I Started off in Momostenango , which was a relatively short chicken bus ride out of Xela on Saturday afternoon. I stayed at a rather dodgy hostel , run by a somewhat shady acting character who charged extra for a warm shower , set a rigid curfew of 9pm to be back inside before he locked the door for the night , and was very impatient about the checkout time in the morning even though it seemed there were hardly any other guests. Open restaurants , comedors and bars were somewhat lacking to say the least in Momo so dinner ended up being some slices of pizza at one of the open food stands in the plaza , coupled with a beer grabbed from a nearby shop. Given the distinct lack of bars , the in-entertainment for the people of Momo seemed to be hanging around in the plaza and for the younger crowd , a little sort of entertainment tent with several table football games and some rather antiquated video games machines.
more of the market
Momo is most famous for blanket weaving and its Sunday market so on Sunday naturally I went to the market . It was interesting to wander around the stalls and you could buy just about anything you needed , but not too widespread evidence of the famous blankets on sale , only a few examples here and there. There was some sort of bizarre dance show happening on Sunday morning in the little plaza , which was highly entertaining if a little confusing. It seemed to involve several people dressed up in ugly devil-like masks shouting , whooping and whipping each other as hard as possible with rope. This went on somewhat repetitively for at least two hours or so but possibly the highlight was a very drunk man who really quite persistently wanted to get in the middle and be whipped , even though he had no mask and had nothing to do with the show ! The masked men were getting pretty fed up with him and kept trying to push him out of the "arena" .
looking down one of the streets
I would say that from my experience at any time of day in any city or village in Guatemala there is at least one person absolutely paralytic or just slumped lying down asleep in the street ... rather sad to see really but it is fact of life here that some people drink to massive excess to escape their problems in life. After the market I went to see "Los Riscos" , which are a short walk out of town and are a little set of rather strange shaped rocks which have evolved out of sandstone , and then on to a Mayan mission to see a Mayan priest who explained some Mayan astrology based on birthdates - amusing enough to keep me entertained for half an hour or so , even if I wasn't exactly convinced by the stuff he was telling me. So Momo was interesting and the next destination is really up in the highlands - Todos Santos- for which it will be necessary to stay in Huehuetenango
for a night on the way.