Checking into our hostel at 8:30am, we were greeted with a warm welcome and thankfully, someone who spoke English! So we freshened up, and headed out into town. San Cristobal de Las Casas is another small, colonial town in the province of Chiapas, and like Guanojuanto and Oaxaca, they’ve made it pretty darn comfortable for tourists to come.
Several pedestrian streets are once again, you guessed it, lined with coffee shops, bars and shops selling artisanal handicrafts. Starting to see a trend here, aren’t we? This place is described by our guidebook as a backpacker’s hub, and we didn’t understand until now. The streets were brimming with young people, looking disheveled and unkempt. There were more more people with dreadlocks than people without. Our hostel owner told us that she came here, loved it and started up a hostel and never left. So we had some high hopes for this place to stand out from the crowd, but strangely enough it was just another place that brings in the crowds.
The streets, the sights and the churches were all familiar sights, so to us it may have lost that initial excitement we’ve had, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that this is a very beautiful town. We wandered the streets once again, getting lost many times in the progress. One thing we did notice that excited us though, was that the fruits here are DELICIOUS. Fruit stands and juice carts are everywhere, and we were thinking it would be overpriced tourist traps until we couldn’t resist the urge and bought a large box of pineapples. It costed 10Ps. That’s like, $0.85USD!!!!! For a fresh, juicy, mouth-watering pineapple cut up for you. They also have the fruity paletas popsicles, and we could eat those all day if we saw that store more often!
One thing that does stand out though, is that the food here is nowhere as good as the rest of our trip. Grabbing lunch at the local market and dinner a popular Chiapas dinner, both were nowhere near as good as the foods we’ve had since we’ve arrived in Mexico. We are so disappointed! Or maybe we’ve just been too spoiled and our expectations too high?
The worst part, is that the town has numerous museums, but they’re all ‘fronts’ for shops selling amber, jade or others. And trying to get away from all this, we headed up to a mirador, a lookout point of the town at around dusk to get a nice panoramic view of the city. After a steep climb up to the hill, constantly being pestered by little kids asking for candy (we set a rule not to give anything to kids, as to avoid them walking down the road of relying on tourists’ generosity as their well being. Seems cruel…) and avoiding broken beer bottles, and by the time we reached the top….. ALL THE VIEWS WERE BLOCKED OFF BY TREES? W T F?
With that in mind, we’ll be heading out tomorrow at 6pm, taking another 12hr dizzying drive down the mountains and into the Yucatan peninsula for our final leg of our Mexico journey.