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Hound Dog

Sep 24, 2009, 6:18 AM

Views: 25749

Re: [chicois8] Any Chiapas backroad driving experts?

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We are no experts but the road is famous for assaults and robberies. At one time the buses going through there had armed guards.
One of the architects I know who is living in San Cristobal and had a project commuted this road at night and was never attacked but you have to know that you take your chances.
La Selva Negra is the most iffy area
You will be driving mostly in Indian territory and will fall under their laws if you have problems. It is common for indians to pop in front of the car inebriated and collapse on the road so do not drive fast and be on the alert. You would hate to run over anybody in one of the villages. You will be under their laws and not the laws of Mexico´s Chiapas.

Many villages are Zapatista therefore autonomous and not that friendly. They do not like tourists unless they get money from them, hate ecotourism and are very distrustful of strangers (I am speaking of white faces foreign to indigenous from other villages).

Simojovel has ambar mines . The country is beautiful many people do not speak Spanish much less English but a local Maya language which contributes to the mistrust.

It can be done just be careful and do not have things in the car you do not want to lose. A car is a prize and can easily sold in Guatemala.

Do not drive the road after dark. If you want to go there drive to San Cristobal on a safer road and take colectivos to the area as they are safer than cars.

You also get road blocks where you are asked to pay a fee before you can cross esspecially in Zapatista areas.
Kids will also have ropes across the road to stop you to sell you something or ask for (demand) money. The colectivos beep their horns and go through them.
without slowing down. A good idea.

You also can happen on a violent disputes between two villages or two separate religious, political and other groups and as the road is not large you can get stuck in the middle of men carrying machetes and in an unpleasant mood.

This said you may go through the area without any problems and will think that people who say the place is not safe are crazy.

Whatever: you do keep your eyes open and always plan a route of escapen just in case.

Have a nice trip and be careful.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Sep 24, 2009, 8:44 AM)

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Post edited by Hound Dog (Veteran) on Sep 24, 2009, 8:44 AM

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