Day 48: San Cristobol de las Casas, MX to Comitán de Domínguez, MX

We ate our Frosted Flakes for breakfast in the hostel’s kitchen, then got on our way after finding a ATM to get some cash at a plaza on the edge of town. The Pan-American Highway was a bit hilly here, but nowhere near as tough as the Chiapas Highlands of the previous two days. The surrounding terrain was mountainous with pine forests; if you just looked around at the hilltops, you could image that you were in the Pacific Northwest.

We had a nice little descent into the city of Teopisca, where we stopped for a second breakfast. There were two other men having a meal there; one was wearing a Pittsburgh Steelers jacket.

We did some more mild hill-climbing in the early afternoon, and then a tremendous thunderstorm started. We tried riding through it for a bit, but it was too heavy and too cold, so we stopped and took shelter at the top of the hill where we happened to be, where there happened to be a half-constructed shell of a new convenience store.

The rain only came down harder as we waited under the tin roof of the shelter. A couple of taxis stopped to drop off local residents, and they waited under the shelter with us. One of them happened to be a man and his young son; the man said that he was the owner of the store being built, and his house was just up the slope of the hill behind us. He started using a bucket and the rainwater to rinse off the floor of his store, helped by his boy and some other young children who where there waiting for the rain to pass. I took some video of the boys, and they were quite tickled to watch it on my camera afterwards.

Finally, the rain let up, and thankfully, the road was mostly downhill for the last 20 or so kilometers into Comitán de Domínguez. As we rode the streets of the town looking for place to stay, a man poked his head out of his front door to ask if we needed any help. He spoke English very well; he told us that he was born in Texas, but has lived in Mexico for over 35 years, teaching English at the local university. He recommended a hostel just down the street, which we found and checked into promptly. It had shared bathrooms, but the room was very clean and quaint, and the price was right. Although not as much of a tourist destination, this city seemed to be another good stop for travelers on a budget, with lots of inexpensive hotels and hostels, like San Cristobol.

We explored the surrounding streets for a while, and stopped at a bakery for a couple of donuts, and then at a bar for a drink. We picked up more milk and another box of Frosted Flakes for breakfast, and after we dropped them off at our room, we were about to pick one of the limited choices for dinner in the area, when we decided to take a small side street. We were glad we did, as this led us to the as-yet-undiscovered main town plaza, where there was the usual crowd of people enjoying the evening, plus lots of restaurants, night clubs, and stores. We picked a nice restaurant on the plaza, and enjoyed our meal while listening to several mariachi bands audition for the locals.

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