On Tuesday night January 31, I will be on the ADO-GL overnight bus to San Cristobal de las Casas, set to arrive mid-morning on Wednesday, February 1. This is at least a 12-hour bus trip, and I’ll be traveling with Fay, a Canadian woman from an island off the coast of Vancouver. Since this is my first trip to Chiapas, my friend Roberta shared her photos of what I might expect.
I also rely on recommendations from friend Sheri Brautigam and her terrific website Living Textiles of Mexico for advice. Sheri is passionate about the huipiles and other textiles of Chiapas and I want to experience some of what she has discovered there. I’ve spent some time in Guatemala, have a few pieces I’ve collected, and attended related exhibitions at the Museo Textil de Oaxaca. So, I’m familiar with the type of brocade weaving on back strap looms that brings Chiapas recognition as one of the great textile centers of the world.
First, some bus ticket buying advice for foreigners (that’s people like me who don’t have a Mexican bank-issued credit card). 1) Find a Mexican friend with a credit card to buy your ticket online and then pay him/her back. 2) Go in advance, in-person to the bus station (4-7 days before you want to go) and buy your ticket with a U.S. bank-issued credit card or cash.
From Oaxaca to SCDLC you have three options for class of service.
1) OCC (452 pesos one-way) leaves daily, is a first class bus with one toilet and can accommodate 44 passengers. Seats do not fully recline.
2) ADO-GL (542 pesos, one-way) leaves several times a week, has 40 seats and two toilets, for women and men.
3) ADO Platino (726 pesos) is the highest level of service with 25 seats that fully recline, internet service, electrical outlets for PDAs/computers at each seat, and two toilets. According to the schedule, it gets there faster, too. ADO Platino is only in service Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Oaxaca city to San Cristobal de las Casas.
In my “freedom” mode, I bought a one-way ticket. My plan is to also see two major Mayan archeological sites: first, Palenque and then Bonampak, where there are incredible murals, located near the Guatemala border. I don’t really need to get back to Oaxaca until mid-February. So, stay tuned for the next adventures!
I traveled to the Yucatan to visit Chichen Itza and Uxmal in the early 1970′s along rough, pot-holed dirt roads. The sites were spectacular. It was a real treat to climb to the top of the pyramids and look out across the jungle. My son, who recently went to Chichen Itza, says this is no longer possible. Then, my dream was to get to all the major sites: Tikal, Palenque and Copan. In the 90′s I climbed to the top of the highest Tikal temple on a hand-over-hand ladder attached vertically to the side of the building — two days in a row! I loved it there. Now, I’m getting closer to the early dream.