Trip to the Chiapas – Palenque Museo and Guides – Day 1

Wow! That about sums up our whirlwind trip to the Chiapas last weekend. I believe it was decided during breakfast on Wednesday that we were heading off to visit the ruins of Palenque on Friday. Somehow our friends Darren and Michele managed to find a guide, we actually got two guides for the trip, hotel reservations, and transportation for this trip on just a days notice for the first weekend of Semana Santa.

Special thank you to Darren and Michele for pounding the pavement and finding Raul and Pedro who teamed up to give us a great 3 day trip. Originally this was going to be a 3 night – 4 day extravaganza but Pedro convinced us that we could still see everything and only be there for two nights. My main concern was that we were not going in a collectivo as 7 hours of driving was going to be uncomfortable. The vehicle was a 18 seat Sprinter van which meant that for most of the time we would each have two seats to ourselves. There were 9 of us on this trip plus two guides and one driver. We were amazed with the knowledge that Pedro had on every aspect of the trip – wether it was explaining local customs and culture; describing artifacts in the museum; or telling us the story of Palenque amongst the ruins – he really was a knowledgeable guide and created a memorable trip for all of. Pedro was very patient and I think he managed to answer all of Evan’s daily one thousand questions!

Raul is an exceptional person to have along on any trip and is very considerate of everyone and their needs at all times. I believe that having two guides along on the trip was a fabulous decision – especially for a party of this size as we could each ask questions of either of them. I also believe that Raul is more used to our Canadian nature of always being on time! It is also nice now to see these two fabulous people after the event as they are very friendly – Raul even brought us tamales to our house yesterday that his mother had made! I would recommend either of these guides to someone looking to explore Mexico. Raul was certainly interested in ensuring our needs were met – for example if a restaurant did not have coffee for one of us – he actually went and bought two cups of coffee for us! we definitely appreciated the extra effort made by both the guides. He was very attentive to the needs of every individual and was a great part of the trip.

Well our day started very early! We left the house at 5am. Raul was at our door ready to help with luggage a full fifteen minutes before 5am! Exceptional! Pedro and Miguel, our driver, were only slightly late but we were still on our way shortly after 5. After driving for a few hours we stopped for ‘breakfast’ in Champoton – a beautiful little shrimp and fishing village on the coast. ‘Breakfast’ consisted of shrimp or cheese empanadas for some of us, while others had ham and eggs. Then we were off and driving again. We made it to the museum at Palenque right before closing which was fabulous. There were very few people there and Pedro was really able to describe all the important artifacts to us so that when we went to the ruins, we would have a good history of what we were going to see.

After the museum it was time to check in to the hotel, Best Western Palenque. This hotel is located in central Palenque and is directly across from the new ADO bus terminal which was not operational at the time of our visit. We were walking distance to many hotels and restaurants and even to the centro district.

For Evan’s birthday  we had a great, very expensive, dinner the first night where most of the people had rib-eye steaks, or tenderloins! Throw in several beverages at 75 pesos each and a 350 pesos bottle of wine and it was one of our most expensive dinners in quite a while. Still, it was worth it having a great birthday dinner for Evan and with our friends and family. As the band entered the restaurant to play, somehow Evan ended up with the guitar in his hand and he played one of the songs we had been practicing and he did a fabulous job! So proud of him playing for a restaurant full of people!

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One Response to “Trip to the Chiapas – Palenque Museo and Guides – Day 1”

  1. Deb and Gunner says:

    Quite a 10th birthday Evan!

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