Beachtime in Zipolite and sightseeing in Tuxtla

Our time in Zipolite was wonderful. We stayed at a great sandy beach directly next to shady palm huts and jumped into the pleasantly warm water of the Pacific to cool off a bit whenever we wanted to. Zipolite is somewhat off the beaten track, and a lot of old 68ers live here, so the atmosphere is completely relaxed, and the beach invites you to stay and just do nothing. Our children had lots of fun with Carine and Andreas’s, and we even celebrated Tobias’s birthday together. Punctually in time for coffee and cake, we were joined by Liliane and Nick from South Africa, who were traveling through Mexico in their son’s tracks. Totally rested and relaxed and ready for new impressions, we set off for Chiapas, the poorest, but probably also most interesting state in Mexico.

And here are some private pictures.

First, however, we came to the Isthmus of Mexico, where the two oceans are only 130 miles (210km) apart and the mountains no higher than 820 ft (250m). This makes is a very special climate. The constant, very strong wind is used for supplying energy by means of big wind power stations, and it also seems to influence the inhabitants extremely positively. In Tehuantepec, we wanted to make a quick stop for lunch and found a lively, authentic market with an unbelievably warm atmosphere. We were immediately invited to lunch, and Carla and Robert captivated the hearts of the market women by storm – and were given a lot of delicious fruit as a present. After spending a night at a nearby gas station, the local policeman also tested how catching the friendliness and generosity of the locals had been. This was the first and only time that we had to give a Mexican policeman a little cash. Overwhelmed by the region, we left it to our Bremach to fight courageously against the wind until we finally arrived back in mountainous country. It became cooler, the wind stopped blowing, and we reached Tuxtla Gutierrez.

For the first time, we saw something like slums, a lot of makeshift corrugated metal and wood huts. At least in the outlying districts of the city, more poverty is seen here than in the other cities we have seen so far. We took advantage of the time in a bigger city to do some shopping and fix some little things on the Bremach, so we didn’t see much of the downtown area. Instead, we went to to zoo and looked at the local animals in lovely exhibitions. Among other animals, there are big iguanas, long snakes, crocodiles, monkeys, jaguars, pumas, and so on in Chiapas – in short, we were completely surprised at the variety of animals you can meet up with here. The zoo is so harmoniously fit into its surroundings that some of the animals there, for example, the monkeys, amaze not just the visitors, but also their wild natural companions.

but also their wild natural companions.
The biggest attraction in the city is the Canyon de Sumidero, a deep canyon about 3,280 ft (1000m) deep which can be traveled through by boat thanks to a big dam. In small, very fast boats, you can travel over 28 miles (45km) into the canyon and let yourself be amazed: walls 3,280 ft (1000m) high on both sides which are overgrown with all different kinds of tropical vegetation, lots of river crocodiles sunning themselves on the sandbanks, and all sorts of feathered animals. The fast boat ride is an experience for itself and is made even more special by such splendid surroundings. Unfortunately, garbage and trash of every sort is disposed of up-river and then gets collected in the lake in the canyon. Since the canyon is a national park, a lot is done to clear the water, but, nevertheless, we saw several garbage patches and our boat even had to navigate its way through one carefully. We were not completely surprised by this since garbage has become an almost constant companion for us in Mexico – it is in the streets, in parking lots, along hiking paths, in a nutshell, wherever people are found, there is garbage and litter. It is only the national parks, downtown city centers, and cultural monuments that are clean; whatever is dropped on the ground in such places is cleared away with lots of initiative.

The next day, we looked down into the canyon from up above it and spent over half a day looking down and taking walks at the viewpoints along the rim.

Private pictures from our time in and aroud Tuxtla can be found here.

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