The Waterfalls Agua Azul & Misol Ha

Palenque – 

I’m about 5:45 awake at sunrise, so why not watch it? Unfortunately, the many trees prevent a clear view. Yet, i get the view on some sheep that kinda walked off into the bungalow-area. There are also 2 large iguanas already sunbathing at the pool. Then, I notice a tarantula that has fallen into the pool. Though the animal is quite soaked (and probably can no longer shoot its stinging hairs) it certainly is also quite irritated – no way I’ll get the spider out there with my hand. By using the selfie-stick I use for diving (also pretty rusty cause of saltwater) I manage to rescue it. Still kinda dazed, it crawls into the bushes. A little later, we hear some puma roar from the neighbors,  a few dogs start barking, roosters making noise and cows and a donkey reakting to that, the birds at the courtyard panic and we can hear some howler monkeys from afar – everything somehow escalates… Until it finally calms down. We sure are not that far from the jungle it seems.

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We doze off a little in bed and have then a huge breakfast – somehow the Danes are right . A short jump in the pool afterwadrs, cause we get picked up by a minibus at 12:00. Our plan to visit the 2 waterfalls Misol Ha and Agua Azul, and then switch to a bus to San Cristobal. Our backpacks get strapped to the top of the bus with a rope, along with my plastic bag with my laundy that I’ve attached to my backpack. All the people on the bus want to visit the 2 waterfalls and return. The road to Misol Ha is terrible. Winding roads with those kind of speedbumps which are typical here in Mexico. They really want to ride the same route back again? The minibus rocks up and down wildly. Every now and then I look through the rear window to see if it is raining dirty laundry. “This would solve your laundry problem”, grins Verena. She also has laundry herself in the bag, I remind her . One of the guys on the bus seems to have a meniscus injury, but despite limping with crutches, he wants to see the waterfalls anyways. Respect.

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Misol Ha – 

Palenque Misol Ha Waterfall Backpacking Backpacker TravelWe arrive. Now we got about 45 minutes there. After such a long journey that seems quite short for us. The water looks extremely refreshing, but don’t have time for a swim – we walk the path behind the waterfall, just to the big boulders at the end (shouldn’t have put on flip-flops). There is plenty of human jam on the narrow ridge by people with selfie sticks and mobile cams. More touristy than I imagined. On the way back, we pass a mother who rebukes her two juniors. This sounds the same in every country . My Spanish is indeed a desaster, but that sounded like “You keep running out of sight and I’m worried”. Somehow, despite the spray water it starts to feel stuffy and warm… now I would really like to have a jump in the natural basin, but the bus is waiting. Sometimes these combos of transfer and sightseeing are way too hectic.

Agua Azul – 

The second, larger waterfall is about 50km from Misol Ha. But if feels much longer because of the winding roads. The moment we arrive, we get instantly besieged by tens of restaurant employees and souvenir stand people. All the paths are paved over. But a few meters later noone will ask for your attention – relaxing again. We have some more time here, and the whole waterfall system is quite big. Upstream, there are some pools you can also swim in or simply cool off your feet. Yet, it gets hectic towards the end of our time there. Since we are getting hungry we order us quesadillas in a small restaurant. “Are the finished until 15:15?”. Sure, of course. But we also need time to eat. We gulp our food and run to the bus, I really hate these kind of stopwatch tours.

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On our way back we already see some bad storm clouds approaching us. We stop at a cottage near the road behind another minibus and the driver picks up our stuff from the roof – I tought it should be a big bus we should switch? Ok, we get off – and back on. The minibus in front of us belongs to the same company, but has some free space and can store our luggage in its interior – our backpacks won’t get wet this way – we are going to switch to the bigger bus later. A few minutes later it’s raining cats and dogs. Some fast reaction by the drivers! In the small bus-tv Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez and Enrique Inglesias are singing alternately in music videos, accompanied by the sound of the rain on the windows. We keep waiting for several minutes. A bus stops. But the wrong one – we went out with backpacks in the rain for nothing . Meanwhile, we started waiting in the supermarket. Soggy and without electricity – thanks to a lightning strike. Somehow the Latinopop was quite ok in the bus – standing here is quite monotonous. An eternity later, the bus arrives. We get into a larger minibus and off we go to San Cristobal. Winding roads with those kind of speedbumps which are typical here in Mexico. The minibus rocks up and down. I’ll be grateful when we arrive. I really hope that the trip back won’t be the same way.

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San Cristobal 

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We arrive at the ADO station and take a taxi to “Puerta Vieja”, a popular hostel. The taxi driver turns a short round – and we drive through a bar and restaurant street. And then we are already there – seems it will be louder this night? We check in – a large room with some large, massive doors facing the courtyard. We throw our stuff into the room and head to the garden where a party seems to be going on. Just when we arrive at the bar, we are offered a “Welcome-Tequila-Shot”. Ok… we were supposed to eat something first but… never mind that… I order a beer afterwards, but get a Sex on the Beach of the house first – and another tequila shot too. One of the guys who is volunteering here, goes around with a with a tequila bottle in his hands… everything turns into a merry drinking session. 2 Sex on the Beach and another tequila shot later, we prefer to go to bed. The sober stomach sure lets me feel all the alcohol… and we aren’t in our twenties anymore . But volunteering in Mexico sure seems to be funny.

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The Waterfalls Agua Azul & Misol Ha

by Mario time to read: 5 min