And it was time to go back to Mexico, the place I had been living for quite a few years already. The more I travel, the more I realize Mexico is one of the best countries you can travel to. So I kept one of the best for the end of this year.
On 3 weeks there, I managed to get around and visit quite a few of my favorites. The DF, district federal of course, where all my friends are. But also Chiapas, Oaxaca, and finally Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende for the Day of the dead.
But before starting this big trip, some tacos were well-needed! 🙂
Picture by a friend of Tobi.
We were that night with some of his Spanish friends and we all indulged in superb tacos. Al pastor, quesadillas, arrachera, pibil, we tried them all!
One of my favorite place in DF is also this one – see above: Popocatepetl, very close to were I used to live in the Condesa district a few years back.
Alright, time to head South! I named… San Cristobal de las casas, in Chiapas. I was interested there in visiting indigenous communities and discover new places I had not been previously. And I was not disappointed!
Streets of San Cristobal de las Casas
Spend a Sunday in San Juan de Chamula. This town, just a few km away from San Cristobal is ruled under indigenous traditions and rituals. On a Sunday, we started with visiting the cemetery, everyone was preparing already the Day of the dead.
The cementary in CHamula.
Then we moved to the village and visited the main square where a market is hold every week, and there is also a chamula ‘public court’ where the people expose their issues and some are elected to decide on what to do. They all wear traditional outfit, made of wool. Unfortunately it is forbidden to make pictures so you will have to go see by yourself.
The market with the Church at the back.
The Church was one of the most unbelievable thing I saw. When you enter you have the smell of pine needles that are everywhere on the floor. Some candles on the floor as well, God knows how it does not burn, but apparently they manage it very well.
In this Church, the indigenous people have their own rituals. Again, no pictures inside but I will try to explain here what happens…
Some people are in charge of communicating with the Saints, there are about 30 of them in the Church. People come ask favours to their favorite Saint, or thank them.
To ask for something you need to bring 5 things: some of the local alcohol – you drink it to relax, some Coca-Cola, to clean yourself, some candles, and a chicken, alive, that the Mayordomo will kill with its hands. Basically, you pass your issues to it and they kill it. And finally an egg – symbolising rebirth.
People come in family to practice these rituals at any time of the day. So you enter the Church thinking of a traditional one, and you discover all this. It was stunning!
On another day, go to Toninà. Some mayan ruins discovered quite recently.
Look at that grass!
People usually skip it because they go straight to Palenque. which is beautiful too, but in Tonina you will have very little tourists, and the structure is huge. Much more impressive than Palenque I though. And it is half less time to go, about 3 hours.
You can go by yourself and come back in the day if you leave early at around 8 am. Ask for combis/vans when you are in San Cristobal. It is quite easy!
There are many levels in Tonina, I think 7 of them. You can enter the pyramids and also climb on them. There are many corners to discovers and it makes it quite a nice site to spend 2/3 hours in.
On the 5th or 6th floor.
Climbing to the top!
Next Stop: Oaxaca!