemed no way to avoid it. The best time to ride there was the day I planned.
Now … I don’t mind riding in the rain if I have to. But why would I if I don’t have to? It is harder to enjoy the sights and ride in the rain. I have no deadlines or places I HAVE to be, so it would serve no point to ride in the rain.
To get to San Cristóbal I had to ride the same route I took on the tour. A lot nicer riding it though. And after the exit to Cascadas de Agua Azul the road got better. Also the weather got cooler too. No rain yet though.
As I was riding I saw a group of women in white putting out things to sell. I also spotted a small store. I decided to stop for a break.
With the break done it was onto my hotel.
Parador Margarita Hotel
I made it to the Parador Margarita Hotel and no rain! I had a hard time finding the hotel at fist as it is tucked into a narrow one way street.
The courtyard to the registration was a refuge.
No English spoken here but I managed to register with my broken Spanish. They put me on the 3rd floor which meant lugging my luggage up a flights of stairs.
The patio was awesome and I would spend time there just relaxing.
But my room on the third floor was just as relaxing!
One free breakfast came with the hotel. It wasn’t your ordinary stale croissant breakfast.
The hotel was a bit over my budget, but well worth it. Very relaxing for the 11 nights I would be there.
The only downside was that the WiFi always went on and off. I went to the office lots to get them to fix it or reboot the router.
With my home base established it was time to explore the town over the next week or so.
Carajillo Slow Coffee
The first thing I like to do is find my morning coffee spot where I plan my day, write posts, and looks at emails and messages. I found the perfect spot in Carajillo Slow Coffee. Awesome food, lots of different kinds of coffee, and reliable and strong internet with electrical plugs.
It wasn’t long before the staff got to know me. They greeted me with a smile, knew my order, and some would start up a conversation with me. It was my home.
Real de Guadeluope, Avenue 20 Noviembre and Miguel Hidalgo
Real de Guadeluope, Avenue 20 Noviembre and Miguel Hidalgo are the main tourist walking streets in the town. They all meet at the Plaza on March 31 – Zocalo. Very cool walking.
As I walked the streets I could have easily been mistaken into believing that there was a Rastafarian convention taking place in the town. So many people with dreadlocks, piercings, balloon pants, tattoos, and carrying bongos or a guitar. Some would be selling trinkets on the street.
While others would play their instruments for money.
Iglesia De Guadalupe
I had a few places I wanted to see in town. One of then was the Iglesia De Guadalupe. It was a bit of a walk up hill at the end of Real de Guadeluope Street.
And a few stairs to walk up.
But it was worth it. A nice church.
Catedral de San Cristóbal and Iglesia de San Nicolás
Right at the center of town are 2 churches, Catedral de San Cristóbal and Iglesia de San Nicolás. The Catedral de San Cristóbal is the main church.
Iglesia de San Nicolás is an old church with trees growing from it.
It wasn’t open very much but I did manage to get inside once when it was.
Iglesia Santo Domingo
Iglesia Santo Domingo is a church a few blocks from the center of town. It was actually difficult to find as I walked through the busy streets towards it.
I finally saw the top of the church but it was surrounded by stalls selling everything imaginable.
It took a while of wandering through the market to find the entrance.
The doors appeared to be locked so I walked back to the main center by taking some other streets.
La Viña de Bacco
For dinner I usually try different places and attempt to keep my food budget in tact, like this pizza place 🙂
After a few days though I found such a good place for the single traveler – La Viña de Bacco. The reason it is good for singles is that it is on the street where you can people watch. Also, because it is so popular, the singers and bands gravitate there, so there is entertainment too. Lastly, they serve mostly tapas and wine so you can just lounge there.
Such good food.
The only problem is that is is busy and people linger there for hours. So a few times I wasn’t able to get a seat outside. When that happened I settled on the restaurant next door where there was always a seat outside ha ha.
Ever since Cuba I have had an upset stomach. Nothing serious, just cramping mostly. But it was irritating and wouldn’t go away. I was also feeling a bit down. Not sure if it was related or not.
Anyways, I had brought some Cipro with me for just such a thing. But I didn’t want to use it all up. I learned while I was in Oaxaca that the pharmacies are pretty lax in dishing out what would be prescription drugs back home. So I went the the pharmacy in San Cristabol and asked for Cipro. No problem!
I mentioned that rain was in the forecast every day. It was weird weather. The mornings would be clear and the afternoons would cloud over. Despite forecasting rain everyday, it only rained once in the evening for a bit. And some thunder and lightening too. No one seemed to care. The rain ended soon. I learned to ignore the clouds and forecast.
Where to Next
San Cristabol is an awesome place. Lots of restaurant and good people watching. And the weather was cool. But where should I go next? I thought about heading back to Oaxaca to see some sights I had missed there, and then ride to Puerto Escondido before entering Guatemala. That would be another 3 weeks. But I was starting to feel the itch to move on. The rider I had traveling Alaska with had already been to the tip of Argentina and had shipped his bike back to the US and was riding there. A couple who I was so close to meeting up with in Mexico were now in India after reaching the tip of Argentina!!!
The other issue for me was that my left fork seal was weeping. I am not a mechanic at all and can’t fix anything. For sure my Achilles heal. For that reason, I like to do lots of maintenance and take care of things as soon as I see a problem. The closest BMW Mottorad was in Guatemala City. I know …. I could go to a generic mechanic … but I am weird that way in that I like to have my maintenance done at Mottorads whenever possible.
For those reasons I decided to ride into Guatemala.