San Cristobal de las Casas

🇸🇮 Mesto San Cristobal, na nadmorski višini 2100 m, je kulturna prestolnica regije Chiapas z zanimivo zgodovino prepletanja pretekle španske nadvlade in življenja tradicionalnih ljudstev, ki so ohranili veliko običajev in vsakodnevno pripotujejo iz svojih vasi v mesto, kjer na Mercadu, po ulicah in zvečer na glavnem trgu prodajajo tekstil in druge ročne izdelke. Baje sva ob obisku imela kar srečo z vremenom, saj sva se izognila dežju in mrazu – to sva izkoristila za ogled mesta, najem motorja in kopanje pri slapovih, obisk cerkve v Chamuli. Zadnji dan je bil kar oblačen in mrzel (deževalo pa je samo tiste 4 minute, ko je Miha šel v trgovino po pivo zvečer :), zato sva se grela v muzeju žada (kulturno in zgodovinsko izrednega pomena v regiji, saj so ga povezovali s srečo in obiljem) in muzeju kakava, ki ga pridelujejo v regiji.

Personalized city map, thanks Beatriz!

🇬🇧 San Cristobal is considered the cultural capital of Chiapas and much of this culture is associated with the city’s and municipality’s large indigenous population that has kept their traditions and way of living despite and through the Spanish colonial era. as this region is known for the intertwined old and new traditions. Many commute daily from their villages to sell textiles, ceramics and other hand-made products on the Mercado or the streets or in the pop-up market on the main square at night. We were lucky enough to avoid rain and cold temperatures during our visit, and taking full advantage of the weather we discovered the city, rented a motorbike to visit the Chiflon waterfalls, experienced the Chamula church and on the last day, when it got cold again, we warmed up in the Jade museum and sipped delicious locally-produced cocoa.

One month

🇸🇮 En mesec potovanja je mimo! Neverjetno, kako daleč in blizu hkrati se zdi najin odhod iz Munchna, ko sva bila zmačkana in čustvena in preveč utrujena, da bi zmogla kakšne skrbi ali pričakovanja. Čudovito je potovat v obdobju tehnologije, ko si lahko občasno na vezi z vsemi doma, pišeš blog in se po whatsapp video kličeš s staro mamo. V tem mesecu sva si odpočila in se ulaufala. Predvidevava, da se zdaj končuje dopust in resno potovanje šele začenja, bomo čez nekaj mesecev videli, koliko resnice je v tem 🙂

Planning and more planning, and this is just the beginning

🇬🇧 Today marks one month since we flew out of Munich, hangovered and emotional, too tired to worry about this epic trip. It’s amazing how one month can seem so short yet so long at the same time. And it’s great to travel in this era of technology, enabling you to be in touch with everyone at home, write your little blog, and even videocall with your grandmothers. Over this first month we rested and fell into traveling mode. We’re joking that our vacation is now over and the real traveling is just beginning. Can’t wait 🙂

26. 2. Take me to church

🇸🇮 Na prvi pogled zgleda običajna katoliška cerkvica, lepša zaradi bele fasade v kombinaciji s kamni in okraski barve žada. Ampak Iglesia San Juan de Chamula je čisto nekaj drugega, edinstvena mešanica molitev in svetnikov, ki so jih v regijo vnesli španski osvajalci, in tradicionalnih običajev ljudstva Tzotzil, ki so ohranili svojo vero skozi obdobje španske vladavine do danes. Duhovnik pride iz San Cristobala približno enkrat na mesec, priredi mašo in krsti dojenčke. V notranjosti je prepovedano fotografiranje, zato bo moral zadostovat zgolj laičen opis te presenetljive izkušnje: namesto klopi je sredina cerkve prazna, tla so posuta z borovimi iglicami in so prostor obredov. Ob straneh in pred oltarjem so razporejeni svetniki v svojih kapelicah iz lesa in stekla, pred njimi pa mize s stotinami prižganih sveč. Tradicionalnega oltarja ni, samo še več svetnikov in sveč. Na tleh si posamezniki ali majhne skupinice naredijo prostor med iglicami, prižgejo desetine sveč in molijo ter se pogovarjajo s svetniki. Videla sva tudi tradicionalen obred s šamanom, ki iz človeka nase zvabi zle duhove ob pitju lokalnega šnopca Pox (izgovori se poš). Vmes z živo kuro drgne človeka, potem z njo kroži nad prižganimi svečami in ji v enem trenutku neopazno zavije vrat – s tem žrtvovanjem naj bi šli zli duhovi, ki povzročajo bolezen, na žival, ki jo nato sežgejo ali zakopljejo. Šaman na koncu ob pomoči Coca Cole riga, da še iz sebe prežene duhove. Po tem opisu se verjetno sliši bolj dramatično, kot je v resnici. Ob najinem obisku je bilo kar nekaj skupin in posameznikov v svojih molitvah in ritualih, ljudje so prihajali in odhajali, vmes se kakšen turist sprehodi po cerkvi, ki je odprta vse dneve in noči. Izredno zanimiva in edinstvena izkušnja, majhen vpogled v običaje in življenja zanimivih ljudstev Majevskih korenin.

Svečke za vse naše, ki jih ni več

🇬🇧 On the outside it looks like an ordinary church, with white walls and ornaments the color of Jade. But the Iglesia San Juan de Chamula is like no other we’ve ever seen or heard of. Inside, worshipers engage in unique rituals that merge Catholic saints with native traditions, moonshine, prayers, and animal sacrifice. It is forbidden to take pictures, so you’ll have to imagine it: the walls are lined with statues of saints and there are no benches – fresh pine needles cover the otherwise empty floor from front to back. At the times of our visit there were individuals and groups scattered around the church, they sweep clear some space on the floor, stick the candles to the tiles and let them burn into puddles of wax. We witnessed a traditional ritual where a shaman helps people that are sick or are having other life issues, by scrubbing (and sacrificing) a live chicken on the person during a cleansing ceremony to pull out the evil spirits, while drinking the local liquor Pox (pronounced posh) and Coca Cola, to get rid of evil spirits by burping. It was an interesting and unique experience, a glimpse into the lives and rituals of indigenous Maya people.

25. 2. Riding over speed bumps

🇸🇮 Sva v San Cristobal de Las Casas. Prvi dan sva se šla pozanimat za najem koles, in v trenutku, ko sva zagledala ta motor, nama je bilo jasno. Bova pač kolesarla en drugi dan 🙂 Miha ima itak od vedno rad motorje, Tina pa tudi uživa že od tistega daljnega prvega zmenka skoraj devet let nazaj. Zjutraj še malo pošraufamo, Miha popravi zadnjo luč in ogledalo, in že šibava proti slapovom El Chiflon. Vreme je super , cesta tudi – z eno izjemo: stotine ležečih policajev na vseh koncih in krajih. To je prav značilnost Mehike in zaenkrat še nisva ugotovila, zakaj ta obsedenost. Že z avtom sva v Oaxaci na enem skoraj odbila podvozje. Res so povsod. Pred križišči, postajami, hišami, pred šolami in za njimi, vmes še en za vsak slučaj, nikoli se ne končajo. In to ne tisti prijazni položni, ampak prav nesramno špičasti in za povrh še večinoma čisto neoznačeni, da te kap 10m pred njim, ko ga zagledaš v senci. Že itak neke motoristične kondicije nimava, tako da sva bila na koncu dneva po 230 prevoženih km in par sto kucljih kar pošteno razštelana. Je bil pa izlet zares super, slapovi krasni in prijetna osvežitev v neverjetnem odtenku turkizne vode. Vredno musklfibra in boleče tazadnje!

🇬🇧 We went to rent bicycles in San Cristobal de Las Casas, but the moment we saw this motorbike it was clear we would be cycling some other day 🙂 Miha loves motorbikes since the beginning of time, and Tina fell in love (with both him and the bikes) on that first date almost nine years ago. So off we go, towards El Chiflon waterfalls. The weather is great, the road is perfectly curvy and almost empty – except for Mexico’s trademark: the speed bumps. We have not yet figured out where this obsession comes from but they are everywhere. At crossroads , bus stops, taco stands, before and after schools and another in the middle just in case. They come in all shapes of steepness, width, and severity and they are brutal, and worst of all, many times unsigned, giving you a mild heart attack when you see it in the shade 10 m in front of you. Speed bumps aside though, the trip was fantastic, the waterfalls were impressive with a nice swim in the water of an unbelievable shade of turquoise. Every bit worth the butt-ache at the end of the day!

Puerto Escondido

🇸🇮 Lepo sva se imela tu. Z dvema besedama bi rekla plaža in hrana, ampak tudi druženje z res prijetnimi ljudmi: Rhian in Mike, Mayela in gostoljubna družina, kjer sva bivala, pa vsi klepeti ob zajtrku s sosedama Carino in Miro iz Nemčije. Res sva počivala, pa tudi zrihtala kar nekaj stvari – frizer, pedikura, manikura, pranje oblek, urejanje davkov in računov iz bolnice. Odlična odločitev, da sva iz treh dni podaljšala na skoraj dva tedna.

🇬🇧 We had a great time here. Beach and food, but also hanging out with so such nice people: Rhian and Mike, Mayela and the host family, our neighbours Carina and Mira over many interesting breakfast chats. We rested but also got stuff done – haircut, pedicure, manicure, washing clothes, sorting taxes and medical bills. Staying almost two weeks was the best decision.

21. 2. Mi casa es su casa

A little siesta never hurt anyone

🇬🇧 This is how Mayela and the family run this place: friendly, peacefully, non-intrusive but always welcoming. We came for three nights and stayed almost two weeks, our first home away from home on this trip. Time to move on, grateful for recharged batteries, interesting conversations and delicious breakfasts. Gracias por todo Mayela y familia Santaella, que les vaya muy bien!

Tuna sashimi snack
Šnop’c and Corona connecting people

17. 2. Pepe’s tacos

🇸🇮 Naokoli se govori o najboljših tacosih v Puerto Escondido, če ne celo v vsej Mehiki. Lahko poiščeš lokal ampak baje nikoli ne veš, če bo odprt ali zaprt ker je lastnik baje posebnež s svojim ritmom, pa če bojo zaposleni trezni in te postrežejo ali pa čakaš kakšno uro, včasih zaman. O ja, sigurno greva pogledat :)) sva imela dvojno srečo: odprto, pa še čakala nisva dolgo. Tacosi pa vredni svoje slave, sočni, napolnjeni z zelenjavo in kokosovimi rakci da vse dol leti, z omakcami kot nikjer drugje. Res najboljši daleč naokoli.

Pepe’s shack

🇬🇧 There’s word going around of best tacos in Puerto Escondido (and maybe even whole Mexico) but, as these things often go, the owner is described as an excentric party guy, you never know if the place is open or closed or if you’ll have to wait an hour or more for a taco. Oh we are deffinitively going :)) we were lucky twice: the place was open and we didn’t wait long at all. And the tacos… well it’s hard to come up with a description to do them justice. Juicy, overfilled with veg and coconut-fried shrimp and sauces unlike any we’ve tried before. Seriously delicious.

16. 2. Michelada

🇸🇮 To pijačo sva povsod videvala ampak pivo zmešano s paradižnikovim sokom in pikantno omako se res ni slišalo kot kakšen presežek. No sprobat je treba vse, pa v bistvu sploh ni tako grozno kot se sliši. Po nekaj požirkih se kar navadiš in bi lahko še eno. Mogoče pa res…

Mexica michelada

🇬🇧 We’ve been seeing this drink everywhere but it sounded like a horrible idea to mix beer and tomato juice and chilli sauce, like what? Today was the day to try it and hey, it tastes much better than it sounds, it’s actually quite good!

  • Mexican lager beer
  • tomato juice or in some cases clamato, which is tomato juice mixed with clam broth (again, what?)
  • few splashes of hot clilli sauce
  • few splashes of Maggi sauce
  • lime juice
  • salt and chilli for the rim

14. 2. Bioluminescence tour

Ekskurzija

🇸🇮 Včeraj smo se dobili z Rhian in Mikeom na plaži in večerji, sta naju povabila zraven na plavanje z bioluminescenčnim plankton (na pomoč, a je to sploh pravi izraz?) – skratka, svetleči plankton, saj veste kateri. Baje te peljelo v laguno in tam plavaš? Sliši se super, pa je tura vseeno nad vsemi pričakovanji: popoldan se s čolnom vozimo po Laguni Manialtepec, spoznavamo mangrove in eksotične ptice, izvemo o pelikanih in čapljah in jastrebih, za sončni zahod nas peljejo v lokalček, kjer se združita laguna in morje, spijemo Corono, zakurimo ogenj, po ameriško žarimo “pence” marshmallow, luštno je. Ko se znoči pa gremo res plavat – na fotkah se nič ne vidi, ampak izkušnja je enkratna – vriskamo, skačemo, se režimo kot otroci. Nepozabno!

🇬🇧 “We’re signing up for a tour where they take you swimming with bioluminescent plankton, why don’t you join us”. We met Rhian and Mike at the beach the day before, it was fun hanging out and grabbing dinner, and sure, why not, we could go for a night swim. It turned out we signed up for an afternoon of boat riding through mangroves in Laguna Manialtepec, learning about pelicans and other birds, watching the sunset at the beach with beer and fire and marshmallows, and then actually swimming among bioluminescent plankton – it doesn’t show on camera, but it was fantastic and we jumped and screamed and laughed like kids. Way above our expectations.

Better together 🙂

13. 2. Mercado local style

Tamales

🇸🇮 Mayela nas povabi na zajtrk v lokalni mercado in ni boljšega, kot hodit po stojnicah z lokalci. Hrana tu je raznolika in ima res unikatna imena, tako da pogosto ne uspeva zares razbrati, kaj sploh ponujajo in sigurno zamujava kakšne dobrote. To jutro jemo tradicionalno kombinacijo tamales & atoles. Tamales so zvitki v bananinih listih, narejeni iz koruzne mase z različnimi polnili (Miha naroči svinjino, Tina lokalno verzijo špinače) s salso, itak. Zelo okusno. Atole pa je topla gosta pijača z različnimi okusi: sezam, ovseni kosmiči, mleko, kokos, arašidi (kar močnega okusa, Mihu je všeč) in riž (kot en malo bolj tekoč riž na mleku, Tino spominja na otroštvo). Na drugih stojnicah probamo še nekaj različnih prigrizkov – tlayudas, sopes, huaraches, empanadas de amarillo in vse je odlično. Zadovoljna, hvaležna za super zajtrk in oborožena z nekaj novimi uporabnimi izrazi, ki bodo sigurno zelo kmalu prišli prav.

Mayela explaining traditions and food

🇬🇧 Mayela invites us for breakfast to the local mercado and it is such a treat (as well as learning experience) to eat with locals. Food here is amazing and diverse, but has different names and often we don’t really understand what vendors are offering, no doubt missing out on some amazing treats. This morning we have the traditional combination of tamales and atoles. Tamales are made of corn masa, meat or herbs and salsa, wrapped and cooked in banana leaves. Yum! And atole is a warm corn masa based drink that comes in different tastes, like rice, peanuts, sesame, coconut, and milk. We try out some other snacks – tlayudas, sopes, huaraches, empanadas de amarillo and they are all delicious. We leave happy, grateful for the lovely morning and armed with some new food vocabulary that will surely be put to use very soon.

Food stalls research