The minibus was supposed to arrive between 6.30 – 7am. We were one of the first to be picked up which was great as we got a choice of seats. There´s always a downside and today this was the fact that the hotel had a deserted reception. We searched high and low for someone so we could check out but it wasn´t to be. So, we left our key and a note and hoped that everything would be OK.
The minibus was full after we´d picked up from various hotels and hostels in town and we were on the road to Palenque.
The roads were windy, the topes (speed humps) vast and numerous and Emma gradually turned a shade of green as the feeling of sickness set in. Marvellous, and this was not going to be a short journey.
After a couple of hours we stopped at a cafe for breakfast where a cheese and ham butty was forced down the gullet, washed down with some very acidic orange juice.
And so we continued on our journey. The road was still fairly bumpy! Skating across the high escarpments on the Chiapas hills we saw hills folded into one another, no single one distinct from the other, but each one appearing to compliment the other, until the rolling waves became a mesmerising distraction from the constant hair pin bends and damn topes that were playing havoc with bellies full of ham, cheese and naranja. The thickly scented pine forests of San Cristobel (great at this time of the year, real Christmas trees) had been lef behind, and instead our roads were lined with dense jungle and semingly thousands of banana and orange trees growing casually by the roadside.
At around 11.30, we arrived at Agua Azul. A quick unpack of Eugene´s main rucksack found the stash of cash in his jeans pocket, that we thought we´d lost. Panic over. This place was really pretty – lots of cascades of water over the smoothed rocks. Very tranquil. We walked up to the top and then back – we only had an hour here and then it was back on the bus.
Around an hour later, we were at the next attraction: Misol Ha. This was a massive waterfall into a deep clear pool. It looked fairly spectacular but we decided we still preferred the one we visited in Malaysia.
Soon we reached the ruins of Palenque, where everyone except ourselves left the bus to visit. We couldn´t beleive that some people were getting back on the bus in a couple of hours and going all the way back to San Cristobal de la Casas – exhausting! We were dropped off at a hotel in town we´d found on the tínternet but not yet booked. Fortunately they had room. It´s a nice friendly place at the Casa Inn Hotel and the rooms are clean. We headed down to the pool, where Em stayed for the next few hours to finish her book and attempt to alleviate the need to puke. Eug headed into town – the boy explorer! We needed to book our passage to Flores and he could slip in a few crafty beers while Em wasn´t looking.