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Day Seven: Bonampak, Mexico – San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico

Submitted by on Thursday, 19 February 2009No Comment

Day Seven
Bonampak, Mexico – San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico
218 miles

The birds singing and the raindrops over the top of the tent were the perfect wakeup alarm. We headed back to Bonampak National Park. After you get to the gate you take a shuttle to the actual site. The driver said you can see jaguars and panthers crossing the road on rainy days.
It was overcast but the sun came out a few times. There was a little bit of rain although not enough to bother us.
What Bonampak lacks in size, it doubles in beauty. We got there early before anyone else. The courtyard was huge! You could hear howling monkeys and other creatures waking up.
Bonampak is famous because of its paintings. They were fantastic. They were still bright even though they had been painted hundreds of years ago. The most predominant colors are blue and red, but there is a rainbow of colors and images inside three constructions that would put any modern artist to shame.
Our schedule was tight so we only stayed a bit longer than an hour. It seemed short but is enough to see the whole site. When we got to the bikes it had rained hard and the items that were hanging on the back of the bike to dry were now totally soaked.
San Cristobal was the next stop. We passed dozens of “topes” and a couple of military check points. It began to rain and the clothes that were now drying got wet once again.
The road from Palenque to San Cristobal is a motorcyclist paradise. One hundred and twenty miles of heavy twisty roads. I don’t think I ever reached neither fifth or sixth gear nor brakes. We ended up riding about two hundred miles.
San Cristobal is a classic Latin colonial town in the mountains with cobblestone roads and a nice main plaza surrounded by a big church and old buildings.
The plan was to camp out, but we got there too late.  We were cold, wet and fatigued and ended up finding a place where they let us park the bikes at the entrance. The place was “Hostel Jovel”.
After settling, we checked out the town, had a huge steak meal and a couple of margaritas. On the main square they were setting the nativity scene and when it was done, carols were sung.
The city has a great feel and a neat strip where it is closed for vehicles. Even early on the week there were a lot of people enjoying the city.  It is cold though, I had to put my jacket on. Lloyd got a Baja pullover for 6 dollars on the street vendors.

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