ARRIVING IN CHICHICASTENANGO
Chichicastenango Travel Blog› entry 2 of 6 › view all entries
At about 8 or 8:30 PM on saturday September 29 I finally arrived at Chichicasteango. I got off the bus and directed myself to a hotel. Another passanger pointed it to me. The name was "Hotel Chichicasteango"it was not in any of my travel guides. The room was very clean, with an useful fireplace that can be used for cooking and warming a room at the same time with firewood. The cost only $40 Q, $5.25 Dollar. The bathroom was outside of the room. I did not dare shower as it did not look inviting. I slept well.
After securing a room for the night and leaving my belongings the next step was to feed myself. I had not been able to eat during the trip. I began walking on the street of what was going to be the next day the big Market and saw people preparing their stalls, some already wrapped in blankets for the night in the sidewalk surrounded with baskets with their merchandise and some people offering food that they were cooking using charcoal.
I asked for a bottle of milk at the grocery and they did not have any, I continued checking and they did not sell any milk either, I just could not find milk. I bought fresh bread for fifty cents Q each piece just across from the hotel and wanted the milk to have it with the bread.
I decided to buy tortillas with the girls that were making them on the street using a comal and firewood. I sat with other two local man and had beans with tortillas and oatmeal drink called mush. The seller, a woman had more dishes but I did not want anything else. This was my supper and the price was3 q for the tortillas, 2Q for the mush, 3 Q for the beans.
I went to a couple of shops along the same market street (mostly were closed for the day) and bought a few things, a Mayan textil and jewelry. I was the only person who did not look like the market people. I knew the next day would be full and there would be many tourists, I enjoyed the moment. It was magical.
A truly remarkable way of ending my first day in this new country.
I went back to the hotel and saw more people arriving, more sleeping on the sidewalk with their merchandise, animals or having coffee and some fixing the stalls for next day market.
After checking that the bathroom would not do for a shower, I went to the market and began my explorations.
The highlight was the visit to Santo Tomas Church in the middle of the market. I took one picture inside where you are not allowed to take pictures and several outside.
This church had in the aisle little islands on pedestals with candles, flower petals, incence, and man and women praying in Mayan languages. The first half of the church was dedicated to the Mayan Saints. Not a pretty sight, the Saints looked somewhat poor, squalid and helpless.
I had never experienced this type of religious syncretism between the catholic faith and the Mayan rituals.
On the steps leading to the church women sold flowers. Check my pictures.
At about noon I left by bus, same type of bus. The top of the bus was carrying many animals on baskets.
I left to Panajachel, making a connection without any problem and as cheaply as before.