Friday, July 24, 2015

Tuxtla Gutierrez, the capital of Chiapas

Tuxtla Gutierrez, the capital of Chiapas

15 Julio 2015

Marina Chiapas to Tuxtla Gutierrz - black line
With a BC Days long weekend party in the Okanagan coming quickly, we decided to treat ourselves to some long line bus travel as opposed to the short distance chicken buses. Our first leg from Tapachula to Tuxtla Gutierrez on the ADO Bus line, followed the Pacific coastal plain northwest for about 3 hours. The inactive volcanos in the mountain chain to the right made a stunning back drop to the lush farm country we travelled in.

Eventually we turned north into the mountains and back to the slow twisting mountain roads. Every village has a series of speed bumps that bring the traffic to a halt as they travel through them. There must have been absolute carnage on the roads for everyone to reach the conclusion that these speed bumps are a viable solution. They add hours to all journeys and the freight costs must reflect the added time. The big trucks crawl from speed bump to speed bump until they get free of the villages for ten to fifteen kilometer intervals, only to be reduced to a crawl again.

The canyon views are amazing. Small farms cling to the hillsides where clearing is possible. Where it is too steep, the verdant jungle greens of a thousand shades, close in, iridescent after a rain fall.

The cooler mountain air was appreciated, as we caught a cab from the bus station to our hotel, the Hostel Tres Central. It is a new clean hotel one block from the central plaza with a roof deck bar /restaurant which made a perfect place to start our days. Tuxtla is a clean, friendly, growing city with mostly newer construction. Transportation is easy with people sharing information for collectivo van routes.

The open plan Central Plaza surrounded by the Cathedral and State and Municipal Offices
The Marimba Plaza, about six blocks from the Central Plaza, has a central octagonal bandstand surrounded by shade trees and wrought iron seating where every night Marimba bands play and the locals come out to dance around the bandstand. Large families collect and visit and dance and visit and laugh. A fun place but we unfortunately did not get any photographs as it was an evening visit.
After two days it was time to head to San Christobal de las Casas to meet some other cruising people.

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