Trip Start Dec 02, 2008
39Trip End Feb 07, 2009
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Where I stayed
Jardines del Lago-panajachel
Once in the maze of narrow walkways we encountered all sorts of shops selling masks, textiles, stone carvings. It is a very large market. For some reason, Barb has a penchant for buying heavy things while we are on the road. Not to break her pattern, she promptly bought a stone carving, some pottery pieces, and our load got much heavier
We encountered a procession of religious relics being carried through the market. They were burning incense and firing more mortars. The crowd in the narrow alleys became really dense, and it was flowing with the relics like a river of lava. Hard to exit once you were in it, and forget about crossing the stream. Then the mortero began setting off a small canon in the crowd. He paid little regard where he set up his mortar. Where we were , next to him, there were wires all over the place a few feet above our head. Expecting the worst, we bailed out of the parade, and ran for it. We turned one way then another, and soon were totally lost. (We had arrived at the Lost City of Chichicastenango!)
We went to lunch on a second floor restaurant which helped us to identify a couple of towers that looked similar to ones near our garage. After lunch, we wandered around in search of our garage, with some difficulty, finally found it. Then, we were able to reenter the market more carefully, so we could re-find our way out at 2:00 PM.
We visited the church, where offerings are sold on the steps. Photos inside were not allowed. I was able to snap a dimly lit shot inside of a Mayan woman worshiping. They perform a mix of Catholic and Mayan rites here. Thirty three years ago, while I was here , the Mayans were VERY sensitive to having their pictures taken. In fact, several tourist photographers were stoned to death in the 80s, as the Indians believed that the camera and image actually stole some of their spirit/soul. They seem to be much less perturbed at photographers these days. I took many of the photos Ón a style I call, running and gunning. No set up, just walk, look one way and snap the other. More discrete, but less accurate.
We had a great day and are heading across the Lake to Santiago de Atitlan after we watch Obama`s Inauguration on the 20th. You may need to zoom in the map on the top of the blog to view our locations as we move around Lake Atitlan.