Day 202: Palenque – Mexico – Jan 5th

Arriving after a 14hr bus ride, we finally arrived into the city of Palenque in the province of Chiapas. Our backs were stiff and feeling definitely dazed from the whole ride. This town definitely has less of the charm of the few cities we’ve seen in Mexico, and feels more like a ‘local’ city and very few tourists. We were fooled by appearances though, as once we saw numerous hotels throughout town, and our hostel is probably one of the best run we’ve seen so far… except somehow all the water coming from the pipes tastes like rust?!?!? It’s gross. Other than that, this place looks extremely awesome!

A much needed shower in the rusty smelling water, we were all ready and headed out to see the synonymous ruins of Palenque. Before taking the local van, we found a grungy-looking taco stand next to a construction site and a store selling “Brangus Beef”. It was either cheap tacos in the parking lot, or sit down for something similar for thrice the price? Surprisingly, the taco stand guy spoke fluent English and had EXTREMELY good manners too! After we finished our tacos, we saw him fixing some massive pot at another stove, and I ventured over for a gander. He told me it was barbacoa, a type of Mexican pork dish, and then he proceeded to say “May I provide you with a sample of this?”. Wow, who says that! The pork was definitely awesome, and so was the taco stand guy!

The ruins of Palenque are close to the city, but unlike any other ruins we’ve seen, it is situated inside the jungle!! With the thick, humid air wafting in your face and thick moss smothered over aged stone, this matched our mental image of what a Mayan ruin actually should be! We’ll let the pictures do the talking, as we’re no expert on this, except we both know that this is all very, very cool.

The best part about the hostel though, is the fact that there is a kitchen, and a supermarket is only a 10min walk away!!! We managed to FINALLY eat some veggies (Note to everyone: There aren’t many places to eat veggies in Mexican cuisine), and some “home cooked” dishes to go with… instant noodles. Ha ha. Washing it down with a cold beer, and we were two happy travelers.

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