CHIAPAS

We slept, relaxed and caught up with friends and met new ones. It was fun to talk to the cruisers who arrive here from the opposite direction. We asked them lots of questions about where they came from and answer their questions about where we had been. It was fun talking about where we were headed and to remember where we had been.
We took a Macaw Tour Tapachula to Guatemala with another couple from the marina. Crossing the border was quite interesting… We walked over the bridge dividing the two countries and watched people from Guatemala with their clothes held above their heads walking across the river into Mexico. We also saw a large “raft” on inner tubes using a line to cross the river. The authorities seemed to do nothing. We took the more acceptable route walking across the border checking out and in of each country.
The part of Guatemala we visited was very mountainous, thick jungle and quite poor. The people looked different from Mexicans as well. They were very small with distinctive facial features. Like the Mexican people, they were very welcoming and friendly. They speak Spanish, but many of the words and pronunciations were different from the Spanish in Mexico.
We stopped for dinner and ate a lovely Guatemalan meal of beef, beans, potatoes, plantains and coffee. It was quite good and cooked in a different way than we had become accustomed too. After dinner, we toured the two towns; San Pedro and San Marcos. (Google these town for an interesting history lesson!) Next, it was off to a couple of bars for local beer – Gallo which we liked. Then we went to our hotel for some sleep.
Early the next morning we were taken to a reserve to hike through the jungle (it was cold by the way) and search for the Quetzal bird. We had a local guide who told us all about the area and plants while Arturo translated while two other spotters were out looking for the birds. It was exciting to find the bird and how beautiful!
We were becoming hungry and in need of coffee so we headed back up the mountain where breakfast was being prepared for us. We all ate our fill (and then some) and enjoyed some coffee. Then it was back out for another hike into the jungle to look for more birds. We were rewarded again.
We all took off layers of clothes and went back to the warm weather clothes we had become so used to before heading down the mountain and back to Mexico. I loved watching the combis (vans that are used for commuting) and the busses that they paint so beautifully.
Back in Mexico and back aboard Mermaid we were exhausted. We showered, sat in the cockpit before retiring quite early. The next morning after checking tides and weather we decided we would depart on Saturday. So, the routine began… We caught a ride from the marina with 20 jerry cans to the Pemex station, filled them and carted them (in several trips) down the dock to Mermaid. We filled the tanks and carted the cans back up the dock just in time to catch a ride to Walmart to finish our provisioning. We really didn’t need much as we had provisioned in Huatulco but found ourselves filling the cart saying “ya don’t know when we will see this again.” Enrique (the marina manager) picked us up and took us back to the marina where we hauled everything to the boat and started the process of finding room for it all.
Our wonderful friends on Pegasus let us do our laundry (again) and when I say let us do that meant we handed it to them. As busy as the day was there was no way we would have gotten the laundry done in buckets aboard Mermaid. Such wonderful people and good friends!
Friday we did the paperwork chacha to check out of the country. Memo drove 6 couples around to all the places we needed to go and helped us check out. Enrique even did our paperwork before we went. That took most of the day but Memo made it kinda fun… He put the guys in the back of the pick up truck and the ladies inside with him. He even sang to the ladies while driving. We finally got mostly checked out (we pay our marina bill and the Navy comes to the boat right before we leave). We had James and Charlotte over to Mermaid for some papaya curry and a cruiser from Bulgaria joined us. I made chocolate ice cream but it was such a hot evening that it never became ice cream… Something to look forward to on our passage…
Today we will get our Zarpe (exit papers) and depart Mexico. Leaving will be both exciting and sad… We are excited to explore other countries but we have certainly loved our time in Mexico.

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