Category Archives: Mexico

A Week of Tacos in San Cristobal

San Cristobal

June 27 – July 1

We nearly never made it through Chiapas, thanks largely to the ever increasing road blockades happening throughout Southern Mexico (specifically Chiapas & Oaxaca). Prior to San Cristobal we met the first one. While we can truly appreciate the strife and anger of the teachers who are demonstrating, we really did not want to be stopped (again) from getting to our destination. Thankfully, at least at this blockade, the teachers were unarmed, there were no police present and we sort of just pushed our way through…gently of course because we like teachers.

San Cristobal is another perfect city, similar in feeling to Antiqua, Guatemala. Colonial, beautifully chilly, with its culture and vibes yet to be tarnished by the gringo effect. We spent nearly a week here, stocking up on our first Mexican Tacos and working out some business. As we got to know the city better and better, we also got to find the cheaper and cheaper tacos. Eventually, we stumbled upon the 2 peso (14 cent cdn) Al Pastor tacos by the public market. BINGO.

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If you are in the city, you have to experience the absolutely insane market which boasts an extremely eclectic variety of goods; anything from plastic goods manufactured in China, to traditional medicine, to live chickens (30 pesos) hanging off ladies arms like purses, to perfectly balanced produce, to withered mountain women selling sheep wool.

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We bought 3 different kinds of chilis in order to test out the spiciness levels and try to kill the suspected parasite that is worming its way through our body. These are listed by heat level, hottest first.

Later, I made them into a hot sauce, which was delicious for the first microsecond and then completely inedible.

Peruvian White Habanero Peppers 100000 – 350000 Scovilles

DSC02297Aji Variation (we suspect) Scovilles unknown

DSC02300Bird’s Eye Pepper 100000 – 350000 Scovilles

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The Mayan Medicine Museum is obviously a place to learn about the rich mayan medicine still being practiced throughout southern Mexico, but also a place of worship, and a practicing mayan herbal pharmacy. We were lucky enough to be there during celebrations for a local holiday which included homemade fire crackers and a gathering within the chapel where we were offered refreshments (Orange Crush) by the attendees.

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Although we are not certain, we are deeply suspicious of the mannequins. The detail is so great on the hands and feet we suspect they may be actual embalmed humans…

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This time of year the streets are pretty empty, but that makes for better traveling sometimes. Having the place to yourself is not so bad.

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Mexico Bound – Version 1 & 2

Side Note: Due to the continued parasite issue, the assumption that Brett may have had a bout of Zika, and the fact that my back was destroyed… our volcano hike was out. Please don’t shame us, it really just didn’t work out this time


 

We peaced from the lake and headed northward, Mexican bound. This drive took us over some of the highlands, and through small bucolic pueblos which were so picturesque it was hard to envision them getting the majority of the brutalities during the 80s’. These places suffered incredible atrocities, but remain some of the most beautiful landscapes on earth. We were constantly yelling at each other to “Look!” out the window. Northern Guatemala, you are on the top of our bucket list.

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Then, we were at the Mexico border. The Guatemalan side was smooth and easy. After crossing into Mexico you must drive down into the border town, which is about 4 kms away. We did. We entered Mexico passport wise, and then were outright rejected vehicle wise. Because, being Sunday afternoon, some over-scrupulous border guard decided that our paperwork didn’t match. We have a lot of colourful words now for this situation, but at the time we were struck by sheer fear.

We were being denied because James Easton Brett (name on registration) did not match Brett James Easton (name on passport). This is besides the fact that the passport number matched on every single document, that we explained to him it was simply Panama, and here are all the other government documents we have that show all kinds of formats, and that the other border officials were trying to convince him it was obviously the same person. No. He said no, we would have to go back to panama to fix it. Or sign the back of the registration to sell it from James to Brett. Which is also a bad idea sir.

The other option was wait until Monday morning and talk to his jefe at 8am. So we spent a very dejected night at the auto hotel across the street feeling really sorry for our situation. We ate a lot of shitty candy and drank a lot of beer to feel better. It was like Panama all over again.

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8AM, we waited for El jefe. The official opened shop and whether he was the jefe or not we never found out because he simply processed us within 20 minutes and didn’t ask any questions. He easily and correctly assumed that James and Brett were the same people. Like ANY NORMAL PERSON WOULD ASSUME.

And then we were in Mexico!

We celebrated by visiting Lagos de Colon, the place we had meant to go originally but were denied by a official with a vendetta. It was stunning, and highly recommend it to anyone looking to cool down, spend a night camping, or to celebrate their border crossing.

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Brett Celebrated by getting naked. Obviously.

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Here we are with our immediately adopted Mexican family, and our very first Michelada.

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