My second travel report is called Ruins, Robbery and Rain:
The last time I ended my story in Tuxtla with the question why everything was closed. Lucky the Canon del Sukidero was still open and we had a nice boat trip with a nice view there. I saw a beautiful kind of waterfall and some animals (crocodiles etc.) Only in the first part of the river was also floating a lot of trash...
The next town was San Cristobal. To me really a town for women, with colourful squares, houses and a market with all kinds of handcrafts. The first thing I heard when I arrived at Magic Hostel was that 3 persons in my future room had been robed from money, so I had to be careful... Beside the markets I saw also Las Grutas that day, but that was not so special.
Next day I went on a villages tour with lady Mercedez, to 2 traditional villages around San Cristobal. Yes, they used some old habits and were wearing traditional clothing, but I didn't expect to see houses of stone, some cars and even Christmas lights with annoying music as offering to the gods? Mercedez didn´t like my question about this, but explained to me that gods like colours, lights and music, so why not? She has a point... Too me the best part of trip was visiting a local church were Sjamana's used (first) a lived chicken to heal a boy, and then they killed the chicken.
Next day I went on a beautiful road to Palenque, luck I wasn't robed.
Because Palenque is a boring town, I went, on advice of other travellers to the campsite of La Panchan. Only I should have buy some food and drink, because the campsite is 4km from town... difficult.
The second day i went on a trip to Misol-ha, Agua Clara and Agua Azul. The first two were not very special, but the last waterfall was nice. And that was not only because of the waterfall, but also because the possibility to walk up and down the river on a small path through the jungle. Both paths start with a sign that they are dangerous for robbery. But I saw nobody when I went down, and had a nice walk, only no time left to walk up also.
The third day I went on a tour to the famous Bonampak and Yaxchilan, because i heard some good story's about them. After a car ride and a boat trip we first arrived at Yaxchilan. That was a good choice, because we were early and totally there where maybe 30 persons on the site. The setting was beautiful and it felt special to be surrounded by the rainforest, the river and the ruins and temples. We saw even some howler monkey, witch can produce a sound like a grisly bear!
After that we went to the temples and paintings of Bonampak, but to my, Yaxchilan was more special.
When I got back at the campsite almost everybody had gone and what! Where were my shoes??? STOLEN!!! And they had even stolen some small things out of my big backpack! I felt stupid that I had left them there without protection. A good lesson, only how do I get here some shoes of 46?????
Last day I finally visited the famous ruines of Palenque and they were also nice to visit, only because of all the tourists I still prefer Yaxchilan.
12 Hour (sleeping) in a bus and I'm in Tulum. I felt disappointed that the beaches were more than 3km from the not very special town of Tulum.
The ruins of Tulum are not special, but the tropical vegetation, the small white beach with iguana’s and the possibility to swim, the blue sea and the blue sky, gave it a special feeling and some beautiful pictures.
The second day I Went to a cenote (underground river) to snorkel and after I went on a bicycle on the road to Punta Allen. Punta Allen was to far away, but it was a beautiful trip.
The next day should be a beach and snorkel day, but at 8:30u it started to rain until at least 23:00u, almost nothing was dry, but I learned again that a nice place with boring people is less fun than a boring place with good people, we had a big party that night...
At the time of writing (Sunday 31-8-2003 18:15u) I'm sitting in a very small hotel that isn't even in the Lonely Planet, in Orange Walk, Belize. Today I past by the boarder very easy, only now I just found out that I still had some Mexican money hidden in my backpack. How can I change these 500 pesos now? I feel lucky that I also have some US$ because the ATM's in Belize seemed not to work with foreign cards? We will see, a new country, new opportunities.