With a fire crackling in the corner fireplace and outdoor temps in the 40s, it was difficult to hit the road this morning. Crossing into Mexico and 260 miles of riding meant that today would be a big day.
Guatemalan resourcefulness continues to amaze me. Seemingly impossible to till steep hills had fields ready for spring planting. In areas where we would have lawn or other yard features, they grow vegetables and crops literally up to their doors and walls.
I suspect that every old USA school bus that has just enough life left to make it too good for “School Bus, Figure-8, Smash ’em up races in Bithlo, FL” winds up in Central America. Since we started traveling in Panama, these brightly painted school buses have filled the roads, belching diesel smoke all the way. They are used for public transit. Some of the bus drivers here drive as though they’re on a race track as well.
Richard and Larry posed in front of the Mexican border before we joined the line inside. A little boy played peek-a-boo with us while his father got their family’s passports stamped.
Those of you who have ridden or driven into Mexico probably share the perception that we had, that we’re driving back in time and to a much less developed place. What a different view we have coming from the south! Entering Mexico from Guatemala makes Mexico seem like Beverly Hills. Manicured shrubs and azalea bushes decorated nicely maintained medians. Granted, this type public display is still the exception rather than the rule but we didn’t seen anything this nice farther south in Central America.
There was no question as to what type of food we would eat tonight – Mexican! We chose a little place that advertised tacos and margaritas. I thought it quaint that right between the bar and the Mexican flag was a shrine to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
After our authentic Mexican feast, we walked to the city square, the center of action in Mexican and many other Central American towns. St. Nicola’s Temple was built of adobe in the 1600s and remains the only church of its kind in San Cristobel still in original configuration and condition. A wedding, complete with a five-piece orchestra playing the elements of the mass, was in progress. I’m sure that the young girls in our lives will be excited to hear that the bride wore a stunning, hot pink, wedding dress.
25-Mar Chichicastenango, Guatemala to San Cristobel De La Casas, Mexico 260 miles
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