The bus arrived in Huehue at around 1:30. From the terminal, you need to walk down the road a bit to catch a collectivo (Q2) into town. Just ask for parque central. I had booked into Hotel Todos Santos Inn, which was just a couple of blocks from central park.
The girl at reception checked me in and showed me to my room. It was Q70 ($9.50) for a single room, cheap, or so I thought. The room was a bit run down and bathroom (external/shared) as well, not a great place! Anyway, I was only there for a couple of days, so I’d just live with it. (I later checked around and there are very few hotels in the area at reasonable/backpacker rates)
I had actually gone to Huehue to see the Zaculeu ruins. They were not far from the city, and Huehue was about half way between Xela and the Mexican border (trying to limit my distances to around 3 hrs max bus ride).
The first day, I got to know the city. I walked round and round, went to see central park, the main market and had lunch. I tell you what, this was a very busy city and the smell of exhaust fumes was nauseating.
It was everywhere and walking in the streets was terrible. I stopped at a restaurant, sat by the front door and was practically gassed out. Later at the hotel, you could smell it throughout the hotel, even in the room, it was terrible. The town was like a huge market, with shops lining the roads, which were packed with vehicles.
In the evening, there is a long line of food vendors, right next to central park, with delicious tacos, tostadas and other local dishes. I went for the chicken tacos, which were delicious!
The next morning, I woke up early, showered and asked the girl at reception the easiest way to go to the ruins. She pointed to just over my shoulder and said the bus left from that direction. I had already read that it left directly in front of Escuale Salvador Osorio. The bus out there took about 15 minutes (Q2) and the entrance fee was Q50 – $6.50. It was a very nice archeological site with several well preserved ruins. I was really surprised to find out that they had filmed one of the Tarzan series I used to watch as a kid, the 1967 version “New Adventures of Tarzan.”
On Saturday morning, I headed for the bus terminal bright and early, to catch a chicken bus to the border town of La Mesilla (Q20). (I made sure I had everything this time!! 🙂
The bus took about an hour and a half, going through some gorgeous mountains and valleys, along Rio Sacuma. It was a fairly straight run, without too much of the winding, crazy turns we had getting to some of the other places! 🙂
I arrived at the Mesilla bus terminal, which was a few hundred meters from the border. It was around noon, so I grabbed some breakfast at a small restaurant in front of the terminal, Eggs, beans, tortillas and coffee. Tortillas were fresh from a woman making them in front of the restaurant.
After that I walked through the town to the border, then up to a small office on the side of the road (immigration) with a guy sitting inside (not marked), the guy stamped my passport and…. done. Took about 2 minutes total! Then walked down the road a bit and someone told me I need to take a taxi the rest of the way. So, I piled into a bright orange taxi with 3 other people and off we went. A few minutes later, we arrived at a gate, passed through and saw a line of people standing on the right hand side of the road. Someone pointed to the end of the line, so I went and stood there.
They took people in pairs, so it took quite some time. There was just one guy in there stamping passports and one guarding the door, letting people in. Half an hour later, he opened the door for me. I went in, filled out the paperwork and he asked how long I wanted to stay in Mexico. I told him that I wasn’t sure, probably a month or so, but nothing firm. He said that the standard visa, which is free, is for 7 days. If I wanted up to 180 days, it was MXN$575 (+/- $30) and I had to pay next door. He handed me my passport, I went over to pay, brought the passport and receipts back and received my 180 day visa! (8 days or 180 is the same price).
Finally in Mexico and looking forward to New adventures.