The trip started with a loooong long bus ride, that should have lasted about 12 hours and ended up lasting 16... Finally I arrived at Palenque and visited the mayan ruins that are just amazing! I was blown away not just by the beauty and magic reflected by these buildings built so long ago, but also by its incredible surroundings. I saw trees unlike any trees I had seen before! Rainforest is something incredible....
After Palenque, a quick visit to Misol-Ha waterfalls, as well as Agua Azul (that were mostly brown since it had been raining for days), and by the end of the day a bus ride to San Cristobal (around 200kms with more than 400 speed bumps, you do the math). Finally I arrived at Backpackers Hostel, and so began 7 days of one of the best trips I have ever had....
Chiapas is a beautiful state with so much culture and magic. It made me really proud to finally visit this place and learn a little about its culture, its politics, etc. However, probablly the best part about this trip was getting to know the people I met during my journey:
Juliana and Sarah: American and British, two girls that studied in Veracruz (that's in the Atlantic coast eh?) lovely pair. Juliana is a sign-language interpreter who made us laugh a lot while trying to teach us bad words and describing how she had to interpret a scene of the Vagina Monologues with her dad in the audience. Sarah was very nice and took forever to be ready in the morning.
Pierre: always with a cool, calm pose and a cigarrette, Pierre had the strange ability to suddenly disappear from view, only to appear later sleeping in his bed at the hostel. He was doing some research about the PRD party and the last elections. A really fun person to be with!
Olivier: probably the most friendly one of all, with gorgeous eyes and above all an amazing cook! He made dinner for us all and shared some of his chicken soup with me. I liked the way he got mad when his spanish wasn't perfect, the way he tried to read in spanish and underlined every word he couldn't understand (which were many) and then looked them all up in an atempt to learn faster. He plans to go to Congo in a few months...
Tristan: a french guy with an Ozzy english accent. He has been travelling around the world, he can eat aaanything, and he loooves dancing salsa. On his behalf I must say he is one of the very few french men who can actually dance...and he does it quite well!
Tim: A cabinet maker from the US...he seems like such a free spirit. He got his first tatoo at 16 (it covers almost his whole back) , and gets a new one every 5 years..this year is his turn for a brand new tatoo... He has a very veeery big heart, loves the outdoors, and oddly enough he is the only backpacker I've ever met that has no e-mail account.
Steph: the flying dutchman, gets excited when he hears music originally from home being played at some pub. Madly in love with his girlfriend, traveling companion to tim...just a really fun person to be with.
Ruben: another one from belgium! Teaches physic-ed to kids between 6 and 12. He had been saving for 2 years and is now travelling on his bike from the US to Rio de Janeiro. Such a lovely person with a contagious smile. I loved the way he just did what his heart told him to and how he lives every day fully... a person from whom there's much to learn.
And then there were Maya the girl from Israel who had been in the army and was really tough, Rafael a 40-something years old man who decided to leave everythin in order to just live, Pauline from Holland who was the tallest girl I've met! and the guys from the hostel who where fun mexicans that could dance better than anyone I've ever danced with!
As you can see, this trip wasn't just good because of the Rainforest, or the beautifull sights, or because I jumped above a waterfall with my new japanese friend, or the wonderful coffee... it was perfect because of the people I met, who made me believe that life can always be so much more than what we expect it to be... It can be surprising, dramatic, and exotic, if only we find the courage to get on that bus, or that plain, or that bike, and take a few steps to where your heart points at....
this trip was all I needed...now it's time to get to work!!!