Arriving into a (relatively) cold and rainy San Cristobal de las Casas, was strangely comforting as it really reminded me of Irish weather! Having only been away from home a few weeks it wasn’t that I missed the weather but it was nice to have a reminder of good old Dublin right here in Chiapas!
After a quick change into my raincoat, I walked from the ADO bus station straight down towards Rossco backpackers hostel, which is only about a ten minute walk but I’d say it took me a lot longer to get there in the rain, lugging around my backpack along with everything else.
Soon after my arrival I met Carolina, who I had last seen in Tulum and who had been in town for a few days already, it was great to see a familiar face! It’s funny, when you’re travelling and meeting some of the same faces at different points along the way, they really seem like old friends even though in reality, you’ve only known them for a matter of days!
She recommended this great vegetarian restaurant, Madre Tierra (San Cristobal is filled with great veggie and vegan restaurants), so we decided to head there for some lunch. It was absolutely delicious and a big warming bowl of broccoli soup was just what the cold and rainy weather called for. And a spinach and potato empanada, of course… The rest of the day we spent wandering around, drinking great coffee and catching up.
Most nights at the hostel they build a bonfire (you really need to in this cold!) as there isn’t really an indoor communal area and so that night we spent around the fire, chatting with a few of the others staying in the hostel and drinking some JD & Coke cans 😉
On Sunday, I had booked to go on the tour to San Juan Chamula and Zinocantan, which came recommended, so I was due to get the bus at 9.30am. I arrived at the lobby just past 9.30am and the first bus had gone already (I thought this was Mexico?!) but there was another girl booked on the same tour and another bus was on its way with space for us. We joined the group, a real mixed bunch of retirees, families and, well more retirees! And made our way to the small town of Zinocantan just outside San Cristobal. I haven’t taken many guided tours yet on this trip and I was really impressed by this one. He did ice breakers with everyone on the bus that weren’t cringey (i know! Impossible!) and was amazing at remembering everyone’s name and telling us so much information all throughout the day. It was a fantastic trip so it deserves it’s own post (on the way!).
Got back from the day and met Carolina to go to the local artisanal market surrounding the Santo Domingo church, filled with gorgeous crafts, textiles and jewellery, and then to get coffees (MMM! Delicious Yik Cafe chiapas coffee) followed by food in La Huerta, a vegan restaurant on one of the main streets. That night I just chilled out and did some much needed internet stuff but froze my ass off at the same time as it is just SO COLD there. They really need a heated indoor internet area.
Spent the day with Liam, an Australian/English guy I met and we climbed the steep staircase up to the San Cristobal Church – it was quite a hike up those steps in the heat! But it was worth the climb as the panoramic view across the city was gorgeous. We stopped off at TierrAdentro, a cultural centre cafe and Zapatista collaborative, to get some micheladas, and then went to the market and bought my hat (to replace my lost one, only worn once at the bonfire the night before gahh!),and I tried crisps with hot sauce for the first time, delicioso!
I stayed in Rossco for four nights in total (if you stay 3 nights, you get the fourth free which is a great incentive to stay on for another night!), and then travelled directly to Antigua on a 7am shuttle. I decided to go directly to Antigua as I had been told my a number of people that it was the best place to learn Spanish, although I kind of had my heart set on studying in San Pedro on Lake Atitlan, I decided to go to Antigua first and check it out. Plans can change! I’m slowly learning this..