A Change Of Scenery

26th Sept. 2016


Us at Velo de NoviaA visit to waterfalls and lakes seemed like a good change from churches and cities, but we had failed to realise that they were a 2 ½ hour drive away along the road to the Guatemalan border. Worse, it is the same road we will be taking in two days time. At least the pick up was 8am today which is quite civilised but it did take another half hour going seeming in circles around town to collect the other punters on the day trip. One Mexican, one Italian, one no show and us, a good size group and one in which we were able (and needed) to use our limited Spanish. It was good practice for next week when we have a non English speaking driver for our time in Guatemala and Belize. More Duolingo and swotting is definitely required!


Smaller waterfallAt 11:30am, we arrived at the car park along where there were already half a dozen or so tourist minibuses. It is good to see tourists are still visiting this beautiful part of Mexico. We found ourselves alongside the river Rió San Vicente and the series of waterfalls called El Chiflón. The place was well laid out with Cabañas and barbeque tables alongside the river.


Full sized Velo de NoviaIt is good to stretch our legs walking – and climbing the many steps – on the 1.3km path through the forest beside the river. The path passed numerous viewpoints to many increasingly spectacular waterfalls until we reached the viewing platform for the Velo de Novia waterfall which drops some 120m, quite some climb from the car park. As it is rainy season, there is a serious amount of water cascading over the falls creating quite a spray leading to much cleaning of the camera lenses.


Zipwiring downThere was an opportunity to zip-wire back above the river but Dave said it looked a bit slow and no chance to do the Mariposa or Superman pose (see our blog from four years ago in Ecuador!!) – so not really any point to it then! The tree lined paths provided a chance to see some of the wildlife including butterflies, spiders, lizards and fancy birds with long tails. We were allocated two hours for this stop and the time whizzed by.


Obligatory butterfly shotView over Lago TziscaoHaving worked up an appetite it was time for lunch, about an hours drive to the “official” lunch restaurant full of other tour groups and a three course menu with a few options (as long as you were not a vegetarian, so not good for Alex in our group).  More practising Spanish but I seemed to have forgotten what I had learned in my evening classes four years ago. By the time we left the restaurant, the thunder and lightening had ceased but the roads were flooded in parts.


_DSC2640It was almost 4pm before we reached the first of the Montebello Lakes, so we knew we were in for a long day and the return time of 8:30pm was going to be optimistic. First stop was an impressive view over Laguna Tziscao. Discussing with the driver how close Guatemala was caused him to make a detour to a small border crossing which was only passable on foot.

Mexico/Guatemalan BorderHowever, what was impressive was the line of beacons showing the border line which matched the straight line we had seem on maps. Obligatory photos on the border had to be done – excuse the rain coats but the rain had not relented.Rafts and canoes


There were quick stops at Lago Pojoj and also the 5 lakes of which we saw two. The prettiest and most photogenic was Lago Cañada. At least the rain had stopped but the clouds remained and the sun firmly hiding. In other circumstances we may have tried out the rafts but not today – and going for a swim was definitely out of the question!


Soon it was time for the three hour journey back to San Cristobal and as the sun set behind the clouds we settled down to snooze on the way back and it was pitch black by the time we were dropped off at our hotel. Just time for a beer and a shower before looking forward to dreaming of the quieter day we have planned for tomorrow (sorry but be prepared for more churches!).Lago Canada


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