So, this is weird I know I met the driver/ guide at the Adrenalina office, but for the life of me i can't remember his name. I do however remember the taxi driver's name from yesterday...Willy Lopez.
I've chosen this tour because it includes a church I have wanted to see since I first started coming to Guatemala.
I am joining a couple from Barcelona here in Guatemala for the first time. I didn't get their names. As I am the only non-Spanish speaker, we decide on Spanish for explanation and English for clarification.. She is a retired primary teacher, he a retired book publisher. As the day progressed I found out they have travelled extensively, been married 45 years this November and have at least 1 son who has his grandmother's antique Singer sewing machine. (They found a part for it yesterday at a market) According to him, she has a way of getting her way with just about everyone. He, according to himself, is very patient. 😃
So we head off to San Francisco El Alto for the market. This is the " in market" to go to now, according to Lonely Planet, as Chichicastenango had become too
touristy (who started sending us there in the first place L.P.?)
At San Francisco we are warned to watch our bags. It seems we are the only gringo tourists in town. I know 'cause I can see, as I am a torso taller than most Guatemalan adults.
We get squashed, push(gently), get pushed( not so gently), and climb the hillside-town streets to the top market square. We, as in the lady, are interested in the textiles, and animals. She's looking for a tablecloth...me anything that catches my eye.
The local "costume"/typical clothing for women is interesting. It is a huipile( blouse), embroidered with bright colours around the neck and shoulders, birds, flowers and accented with shiny/sparkly diamantes--not really beads but the sticky rhinestone type beads used by primary teachers everywhere. It is a different look that continuously catches my eye. Gotta love a little bling!
As we make our way the man has his pocket zipper opened by an elderly woman. He's a bit miffed. I told him It could be a marriage proposal. His wife is later dealt the same treatment by the same woman. I see a series of sister-wives Guatemala!! On our way out, I feel a
hand on my front pocket..I just assume I'm engaged now. See Sister-wives Guatemala!!
We got to the top most square where the animals are bought and sold. I saw sheep, goats, cows, pigs, chicks, hens, ducks, geese, puppies, kittens and guinea pigs for sale.
After the animal market we make our way back to the church. If we want to go to the roof we can pay $2 for the priveledge.The steep, narrow circular staircase is a quick climb. At the top we discover we arent the only gringos in town. A group of North American tourists are on the rooftop also. After the obligatory shots of the surrounding landscape are taken, we make the slow climb back down.
We're off to San Cristobel, a small, quiet, quaint town with a large church. It is approximately 300 years old. It sits in the center of town. I can only describe it as a typical Catholic church. It has had some plaster removed to show hand painted motifs that were done centuries ago.
Next is San Andres Xechul. This is the reason I chose this tour. It is 3-400 years old, but has only been painted in the last decade. It was repainted for a festival in the town just last year. It is a brilliant yellow, red and blue concoction. It definitely stands out as a bit showy, but what's wrong with a bit showy! Inside a typical Catholic church.
We are then off to Salcajá. The oldest church in Central America. It was constructed 500 years ago. It is no longer open or used for services, it is only open on special occasions like weddings and birthdays. Today we were lucky, they were decorating for a 60th wedding anniversary (thus the revelation that the couple were married 45 years).
It is a small, squat church and has been reinforced over the years to hold it upright through Guatemala's many earthquakes. Again a typical Catholic church interior.
So our tour came to an end with more memories to regale my future nursing home inmates with in 30 years time.
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; mem: 1.4mb