Date of Trip: August 2008
This was a 3 weeks road trip taken by myself, my wife, and young daughter.
We started our journey from the beautiful Hacienda Teya situated just outside the city of Merida where we spent 2 wonderful nights. We travelled south to the city of Campeche in the state of the same name, where we decided to stay 2 more nights. Our first day was spent at the amazing site of Edzna, and was fortunate to be the only persons at the site. Over the 3 hours we spent at Edzna we managed to climb and explore the whole site, with some fantastic photographs to accompany our visit.
Our hotel in Campeche was a very colonial style boutique hotel in the centre of the city walls. Campeche was steeped in history, from Maya to the Spanish influence, and provided a few museums to enjoy visiting.
Onward with our journey we continued South to Villeramosa where we decided to find a hotel for the night before our onward journey to Veracruz. Moving away from the relatively low lands of the Yucatan Peninsula, we started to experience the lush green mountain regions of Mexico. The highlight of our trip into Veracruz was the white water rapids of the Rio de Oro, with breathtaking views from all angles.
No time to ponder the beauty too much, because our driving time was going to be taken up travelling to the far southern border of Veracruz, which borders the state of Oaxaca. Unfortunately this took us along a very winding road climbing into the mountains, and descending very steeply, which obviously didn’t help my wife daughter with a serious bout of motion sickness. Without sounding un-sympathetic, this allowed us a short stop to take in the spectacular views from the mountainside into the deep valley below.
After some hair raising manouvres with the local combi minivans & truck drivers we eventually made our way down and arrived at our destination for a 4 night stopover.
Oaxaca city was to be home for a next leg of the journey, and we settled fo a quaint but modern hotel right in the middle of the city. Our first night was spent just taking in the ambience of the zocalo (town square) with local traders selling their wares, and entertainers providing great entertainment.
The next day started off late due to well earned late rise from our slumber. We found a nice restaurant which provided traditional Oaxacan food where brunch was served. This overlooked the cathedral in the square, and buzz of locals going abaout their usual routines.
It never fails to amaze me the amount of “shoeshine” vendors you find in most Mexican cities, and always local businessmen taking up most of them, with newspapers at hand. A true sense of the “real Mexico” come over me when I observed that for the first time!
The next day for us was a trip to the Pre Columbian site of Monte Alban, and another great pleasure to behold. No hoards of tourist to trip over or get in the way of your photographs. I probably reeled off around 200 plus pictures during the few hours we spent, and of course we had to make sure some “family snaps” where included in them too.
The next couple of days was spent “as locals”, searching the local markets for gifts and provisions for our journey into Chiapas. San Cristobal de las Casas was our next stop! Although we had visited there in 2000 we only spent one night in the town itself, so we decided on a few more nights this time to ensure we make up for all the places we missed last journey.
I had spoken with a friend of mine before we started our journey, and he mentioned about a very rustic hacienda just on the outskirts of the city (Hacienda Don Juan). Which reminded him of going back in time to pre-Spanish Mexico. I vowed to look it up when I arrived in San Cristobal, and to see if we could reserve a room for the duration of out stay.
When we eventually found Hacienda Don Juan, we instantly fell in love with it. It was everything that was explained and more. The owner was an amazing guy who made us feel so welcome we didn’t want to leave. I dont think I could write anything here that would do it justice, except to say I have some fantastic photographs of the place.
……………this is part one of our journey which is only half way through! Part two will follow soon!!