Hello dear readers. Here we come to the last but one post. The journey is in fact almost to the end. I am in Cancun, a very touristy town, where tomorrow I’ll fly to the legendary Cuba!
Let’s recap the last few days. From San Cristobal I went to Oaxaca, a beautiful city, where I met with Ketty, a friend from my city (Benevento), and her boyfriend Gianluca. We visited Monte Alban where there are the ruins of the most important city of the Toltecs. Then we went to sea in Mazunte, a bit ‘south of Puerto Escondido. We didn’t do many baths because the Pacific, as always, was angry, but the idleness of the village wrapped up nicely.
In the next village, San Agustin, there were waves even higher (whatever Lonely Planet says), spectacular, about 3 meters, while on the beach of Zipolite seemed as if just happened a tsunami. In fact, in earlier days, the storms made big damage.
I went back to San Cristobal with Ketty and Giuanluca, and we visited Oventic, a village about an hour by road, under control of the Zapatistas. Small, there was not much to see except beautiful murals on wooden houses praising the EZLN and the revolution.
After, I left Ketty and Gianluca, and to break the journey from Chiapas to the Yucatan I stopped one day in Campeche, a tidy city, with colorful houses, a beautiful promenade, and walls and bastions built after countless pirate attacks.
And finally in Cancun, I’ve already been here fifteen years ago and walking I can’t figure out if I remember it or if I confuse with other tourist cities made with the same stencil, perhaps in a another continent or planet. Of nice there is only the sea, even the beaches are almost all fake, the sand brought from elsewhere. Another problem: to get to the beach often I had to pass through luxurious hotels full of rich gringos(*).
(*) ”Gringos” is the way in Mexico and Central America the U.S.A citizens are called. Comes from “green go” addressed to the marines.
The church of Chamula, near San Cristobal, one of the most evocative places visited during this trip. Inside, the syncretism between the Catholic religion and the ancient Mayan traditions is evident. Unfortunately it was forbidden to take pictures.
Dark, bare of decorations – the only are large flakes of colored cloth hanging from the ceiling. The floor is covered with pine needles and candles, around which sit and pray the faithful, some with chickens to be sacrificed. All around, tables with candles and statues of saints, often dressed in bright colors. There isn’t the altar and the place of honor, top center, is occupied by St. John, because the city is San Juan de Chamula. Even Jesus is in a position less visible, on the left.
Then, just before leaving San Cristobal, I saw in the museum of Mayan medicine that these rituals have very specific rules, such as the number and color of candles to light depending on whether it is to cast the evil eye, the envy, some disease or illness, etc… Rituals that have been handed down orally for thousands of years.
Monte Alban, near Oaxaca. For over a millennium was the most important city of the Toltecs. Founded around 500 BC, reached in the early centuries AD a population between 15,000 and 30,000 inhabitants. It was abandoned around 750 A.D.
At the entrance the Zapatistas ask general information. Sometimes they take the passport during the visit and ask questions to see what is known of the EZLN. To me, Ketty and Gianluca asked only name, nationality and profession, and few minutes later we were in.
See you next time for the last episode!