Monday, August 04, 2003


Tuxla Gutierrez

If you are ever traveling through Latin America, give yourself a day at a Camino Real Hotel. They have beautiful facilities and truly outstanding breakfasts. I had a hearty couple of helpings of chililquilis and a few cups of excellent Chiapan coffee. The hotels are not cheap, but they are outstanding. Ok, enough of the commercial.

After breakfast, we took a cab to Tuxla Gutierrez Zoo. The zoo was slightly lacking in animals due to a remodeling, but since it was free we really didn´t mind. The tourists were all Mexican except us. The most interesting part was these rats that roamed the grounds freely. As large as your average house cat, they were at once cool and disgusting.

We ended up in frantic scramble through the bust terminal to catch the last bus to San Cristobal for the day. The bus was $3.80 USD to ride in a first class bus for the two hour trip, complete with a movie.

The bus went up high in the mountains to San Cristobal. When we arrived, the temperature dropped substancially as we entered the very lively city.

We had some bad luck as we found out our hotel was at a location very far away from the center of town. The hotel was nice, but we decided it was too far to be an easy trip back and forth between the central district and the hotel. After an excruciatingly difficult conversation in my rusty spanish we got the front desk to arrange a reservation at their sister location right on the main plaza. Of course, we still had to pay for the room we abandoned, but hey, so it goes.

After the hotel hubub, we had dinner at Fog√≥n de Jovel, a cheesy tourist trap with excellent food and pretty good prices. The reason I call it a trap is the decor, which is filled with memorbillia of the Zapatistas. Clearly, it was built to capitalize on the interest in our rebel friends. It just felt so trendy. Plus, it was packed to the gills with the people everyone loves to hate -- Eurotrash. Just a note on the tourists here. There are few americans running around here. I suppose going to an area in the midst of a low intensity war is not high on most travel lists. ¿No?

We had drinks made with posh, a corn based liquor favored by locals. Pretty mild stuff after New Orleans.

This city seems like an awesome place to be an expatriate in.

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