Pretty Blue water – Agua Azul
We left San Cristobal around midday, typical for travel days. Once you’re settled in somewhere it’s tougher to leave. We hadn’t quite made it out of town yet when another KLR rode up beside us. On board was a man named Carlos. We pulled over to chat.
We regret not trying to go for lunch to talk for longer with Carlos, but we exchanged details to keep in touch as he might be heading to Guatemala soon. He also has friends there who we can meet up with!
Around the same time we met Carlos, we passed the last Pemex gas station leaving San Cristobal. We didn’t stop, as I was wanting to test our tire pressure and needed more heat in the tires, and figured there would be another Pemex before we got out of town. I figured wrong. Hitting reserve in the middle of the mountains is unsettling at best. Especially when you know that neither bike has enough gas to turn back. Worst case we hoped we could make it using the spare gas can and the stove fuel gas. Amazingly, we didn’t even need that.
22.54 litres of gas into my 23 litre tank, when we filled up in Ocosingo. Jayne had a greater margin of error, Cricket still drinks a bit less gas than Jugs.
We made it to Agua Azul around an hour before sunset. Arriving late meant the federal cash-grab gate was closed, but the local cash-grab gate was still open. 30 pesos each. We sat and argued for a minute until they gave us a receipt. Something about their old rope for a gate had us unconvinced of their legitimacy. Turns out the local community doesn’t benefit from the federal gate, so they set up their own gate to collect for themselves and benefit the town. (apparently we don’t have a photo of this gate. oops.)
Once we got past the swarm of children all wanting to “watch my moto”, Agua Azul is very pretty! The water is indeed very blue, and flows over many waterfalls as it meanders through the forest. Great little pockets for swimming too.
We set up our tent, and again were asked for money. We had read camping was free, and given that the mad had no ID and didn’t look official, Jayne mentioned that he should go have the “authority” tell us to pay. We didn’t see him again that night. He came back in the morning, with another unidentified man claiming to be the authority. They were calm and polite, so I paid them their 50 pesos.Â Not a lot, but we didn’t get anything for it. From now on we’ve decided we only pay if there are services provided, like you know, BaÃ±os.
Agua azul is an incredible sight. Walking along it in the morning before most were awake was serene. Only a couple locals sweeping the pathway, so I didn’t even need to step on pesky leaves. I found the merchants lining the path along side the river did distract a touch from it all the day before, but in the early morning there’s no one there. And when the merchants are around, they are here for a reason: it’s really really pretty, and people like to visit pretty things.