Guatemala

Chichicastenango Market

Chichicastenango Market, Sunday 5th November 2006

I spontaneously reassessed my travel plans last night walking past an agency and discovered it was market day on Sunday (today) and I decided to visit the six-syllable Chi-Chi-Cast-Ten-Nan-Go. Booking the direct shuttle to San Cristobal in Mexico also made good sense for Tuesday. Well Chi-Chi is a very busy market, geared for both tourists and locals – a change from Camden Town. There were some people sitting on the church steps swinging incense. The primitive restaurant stalls serving lunch appeared intensely cultural and while strolling, interruptions were plentiful but not annoying- you just have to accept it is part of life here. I temporarily donated my waist to some French ladies who were buying a belt and were unsure and needed a model of about my size. This middle-aged backpacking is not a bad activity. Most tourists bought colourful cloth items. I just bought some fresh pineapple and melon and continued strolling past the indoor vegetable market and butchery section, until a needed rest at a table outside a café – I spilt the sugar shooing away another seller. There was some fuss with a squealing pig that refused to go in his sack while we were waiting for the minibus to depart among other chaotically parked minibuses. Along the steep winding route we passed a group of mainly men jogging, connected with rope – I believe I correctly spotted that they were volunteer firemen. It only takes a minute to become used to a cold shower. I enjoyed a super steak and pleasurable glass of Chilean red wine at a table previously occupied by an elderly backpacker. Another thought about travel routing; it is sometimes a bit like air travel: A geographically logical route is not necessarily a sensible or practical route. Travel hubs develop where it makes sense to regard as a base to explore places in the surrounding region.

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