A wise man once said, "A great Pizza is not made, it's born". Of course I may be paraphrasing, or even making it up, but I believe that was the gist of it. This is the tale of how two great pizza's were born, and how they were then, promptly killed (consumed) by yours truly.
We arrived in San Cristobal late in the afternoon. And after 5 hour ride on some of the most windy and "topéy" (yes, this is a new word) roads I have ever had the displeasure to travel on, we were tired and wanted nothing more than to rest and relax. So that night I just settled into the house of my new Host Family... or as I call them, roommates (as I have said before they are both my age). We sat around that night and talked and had a nice soup dinner (little did I know that this was just a prelude of what dinner was going to be for the next month... soup every single night, without exception).
The next day we woke up early and headed down the "hill" toward Tuxla Gutierrez, the capital of the state and the nearest big city. The drive down from SCLC to TG is one of the most stunning you will ever experience. The caratera (highway) starts you up at 6000 feet (above the clouds) and in 30 minutes you go to virtually sea level. The highway is constructed so that you can for miles, and watch as the earth slowly gets closer. Add to that the incredible effect of the temperature rising 20-30 degrees (F) in that time frame, and the vegetation changing from pines (like New England) to Palms (think Florida). Sorry no pictures of the ride yet.
At the bottom of the hill we got off at a small town called Cahare. From there we walked to the river and found ourselves a lancha (speedboat). Along with 12 other people we started our 2 hour tour of Cañon de Sumedero. The ride started out disappointing for me. The first 15 minutes we were traveling between small hill, and I remember thinking to myself "they are really exaggerating with the whole canyon thing", but just as I was about to complain, we turned a corner and there it was. Edecanes.
Walls of rock going up hundreds of feet on either side. Small patches of vegetation made could be found all over the rocks. At times our guide spotted small monkeys playing in the trees, vultures sunbathing on hot rocks, and aligators taking a mud bath (I did find out later that there is a swiming competition that takes place in the canyon every year... I wonder if the competitors know they have reptilian company?).
Along the tour we had the typical stops you expect, "look here is a formation of rock that looks like a sea horse... ". And while it was an impressive looking rock, I would have to stetch my imagination pretty far (probably with the aid of alcohol) to see a seahorse. The one, most impresive thing you see on this tour is a calcium formation they call "El Arbol de Navidad" or the Xmas tree. And from the pictures, I don't think I need to explain why. The canyon tour goes until you reach a large lagoon created by the construction of a large hydro-electric plant. I was amused to see a small boat pull up to us and sell us beers at this point in the tour. After this small beer break, we made our way quickly back the way we came. After 2 hours in the hot afternoon sun, we were all happy to finally find some shade.
After the canyon I made my way back to San Cris and spent the afternoon just miandering down some of the streets and people watching. And there is plenty to see. Between the local indigenous people, the hippie population, to the hordes of European tourists, and the local Metzito population, it is almost like watching a parade of interesting cultures. Add to that the backdrop of green mountains and old catholic churches and it is easy to pass the time. Those who visit will get to see, and be part of this.
To end the two days as a group (with Joe and Maryem) we went out to a Pizza place called El Puente. This is a small "hole in the wall" pizza joint with only 4 tables. It is run by a Italian guy named Pietro. It is also home to the best Pizza's I think I have ever had. After two very busy days, I was starving. So I asked him to give birth to two of these delicacies for me... and promptly ended there lives. Ok, so the story did not have much to do with pizzas... but I was at a loss for a title for this entry. :Learn Spanish Mexico Spanish Schools in Queretaro Querétaro Queretaro, Mexico
San Cristobal Spanish School, San Cristobal Language School