Rod and Priscila will stay in La Antigua for a few more days and will be heading to Flores, Tikal, etc. while I'm moving on to San Cristobal de las Casas in Mexico by a shuttle (A long name! San-Cris hereafter). The shuttle-bus ticket was GTQ240.00 (about USD30.00) and I bought it at the travel agent called Yellow House.

I was picked up at six in the morning and it was pissing-rain then.


For some reason I had to change the vehicle twice - the first shuttle was only up to the outside of La Antigua / Guatemala City and I changed to a dark-blue van then, and changed again at the border to a mini-bus. I was never told about this when I bought my ticket.




When the mini-bus finally arrived in San-Cris, it was almost 8pm, already dark and a bit chilly as this little municipal city of Chiapas region is located in the central highland of Mexico (about 2,200m in altitude).
Not only was I glad to get here without any problems, but also I was happy to know that no more rain was following me.

I checked in at El Hostalito - a really cool hostel combined with a bicycle shop on the ground floor.
Despite the fact that I booked for a 8-bed dormitory, the owner kindly placed me into a little private room with a very comfortable double-bed for the same price after I told him that I would stay at this hostel for 5 nights. Lucky me!





San Cristobal de las Casas ("San-Cris" hereafter) is quite pretty with no more rain and blue sky every day.

It's a small city with a lot of Mayan people around and everything is within walking distance.
My hostel - El Hostalito - is very cozy and I've been cruising around and eating (again) since I came here.

The below are some of the things that I've done or thought that it's very Mexican;

1. Skulls & Skeletons

Closely related to goddess Mictecacihuatl of the Aztec civilization as well as to represent Mexican people's ancestors, these skulls and skeletons are everywhere in Mexico.
Many people probably find it creepy, whereas I find it very peculiar to Mexico. I never saw this custom anywhere else in Central America, but only in Mexico.
Every time I see these skulls or skeletons, they simply make me feel that "I am in Mexicooooooo!"


2. Aliens & Chupacaburas

Do I believe that they really exist? I used to, but not anymore.

A funny thing in Mexico is that both aliens and Chupacaburas have almost become like famous cartoon-characters. You see them as an ornament in front of a shop or somebody wearing a T-shirt with them printed on it.
Although Chupacaburas are said to have been first reported in Puerto Rico, these two urban-myth creatures are very Mexican to me.


3. Tacos & Hot Sauce

You can never ever claim that you've been to Mexico without trying Tacos on streets.

One of the main reasons why I came back to Mexico (besides surfing) is because I love cheap but real good Mexican food such as Tacos, Guacamole, Quesadillas, Enchiladas, etc. with a variety of hot sauces (some of them are fiery!).


There are plenty of Taco-stands in San-Cris and the one I liked the most was run by two young boys as pictured below.
They put a piece of pineapple on top of a Taco which might not be an authentic Taco, but it tastes superb! And it's only MXN7.00 (about USD 0.50) for one Taco. Unreal!




4. Mexican Chocolate

Yes, I am a confirmed chocoholic and chocolate is actually running through my blood vessels.
Very fortunately, Mexico is where true cacao is made and this is the place I can indulge myself.

The photo below shows the home-made brownie made by one of the staff-members at El Hostalito.
She gave this fresh warm brownie to me when I was having dinner one night.
She apparently bought cacao beans in a market, roasted them, took the shells away and so on, doing everything by herself and this amazing brownie came out of the oven in the end. All natural and it was Sooooo Goooood!


5. Salsa Nights

I met Reuben (from Spain) and Martin (from Argentina) at El Hostalito.

Reuben is a serious cyclist, he started cycling from Ushuaia in Argentina all the way up to here in San-Cris for the past months and he will continue cycling north till he reaches LA. Is his prostate Okay??
Martin is a lawyer in Buenos Aires, he is now taking some time off travelling and partying around Mexico before he flies to Cuba in December.
Reuben is a quiet guy. Whereas, Martin is very outgoing and talkative.



Three of us went out one night to La Revolución, a famous Cuban-style bar in the middle of San-Cris, and as soon as we sat in the bar, Martin started talking to three Mexican women who were sitting next to us.
Martin somehow hit it off right away with them and the women asked us for dinner the next day.
It all happened so quickly and I was just stunned....

The next day we did go out with them for dinner. Just dinner, I swear! Though Martin had a couple of Johnnies in his pocket just in case : )


I left San Cristobal de las Casas by an overnight bus last night. I forgot the fare for this bus, but what I still remember was its final destination - Puerto Escondido. However, I wasn't going straight there this time because I'd already been there before (Click here to see the past articles for my stay in Puerto Escondido). I will eventually head up there again, but there was one place that I was dying to check out before Puerto Escondido.

Barra de la Cruz is the name of the place.

It's a small village, about an hour by a mini-bus from Huatulco, and there is nothing touristy there except for surfing.


The mini-bus that I took this morning from Huatulco (pictured above) dropped me off on the major road just outside Barra de la Cruz, from which I had to either catch a taxi or just walk for at least 30 minutes to get to the village. And I unwisely chose the latter option with my heavy luggage....


A couple of taxi-drivers stopped and asked me if I needed a ride, but I nicely declined them. I was somehow so determined to walk all the way down to the village while my right shoulder started aching because of my heavy and bulky board-case, and I was getting so sweaty. Unlike San Cristobal de las Casas which is part of the central highlands of Mexico, Barra de la Cruz is by the sea. It was blazing hot with warm breezes blowing from the sea.
Then out of the blue, a white car drove past and stopped a few meters away from me. A guy with long curly hair in the driver's seat spoke to me quite gently;

" Hello! Do you need a lift ? "
And he went on; " We are going to the beach now. We can take you there. "

It was only a few minutes on the road after the mini-bus dropped me off, but I was already very tired of walking with my luggage. I found myself happily accepting his offer; " Yes. Can I ? "


The driver's name was Vandielli - a Brazilian guy from Rio de Janeiro who now lives with his Mexican wife and their kids in Puerto Escondido.
There were also two other guys in his car - Christiano from Brazil who is on a surf trip around Mexico, and Fellipe from Puerto Escondido who is only 16 and wants to be a professional surfer. So now four surfers in the car heading down to the beach with my bulky luggage.

I didn't realize how far the village was from where I got off the mini-bus. It would be quite far to walk. And from the village to the beach it was another 5 to 10 minutes by car.
The photo below shows the beach of Barra de la Cruz and I was so stoked when this view finally came into my eyes.


Although I was quite worried about leaving my whole luggage inside the car, all of us were super excited about scoring some waves as soon as possible.
We hurriedly brought our boards out of the bags, put fins on our boards and dashed to the beach.


It was clear blue sky and the water was warm. Waves were about 4 to 5ft on sets with light winds all day today.
It got a little crowded at one point as many guys came from pumping Puerto Escondido. It was apparently too big at Zicatela today. But some waves were sectioning on the inside at Barra de la Cruz today, so there were plenty of waves to be had for every surfer.


Good waves in such beautiful surroundings of Barra de la Cruz. I was really happy with quality waves here and about the fact that I got a lift from Vandielli.
Meanwhile, there was one thing that I forgot to do - I hadn't yet found or checked in at any accommodation for tonight.... Then Vandielli told me that he could drive me back to the village and drop me off at a guesthouse called "Cabinas Pepe". How can you be so kind and helpful to a stranger like me, Vandielli???


Luckily, there was one room available at Pepe's for tonight and I checked in straight away. And then Vandielli just drove off by saying "Come to see me at Puerto Escondido one day. Bye!"
What a cool Brazilian guy I just met today! Obrigado, Vandielli!


The above photo shows today's crew. This photo was taken just after our second session (From left); My legend - Vandielli, Christiano, me and Fellipe. We were all happy!

High tides or low tides don't really seem to matter to the waves in Barra de la Cruz. It's been very consistent with light winds all day long since I came here. I do at least two sessions every day and sometimes three sessions, depending on the conditions of the day and how I feel then.

The photos below show the waves on the outside section of Barra de la Cruz. These photos only show 3 to 4ft waves, but every now and then a few bombs strike us in a set.
Apparently, when much bigger swells come in, the waves start breaking further behind the rocks: the Rip Curl Search event held right here in 2006 just look phenomenal!



The above photos show the take-off section.
Waves can be very hollow or almost bowling here and if you take off deep enough (Plus if you are very good), there will be a perfect barrel to be had afterwards.


If you take off too deep and too late, the wave will throw you into a washing machine like this guy in the photo below. Ouch!


Even if you can not make a barrel, the wave lets you make all kinds of manoeuvres.




The crowd can be a bit of a problem at Barra de la Cruz like all the other famous breaks around the world.


I spend pretty much all day on the beach and keep an eye on how many guys (and girls) are out there.
Whenever the number of surfers on the line-up goes down, I paddle out and catch as many waves as I can until more guys come back out again.


The inside section of Barra de la Cruz can be less crowded and more fun than the outside section, though it could be infested with a number of beginners at times.
What I find good about the inside is that the waves here often run with a solid shoulder and there can also be a mini-barrel to be had every now and then. It is also a good playground for me to practice with turns and cut-backs.
The below are some photos of the inside section of Barra de la Cruz:


The photos below show Bret in action - a lifesaver from Gold Coast, Australia. He is like a semi-pro and good at doing all kinds of maneuvers.




The photos below show Regy in action - a Mexican woman from La Bocana near Huatulco, a very smooth stylish female goofy surfer. She is also quite charming.




The photos below show Salo in action - a local Mexican surfer. His style is quite powerful, but such an easy-going guy and very young. He can be a pro in the near future.




The photos below show Sander in a little fiasco - a guy from Holland and clearly a beginner. However, no matter how many times he falls, he comes back out and tries again and again and again. Good on him!