Sunday, June 23, 2013

San Cristóbal: World's most beautiful B&B

Roof views
Ah, back in my favorite city in Mexico, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas.

Patti and I arrived early Wednesday morning after a 12 hour overnight bus ride from Oaxaca. The first half of the bus trip was through mountains with many curves and probably bus-plunge-drop-offs, which thankfully we couldn't see, even with the almost full moon illuminating the landscape. But trying to sleep was a whole other story.

The bus stops at 3:00am in Júchitan, about 20 miles north of the Pacific coast. It was steamy hot. A dozen dogs were sacked out in the dirt all around the little bus stop where they were serving a buffet dinner for the bus drivers and whatever passengers could rouse themselves from slumber. Stepping out of the cold air-conditioned bus into swamp-like humidity made me sneeze.

We had smooth sailing after Juchitan. I had the best possible sleep, head pillowed up against the window, stretched out across two seats. I awoke long enough at the stop in Tuxtla to wonder where we were, and fell back asleep until the sparkling lights of San Cristóbal appeared in the dark foggy valley as we came over the pass.

June is the rainy season. It's usually not too bad, with a few days of heavy rains or just some thunderstorms in the afternoons. But this year has been exceptionally wet and cold. It's hard to believe we were in the tropics hunting all over town for fleece jackets and sweaters.

B&B common living area with art from all
over Mexico

The sun came out full force on Saturday and we happened to be wandering around looking for a bookstore when I remembered that I had wanted to photograph Nancy and David Orr's Bed and Breakfast on some sunny day. I met Nancy for the first time in January, though we had corresponded a lot prior to that.

Last summer, in Los Alamos, I had organized a mole dinner to raise money for the Casa de las Flores school for street children. I sent the money to Nancy, who organized the remodeling of the defunct bathroom at the school. You can see the photos of the wonderful new bathroom at this link: CasaFloresBathroom

Nancy and David are the movers and shakers behind Amigos de San Cristóbal, a group of people, both expats and locals, who raise and donate money to worthy non-profit groups. They are very selective about who gets money, and none of the money is used for advertising or salaries. The group is what might be called an integrious United Way. For more information on the Amigos program, go to AmigosDeSanCristobal.

They also own one of the most popular B&Bs in San Cristobal, Casa Felipe Flores.

So Patty and I went over to meet Nancy. She graciously gave us free rein to walk through the property, climb up all the staircases, and photograph any room that was open. You can see from the photos why it's top rated. You might even want to come to San Cristóbal just to stay here!

Fairly typical bedroom at the B&B
One room is on the roof, this
is it's view!

Fully tiled bathrooms

Owner's outdoor living space

In the entrance patio

Wall of the entrance patio

Patio area for guests

Another beautiful guest room

Art everywhere

Kitchen and the chefs

Dining room