Before you get all panicky… don’t worry, the misadventures were more of the comical kind than the tragic kind.
After a restless night of maybe a couple of hours of sleep on my 11 hour bus ride from Oaxaca, I finally arrived bright and early this morning here in San Cristobal.
Normally when coming into a new city I just grab my bag, pass all the people offering cab rides and venture out into the great unknown on my own.
Well, after an 11 hour bus ride the last thing I wanted to do was lug around my big backpack for 20 minutes walking to my new hostel.
So, this time I took one of those cabbies up on their offer. I mean, really, the cab rides here are super cheap at only 35 pesos ($2.50) you can pretty much get from one place to another here in San Cristobal.
I showed up on the hostel I had booked and rang the bell. The night security guy answered the door and asked me to wait 10 minutes for the owner to show up to check me in.
I’m so glad I had those 10 minutes to look around because what I saw I didn’t like.
Starting with the dog who greeted me and whined the entire time I was waiting. Immediately I thought about how the hell was I gonna sleep though that if he does that all night.
And then the place, well, the place looked like a dump. It was drab and dreary and, oh, so cold.
The owner showed up and I just told her I had to cancel the reservation and offered to pay her the one night cancellation fee.
140 pesos ($9) later and I was out the door hailing another cab onto my second choice of hostel.
I checked in and quickly realized this should have been my first choice. At least I rectified my error quickly this time.
It was 8:30 when I checked in and although the checkin time wasn’t until 1pm she told me my bed would be ready in an hour. Bonus points for the hostel when they do that!
So, that little misadventure wasn’t too bad. In fact none of them throughout the day were – just kinda amusing how they all happened on one day.
Misadventure number two was me getting my laundry done. Yup, I had finally run out of clothes so I went down the street to the laundry place.
The laundry place that was supposed to open at 9:00
Um, what the hell?
I decided to just go a couple doors down, dirty laundry and all, to a little hole in the wall restaurant and grab some breakfast.
No misadventures here as the breakfast was exactly what I needed.
After breakfast I headed back to the laundry place.
9:45… surely they must be…
Son of a bitch!
I went back to the hostel and asked if there was another place. There was one just around the corner.
So, I headed out yet again and this time I found a friendly woman who eagerly took my dirty clothes and told me to come back later tonight.
Yay. Laundry done.
Yeah, backpacking ain’t all glamorous…
Hey, how about another misadventure?
Back at the hostel I went to open my locker. I turned the key and, yup, the key broke in the lock.
Sigh. There goes my key deposit. Only 100 pesos ($6) but, still, c’mon!
I sat in the main room waiting for a guy to run my key parts over to the key making place and a while later, presto – new key.
Alright! Onward and upward.
There was a 10:30 walking tour around the town and I had timed it so I would get there right on time.
I got to the meeting spot and, hey, nobody there. I mean, sure, there were locals but no one holding a sign or umbrella up saying “free tour” and no collection of obvious foreigners mingling about.
Well, that sucks.
Went back to the hostel and found out it was a 10am tour and not 10:30. What really sucks is I was just killing time til the walking tour started and could have easily made the 10am tour.
I did look online for free walking tours and found out there was another company doing one at 3pm so, no big deal, I’ll just go to that one.
I just hung back at the hostel for a bit and then at 2:30 I headed back out to the main square to look for a guy with a red umbrella.
You have got to be kidding me!
No red umbrella in site. No collection of obvious foreigners mingling about.
Yup, twice in one day I showed up for a non-existent walking tour.
I know I was early for this one so I’m guessing these guys don’t operate anymore but thanks to cyberspace they’re still out there fooling unsuspecting fools like me.
That was pretty much it for the misadventures.
Like I said, not really a huge deal. Kinda comical when I look back at it.
As the afternoon wore on I met Alex and Kyra, two girls travelling through Central America together.
Kyra had gone on the walking tour I was supposed to go on and she told me about a food tour later that night run by the same guys.
Food tour! Sounds good to me!
For 200 pesos ($13) I was in.
The three of us, along with 2 German girls from another hostel headed out at 8pm.
The food tour was nice because I got to try some dishes I hadn’t tried yet here in Mexico.
Stop number one was a tiny place that specialized in Huarachas. The word is Mexican slang for flip flops which is how the dough is shaped. They are served with tomato sauce, cheese, and your choice of topping. Kind of like a little pizza.
Edit: Another misadventure! I could have sworn I took a photo of my Huaracha, but apparently the photo is no where to be found. Oh well, just picture flip flops that look like a pizza.
Then it was on to restaurant a few blocks away to get a Chalupa.
Now, the only time I’ve heard of a Chalupa is when I’ve seen a Taco Bell commercial and I’m pretty sure whatever they serve there isn’t what I had here.
Our final stop was at another small place on the other side of town where I had, um, I still don’t know what I had.
As much as I could get out of our guide was that it was a quesadilla made with cheese, beef and peanut sauce.
This place apparently specialized in unique twists on quesadillas.
So, there you go – food tour in San Cristobal.
Was a great food tour? Well, not really. I mean we did only visit 3 places and try 3 things.
On the other hand, it was nice to connect with some new people and at least have the last part of my day erase all the little misadventures from earlier in the day.
I have two more days here in San Cristobal before I head to Cancun for one night and then on to Cuba the following day.
Yup, Cuba is around the corner…