I know I shouldn’t compare. I know I should live in the moment, focus on what is in front of me, not develop a “been there, done that” mentality. And yet, the more I travel, the more these inevitable comparisons raise their ugly head.
The comparisons began again during our time in San Cristobal de las Casas. Now, don’t get me wrong, comparisons do not necessarily breed contempt for one over another. San Cris is an amazing city. Set high in the hills of Chiapas, in southern Mexico, this vibrant city offers up incredible year-round weather surrounded by lush jungle. Everywhere you look there are indigenous tribes in vibrant, woven clothing. The food was delicious, the sightseeing interesting, and the prices inexpensive. I felt as though I was in a SE Asian hill town.Well, except for the frequent fireworks, a sure sign of a Latin culture.
For two decades San Cristobal is one place in Mexico I had really wanted to experience. In all of our exploration of the country, San Cris had always been far removed from anywhere else geographically. Too far to make for an easy addition to our typical beach vacations.
And yet I was intrigued by the culture, by the location high in the hills of “dangerous” Chiapas, by the nearbyb ruins and the waterfalls,by the largely indigenous population of the region.
Fast forward to the present. As we continued the journey south we finally arrived in this place, this remote, and yet very livable city, unsure what we would find.
What we found was something close to perfect. With a, perhaps temporary, peace between protesters and the government, we were able to breeze into the city, unhindered by the roadblocks that had crippled the city for months. We found a lovely homebase at San Nicholas RV park, offering up shade trees, a big grassy lawn, hot showers, and within walking distance to downtown. What it lacked in reliable wi-fi, it made up for in location alone.
In wandering the colorful streets, memories of SE Asia kept resurfacing. Pedestrian streets lined with cheap eats nestled in next to massage shops. The vibrant outfits of the local villagers spoke to hill tribes everywhere.
Our days were spent fighting with the campgrounds wi-fi, while eating our way through town. A festive Argentinian asado with camp buddies, cochinita pibil seven ways, and funky burritos were all a hit.
For a place so scenic, I didn’t take a lot of photos. Sometimes you just hit a wall, and simply want to be in the moment rather than documenting it. Perhaps, because of the similarity to SE Asia, it simply felt comfortable and homey. But, rest assured, this is one magnificent spot in the world. One I’m pretty sure I just may have to go back one day.