|Google maps says 4 hr 34 min, it was more like 7 hrs but that's due to road construction and windy roads.|
|Our travels since April 1, 2017|
There were a lot of new culverts being put in along the road, causing sudden rough patches and at one time we had to stop for a while so that they could finish covering one of the culverts enough for us to pass.
In general, the road was very rough for about 26 kilometers (to about Santa Maria)
|Another reason we do not drive at night! Notice that hole has been there a while since it has warning signs, several other similar holes didn't. And its a deep one, as we passed we looked down on the tops of trees!|
Having seen truck loads of some sort of fruit or something that we could not recognize, we figured it out when we saw palm fruit being harvested at the side of the road and mounds of the 'fruit' in other places (mostly alongside the road) ready for pick up by trucks.
|Harvesting oil palm with a long pole beside the road.|
|Oil palm fruits|
We then saw a huge bunker of this same 'fruit' and this prompted us to stop and find out what was going on - these are palma aceite (oil palms) used for extracting palm oil. The worker that we asked said they are they used for 'food for cars' but we are not so sure as to whether or not they actually make car oil or bio-fuel from these or if they are used for the palm oil that we are all more familiar with from nutritional/culinary use to beauty products etc. Palm oil plantations were created back in the '80s when the price of coffee and maize etc. dropped and peasants started leaving the lands and moving north and to USA etc. They were told to start planting oil palm trees to make a living and they actually started getting paid a salary, this has meant that there are now areas that were high agriculture areas and are now reduced to oil palm trees. However, we have also seen that a lot of palm plantations grow maize and other crops between the palms. Another concern is the deforestation of the jungle to plant oil palms.
At Poblada Tulija the road was covered with limes which were just falling off trees onto the road. Remember all the recent news articles about how the price of limes is really going up? Not here in Mexico - we have limes with everything. You need to try squeezing some lime juice on eggs, it gives a whole new taste to everything.
As we got higher up into the mountains, the roadside vendor stalls disappeared and we were hounded by more aggressive sales techniques - ladies or children hung strings of flags across the road so that you could not pass until you had bought their bananas or whatever. Somehow we managed to get past them but one little child walked right in front of our car as we were pulling away - once again, Gerald's amazing driving skills saved us from trouble.
|No tope, so a rope will do.|
|Rural Gas Station in the mountains.|
|Tire Spike board that gets pulled off by the rope, after you 'contribute'.|
We arrived in San Cristobal and after all the hot weather in Riviera Maya, it was 66 F (19 C), gray and rainy. In three days we went from roasting to freezing. It turns out that a large tropical depression is bearing down on the Puerto Escondido area (southwest of here on the coast) dumping tons of rain and May is the start of the rainy season with the forecast for the next 10+ days being rain.