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Horse ride to San Juan Chamula

Posted by admin On November - 23 - 2008

After a very freezing night because even in summer San Christobal de las Casas is cold at night and Mexican friend and I got up to do the horse ride to San Juan Chamula. It was Sunday so it is actually perfect timing to check out the markets. I knew that on Sunday all villagers come down to San Juan Chamula selling their goods. And I love horse rides. So what could be better then to connect both and ride over there through Zapatista land. I was excited. The company picked us up very early as well as other people who had booked the tour. We arrived in within 30min at the place where we got our horses. I wanted so bad a white horse (maybe a girly dream of mine, haha) and so I just picked Palomo without even checking the saddle what would have been more important… Then unfortunately later I realized that my legs were too long and it was not possible to adjust the saddle… Guess what that meant – yes, backache for weeks after that mountain ride. Guess I learned my lesson. Anyway after 1-2 hours riding to the mountains we arrived in Chamula. On one part of the ride we were not even allowed to be fast because the guide told us it could happen that the Zapatista shot then…
San Juan Chamula was full of people with the most interesting and colorful clothes you can ever imagine. Too bad that you can not take proper pictures of them – they believe you steal their soul with taking photographs. So I had to respect that. After checking out the market and went to the famous church. For me this was one of the most unusual churches I’ve ever seen but as well no photos inside.
I try to describe as good as I can: You step into a very smokey hall where the floor is full of fir needles. In between are all over burning candles and people sitting on the floor. It seemed very dangerous with all these fir needles and the fire close by but it seemed to be normal for them. The walls to both sides were full of saint dolls…never seen so many of them…
I stepped into direction of the main altar. I started wondering about all those coke bottles but I found the answer real quick. People drink coke or drinks with carbonation to actually burp. Burping in their believes means releasing the bad spirits. OK understand. And while still looking around in awe somebody next to me grabbed a chicken and sacrifices it. I could not trust my eyes – Wow! What an experience…
Then we took our horses for the way back to San Christobal. But we heard the pick up bus for the customer crashed so they had to call a taxi and we all had to squeeze in… After a quick visit in a bar believe me this night I didn’t feel the cold I was just sore and tired  – but happy. It was such a great adventurous day – again.


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