#9 - Chasing Dreams In Mexico


This time you get to hear some deep house vibes mixed with a sensational female voice 👇🏻 Anjunadeep at its finest


19.01.2018 - Valladolid

 

The last days of my journey have come. And I’m having a great time chasing my dream destinations in Mexico. 

 

Since I left Bacalar I saw almost every day another place, another city, another Maya ruin. 

 

I feel tired from all this traveling but on the other hand side I feel very content and grateful that I get to see so many places in such a short time. I don't mind being tired throughout the day because I’m in vacation. What more could I wish for? Maybe a bit more time, but it’s good as it is. I know I will come back to Mexico, not sure when, but some day for sure. My new friends & family are waiting for me in Toluca. And there is actually a lot I don’t get to see on this trip. 

 

Today I visited by far the most impressive place I’ve got to see during my trip: Chichen Itza. I kind of knew how it will look like but as I went there by myself and I got to see the big pyramid which is called Temple of Kukulcan I was more then blown away by its magical appearance. I could feel a big massive energy coming from it, it got me hypnotised by the first second. I couldn’t take my eyes anymore of it. Wow, what a magic! I don’t think photos can reproduce the impact. I hope you are as able to visit this place as well. 

I spent a lot of time just admiring the Temple of Kukulcan and I almost forgot that there is way more to explore. Before leaving my favourite pyramid I walked around her and deep inside me I inhaled the energy. 

 

I explored the whole area and was again overwhelmed by its size. Chichen Itza is big, very big and it’s well kept. 

 

A lot of travellers I met told me they didn’t like the mass of tourists there. But I didn’t mind them. I think I just excluded them. I got there around 3 pm and most of the tourist where about to leave the site. It was perfect. And the weather got better by that time too (the last days the weather wasn’t great). The sun was shining low, so it was a perfect setting. To be there for sunrise or sunset must be astonishing I was thinking. I just got to know later, that I entered at the normal opening hours (I payed 242 Mexican Pesos) which close at 5 pm. Then there is another option for sunrise or sunset which of course you pay way more (around 400 Pesos). If that doesn't meet your needs, then there is even another option: a night video show, which gets projected onto the Temple of Kukulcan. That show  costs of course more (around 500 Pesos). Well, welcome to the Mayan Disneyland. 

But as said I very much enjoyed it, I loved it! Throughout the whole site there are lots of vendor stands, with actually beautiful souvenirs. I was about to buy some presents but I couldn’t find the right ones and my tour was about to leave anyway. 

 

Happily after the great views I've had and an early dinner with my tour group (all Mexicans, I was the only foreigner on board) I got driven to my hostel in Valladolid. I left the group behind, they were driving back to Merida where we came from. 

 

Of course we didn’t just see Chichen Itza, we stopped on the way there as well in other places like Izamal (the yellow city) and some cenotes (natural sinkhole or pit) like Chihuanj. There I was the first one to dip in the water. All my Mexican tour members were very skeptical to enter the water. Therefore, I had the whole cenote to myself for some time until someone finally joined me shyly. I left early enough to still be able to change back into my dry clothes because the weather wasn’t great and it was kinda cold. 

Enough from today, I want to tell you a bit more about my past week:

 

Palenque 13. - 14.01.2018

 

I left Bacalar on a Ado night bus to reach Palenque. The ride was surprisingly okay. I chatted a while with my sest neighbour and I even wrote some lines on my Mac. Afterwards, I fell asleep. I woke up when the bus reached my destination: Palenque. And it was just 4.30 am. Oh no, I felt like a zombie - seriously. I took some minutes to wake up until I left the Ado bus station. I was about to walk to my hostel which - regarding Google Maps - was just some minutes away. But apparently - due to safety issues - I let myself talk into getting a cab, although I would probably have been just fine walking this short distance.

30 Mexican Pesos later I arrived at my hostel and I could stay in the lobby meanwhile I was waiting for the day to rise. I took the chance to finish my last blog. When the day rose I was finished with publishing my blog and I was proud of myself - it is getting easier each time.

 

I started the day properly with a cappuccino with coco milk. I left my very basic and old Hostel and I went into town. I had some things to do: getting cash out of a ATM (it's hard to find an ATM that works with my cards - I've never had problems before, so when I'll get home, I'll have a proper talk with my bank to clear things for the future), looking for a small lock (to be able to lock my stuff up in the small storage room at the reception). And I've looked for options to go to San Cristobal de las Casas the next day. The regular Ado bus would have taken more then eight hours to get there and I didn’t wanted to go on such a long bus ride again. Specially when there were other options as well:The streets over the mountains are apparently too curvy and too dangerous for the big busses, but smaller once like vans would take that road. So I did my homework and asked around: Either I could take a tour which includes visits of two waterfalls on the road or I could take a local small van, which would take me there too but which would have been less safe. 

Once I’ve sorted all things out, I took a collectivo (a small public van) to see the Maya ruins in Palenque. After a short ride and 18 Mexicans Pesos later I arrived at the archeological side and I got welcomed by a lot of tourist guides and vendors. A very friendly tour guide got lucky with me, because I let myself talk into getting a tour. But just because he offered me a guided tour into the jungle, the Ruins and I have as well bargained the trip to San Cristobal de las Casas. I usually don’t take guided tours like this, but I felt like it and with this I’m actually supporting the local Mexicans, so why not to take one for a chance?! I like to do new things.

 

The tour was great, I enjoyed having my own private guide! He told me a lot of the history of the ruins: Just 5 % from the whole ruins are layed open, all the rest is still covered by jungle. The site features 1.500 temples and it held 25.000 habitants from 200 b.C. till 900 a.C. It was discovered 1636 and during the Mayan era, women were governing. I like that a lot :-)

 

It was awesome to walk around because the site is huge and there weren’t many people. It was peaceful. I met some fellow travellers, a couple from Alaska which I went to have lunch with later on and some Mexicans who were on a short vacation with their family. As a solo traveler I like the nice chats during visiting touristy places.

 

Back at the hostel I heated myself up with a hot shower because the temperature dropped a few degrees. I changed as well into warmer clothes. The showers I’ve tried first, didn’t have warm water. Therefore, I went to ask at the reception if there aren’t any warm ones. I had to argue with the receptionist and I had to explain, that I really want a hot shower to use. I don't mind having a cold shower but I was cold and I didn’t wanted to get a cold, so I kept arguing until I was able to go to a dorm and use their hot shower. 

 

As my room was very small and dark, I decided to sit outside in the garden area next to another girl. We started talking and I got to met Sami, an Argentinian woman who is traveling often to Mexico because her sister lives in Mexico City. We had right away a good vibe and we decided to have a beer together. That night we got to talk a lot about our life, about our dreams and fears, about our passions and love life. It’s amazing how quick a friendship can develop when you are traveling and when you are open and honest. That’s one of the many reasons why I love traveling. Sami is a psychologist and she uses the Gestalt therapy. Of course I was very interested in knowing more about it. And all the time we spoke Spanish. I was getting better with it and I still remember the differences from Spanish and Castilian from when I was traveling in Argentina some years ago. 

The next day I had my tour booked at 12 pm and I got picked up at my hostel. I had to say good bye to Sami. That’s always the down side when you travel: you have to leave awesome people - that you have just met - behind you. But nowadays we all have WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram etc. so it’s easy to stay in touch and sometimes you meet again on your trip because travellers tend to have similar routs. 

 

The ride to San Cristobal de las Casas was very curvy, luckily I’m used to curvy roads from back home in Italy. I made myself comfortable for a longer ride. We stopped at Misol-ha and at Agua Azul, which are both waterfalls. We had a third stop to reorganise our vans and the passengers, as not everyone went to San Cristobal. Some passengers instead went back to Palenque. Some confusion started spreading amongst the passengers because there were almost six different vans to reorganise. Our group had to wait the longest and in the end I got into a normal car, which I’m not sure was just driving randomly by or was called by our tour guides. Two guys from Barcelona and me got to ride to San Cristobal in a brand new VW car, which was a nice and welcoming chance because we could drive faster then with a van. In the end we arrived at 10 pm and tired from the whole day at San Cristobal. 

San Cristobal de las Casas 14. - 17.01.2018

 

I found my hostel right away and it was a nice and warm welcoming atmosphere, 100 times nicer then the one I stayed before. I was lucky that I still got a free private room there. It was a house with three floors, a terrace, a lot of chill out areas and an open fire place which was the best, because in San Cristobal it was cold, almost freezing cold. Luckily I had my big winter jacket and warm shoes with me. Throughout the whole hostel were a lot of inspiring quotes. After a hot shower I fell tired into bed and I was happy to get a decent sleep. 

The next morning I got served breakfast at the hostel: coffee, fresh fruits with granola and some bread with jam and guacamole. I was still half asleep but nonetheless I chatted with other travellers and I got to hear their stories and what is good to see and to do in this town. This is how a hostel life should be! I felt still tired and a bit dizzy probably due to the altitude: San Cristobal is situated at 2.200 m. 

 

I decided to have an easy chill morning and to join later on the group of Tobi. He is the first German i’ve met on my trip so far. We were a group of eight people who wanted to head to a nearby town called Chamula, where we could witness an unique ritual which locals held in the church there. 

 

I was hungry for an adventure. Our group walked by busy markets and the streets of San Cristobal to find a collectivo stand. 

After a 20 minutes drive and each 18 Mexican Pesos later, we arrived at the small town Chamula. We walked excited to the church. I took the chance to talk to Amit, a girl from Israel, who travels already for more then two years and who takes Spanish lessons in San Cristobal. In this short time we chatted very openly about our past, what we are looking to find meanwhile traveling, our personalities and about a female yoga practise called Yoga Nashit. Wow, there was it again: the fast connection between two complete strange persons, but both willing to open up and share their intimate thoughts and feelings. It’s unbelievable how easy this kind of conversation can take place and how hard it is to have this kind of talks back at home, in our daily life and with our friends and family. I wish I would have more conversations like this, they are highly inspiring. Each time I grow and learn so much; a wonderful feeling takes over and lasts usually some days. 

 

We reached the church after stopping at the local market and eating some fruits. We paid an entrance fee of 25 Pesos and we were told the rules: no photos, no videos, no hats or glasses. Before entering the holy church we decided we should get some information up front. Luckily I’ve still had my Mexican sim card and enough GB, that we could just ask Google about the rituals held in that church. Ella and Rell, two best friends from London, took the part of being our tour guide for that day and they explained us the history of the church and the rituals held in there: The native people blend their traditional rituals with the Catholic which were introduced by missionaries in the past. 

 

When we entered the church we saw thousands of candles all over the floor and on tables. The walls were lined with statures of saints adorned with mirrors to ward off evil. There are no pews; fresh pine needles carpet the empty floor.

There were some small groups of families, which swept first the floor and then put a lot of candles directly to the tiles. The families drank Coca-Cola or Fanta and “pox" - the regional distillate produced from corn - and then they burped with the intention of evacuating malicious spirits. The family absorbed their maladies into chicken eggs and cured them by waving a hen in a plastic bag overhead. 

I was glad we didn’t get to witness the killing of chicken in the church which can be part of their rituals. 

 

After this exciting experienced we were all hungry and headed to a local taco place. 

 

The next day I took a free walking tour, with meeting point at 10 am at the main square in San Cristobal. Later on that day (at 7 pm to be precisely) I would take a night bus to Campeche. 

 

The free walking tour was amazing, we walked trough many different areas of the city and we got to enjoy free samples of food and drinks in different restaurants and bars. What I really liked about the city are the street art and the local markets. 

 

After the tour I met up with Sami, the Argentinian woman who I have met in Palenque. She just arrived as well to San Cristobal and we had some hours to spend together. We took the time to talk more about us and about our personal life. I was very glad and happy to see her again. Saying again good bye to Sami was sad but I know we  are going to see us somewhen again. I will visit her in Mar de Plata some day. 

 

I went back to my hostel to say good bye to Tobi, Elle and Relli. We had a beer together and we talked about our personal projects which we would like to accomplish in the future. A lot of inspiring stories were shared and we all agreed to keep in contact. Unfortunately Amit wasn’t there, so I couldn't say good bye to her. 

With a very good vibe and spirit I reached the bus station and I went in the bathroom to brush my teeth before boarding the bus. I like to brush my teeth before and after a long journey. I had 14 hours of bus ride ahead of me. Well, I was again well prepared with enough warm clothes and my Mac. 

 

I’m breaking this story apart as 3 1/2 pages are enough. Or would it be okay for you to keep reading now? Let me know!

 

My next blog will follow soon, where I will continue the story from day 17. to 19.01.2018. 

 

I’m breaking this story apart as 3 1/2 pages are enough. Or would it be okay for you to keep reading now? Let me know!

 

 

My next blog will follow soon, where I will continue the story from day 17. to 19.01.2018. 

 

Take care my friends and keep chasing your dreams!

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