We left San Cristobal at around 9:00am and realized we were going to be driving right by the campground where Dave and Bonnie were so we stopped in and had a coffee with them before heading out. We were no longer in a rush because we weren't doing the long drive to Oaxaca all in one day.
First part of the drive was to get from San Cristobal to the big city of Tuxtla Gutierrez. There is a twisty windy free road, or a slightly less twisty windy toll road. We had done the free road with Sherman three years ago and there is some fantastic scenery so we decided to do it again with the little blue car. Only problem was, the weather didn't cooperate.
Misty overcast drive.
Starting to get better as the entire drive was downhill.
We saw the sign for the El Chorreadero Cascada y Grutas (Waterfall and Cave). It's only a short distance off the highway near the km14 sign at GPS coordinates 16.75466 -92.971673. When we arrived, we were the only ones there! Paid our 20 pesos ($1.64) each admission and went off exploring.
Can you spot Ruth just below the entrance to the cave??
The cave is only open during the dry season because there is too much water during rainy season! I would love to see the waterfall then!
You can climb right inside. The cave system and river goes for 3.2 kms and there's even a small lake in the cave. We didn't have lights with us, so we didn't go very far!
Hard to get an idea of perspective.
Unless you include a person in the picture!
Looking back outside.
Then we left the cave and went for a walk downriver. They have many little swimming areas, but of course the water was just a little chilly! One of the swimming areas is called "the natural jacuzzi"!
Ruth, testing the waters of the natural jacuzzi.
Check out the roots on this tree!
Then it was time to do some more driving. At the time, we still planned on going to the sinkhole beacuse it was about 12:30pm when we left the cave. We stopped at a huge new Walmart in Tuxtla Gutierrez and bought a few things for lunch and dinner. The plan was to camp overnight at either the sinkhole or the orphanage near Ocozocuatla where we had stayed with Sherman three years ago.
We carried on through Tuxtla Gutierrez. Funny things we saw there...
Giant "Sol" beer can!
Not to be outdone, a giant "Coca-Cola" can a few miles down the road!
We decided to stop at the Hogar Infantil orphanage to see if they would let us camp there. They have four free RV sites where we stayed with Sherman, but we didn't know if they would have washrooms available for us to use if we were tenting. Made it there and met one of the supervisors. Told him our story, and he says "no problem!" and leads me to a building where he unlocks a door and points me to a washroom. Then, he shows me the bedroom with a nice comfy double bed and says we can sleep there! Apparently it's where some of the volunteers stay while helping out here at the orphanage, and it just happens to be empty right now. How nice is that?! And it was a good thing we didn't have to tent last night because it was a really windy night!
At that point, we still hadn't had lunch so we simply stayed here for the rest of the afternoon and decided to put off the sinkhole visit for another time.
We only did 126 kms (78 miles) yesterday, but it was enough that it will shorten today's drive to Oaxaca City a manageable distance.
Yesterday's drive, 126 kms (78 miles).