October 11 & 12, 2011
I started early today, back towards the main highway to get pictures of the flood that had covered the streets the day before, but the flood waters had receded. It looked as if nothing had happened. A photo opportunity missed.
Needing Pesos I decided to stop in the next big town and find a bank, which turned out to be only 50 kilometers down the highway. The town was busy and had a festive feeling, which was until the police pulled me over. Two police on a 650 Suzuki V-Strom motioned for me to pull over and started speaking Spanish. They were both inspecting my bike and I was expecting they were going to ask for my vehicle import papers. Both officers really seemed to like my Denali spot lights. Instead of asking for my license or papers they just said “a donde vas, Amigo” (where are you going my friend) and shook my hand. I showed them my route on a small map I now carry of North and South America. I eventually asked them why they stopped me (as best I could in my limited Spanish) to which they indicated I was going the wrong way down a one way street. I told them I needed Pesos. The next thing I knew I was getting a police escort to the bank.
With Pesos in my pocket and freshly shined boots (thanks to a local shoeshine boy) I was back on the highway heading for the town of Chiapa de Corzo. I arrived early enough to do a jet boat tour of an amazing canyon, the river hosts many crocodiles (I saw six in total) and many different species of birds. The tour was about two hours long and only 160 Pesos. I highly recommend stopping here and doing the tour and exploring the city.
A violent storm and nasty smelling pillow kept me up part of the night but I managed to get an early start to what turned out to be one of the scariest rides so far. I started off in light rain for San Cristobal de las Casas, only a short distance away. The fog grew really thick and I could barely see in front of me, the road was also very slippery. I was able to follow the car in front of me but he eventually turned off. At one point the entire right lane had been washed out, there was no guard rail or warnings, there was also no place to pull over. As I started too descend the fog started to lift, the road was less slippery and my path was clear again. The locals here dress in traditional Mexican Indian clothing and are very friendly, I waved to people more in this short stretch of highway than I have since I entered Mexico. The rain picked up again and after a short tour of San Cristobal de las Casas I called it a day at the Fiesta Inn.
The Fiesta Inn is very new, just opened last week, and I was happy to pay a bit more for this place than I have the past several nights. The manager speaks excellent English (he studied in Canada) and the waitress I had a lunch spoke English well and offered me tips on the area, the town and gave me maps and brochures. I might stay two nights, the pillow smells nice.
Impress the Mexican Police with your Denali LED lights from Twisted Throttle. They are, without a doubt the best accessory on my motorcycle. http://www.twistedthrottle.com/trade/productview/5224