Jan. 8 – Cintalapa to Palenque

2009 January 9
by joe

Up early, for us, HOT shower, then load up and back to same restaurant as dinner last night.  Breakfast was a feast, and again we were treated like visiting royalty.    Breakfast was served with brewed coffee with real heavy cream,  sweet bread, local fresh cheese,  fresh OJ – the works! Left there stuffed with food and carrying a free package of homemade cheese.

Off towards Tuxtla Gutierrez, started out easy road, then back to crazy mountain madness.  I took and outside turn a bit too fast, and was 5″  from  death.  Fantastic mountain views, again.  T.G. was a HUGH city, then more mountains to San Cristobel de las Casas.  We did not linger here, either, but did visit a very weird Mirador in the center of town.

The next stretch of road was like a mine-field: un-marked topes, sand-traps, washouts, pot holes, trucks and traffic,  cave-ins leaving only one lane passable, blind curves; again, it was like a driving computer game – but  not so much fun in real life.  At one point, we saw the on-coming cars waving at us to slow down;  when we rounded a blind curve we saw that a tree had fallen, and downed a power line into the road.  A local Mexican stood at the side of the road, and lifted the hot line with a wooded tree branch so cars, and us, could drive under it!

Now we were climbing, steeply and steadily, for mile after mile after mile.  Very few villages, till we started to reach the top of the world,  maybe 8-9000 feet.  Cold, damp.  Now there were vary tiny villages, where the women were all traditionally dresses, in dark blue shalls and dressed, each village with distinct shades and patterns.  I saw one woman than had to be  no more than 40 inches tall.   School-age kids in blue or red uniforms walking home from school.  One village appeared to be in a volcanic crater, with a lake.  All very cool.  (picts to be added later).

Passed some ridiculous road construction projects in the mountains – lord knows what they are building up there!

We had to continue to drive after dark, and I ran out of gas;  it appears that  my bike will not use reserve.  Levi’s bike if now running perfect.  $5 part from another model bike fixed the problem!

Got to Palenque after and hour of night driving.  The town is a complete zoo, Burger King and  all the rest.  We rented a palapa for $10 a night, actaully inside the zona!  Good  spaghetti dinner  for cheap, with lots of hippies to look at.

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