Chichicastenango or Chi-Chi - famous Guatemalian and Central American market
Our last morning in San Pedro, Lake Atitlan
The weather was windy and sunrise came all reddish and orange.
Rucksacks were packed for advance and we have time to drink coffee.
It was a little sad to leave this beautiful place.
When travel – you meet so many different people, and these short relations are remarkable.
There are kaleidoscope of faces and episodes:
- Friendly woman who sold banana-bread in “downtown”;
- Owner of our hotel, who liked my red sweater so much that wanted to buy it from me (unfortunately I couldn’t give it, cuz I had limited equipment and the trip just begun...)
- Guy from Internet Café who saved my camera – he spoke some English;
- In San Francisco hotel we met Finnish woman, in her 40th, who was traveling alone. Before she went – she left the work, sold house and everything she had in Finland. At the moment we met her - she was in the way about 4 months already.
- & toothless lady who accompanied us, running downhill in Santiago Atitlan.
- Another woman – this one, with dog, that we met in our “extreme” day in the way to Tsununa.
I loved trip in lorry – when we missed the last boat, it was so much fun!
- We have been lost in banana plantation…
- We found the bottle of water…
the best of the best - fresh-squized orange juice
smiles, smiles, smiles!
... and serious faces too
Vertical cornfields on the slope;
Every single day marvelous sunrise on the magic Lago Atitlan
Coffee bushes right on the street
Well, here we were leaving.
Windy, and lancha was dancing in waves, spraying around fountains of water.
We set under tent, but it didn’t help much.
In Pana we reject pricey direct shuttle (minibus) and searching for regular bus – to go to Chi-Chi.
Chi-Chi (Chichicastenango) is a little town, that famous for it’s market. Chi-Chi market is known as the most colorful and juicy market in Central America. It’s one of “must to see” places in this region. As market works only twice a week - Sundays and Thursdays, we should plan another places after its schedule.
Pretty soon we found empty chicken-bus parking aside the road and bored driver inside.
He explained us that there was no direct bus to Chi-chi , but he would be leaving soon to Los Qusienos, where we could change to another bus – to Chi-chi. So we did. We joined lonely bus-driver, and we were already 3 of us in the bus.
I have to note, that all these conversations were multilingual: we continued to speak English (that most of Guatemalans didn’t know), and natives spoke Spanish, that we didn’t know. Something else to add here: Guatemalans communicate without any pantomime or gesticulation. When they r talking to you - no-one muscle is moving on their faces, and they never waving with hands or head. Polite, friendly and calm, they always were helpful and gave us detailed description in Spanish. Actually, we understood each other pretty well, even speaking different languages. It was not only primitive talk:“how to reach” or “how much it costs”, but we success to manage conversations.
MARKET DAY IN CHI_CHI
At 11AM we already reached Chi-chi
We left our luggage (for free!) in reception of beautiful and pricey hotel (hotel “for white tourists”) and went to discover the market!
Patio of the hotel
in the Patio were colored parrots and musician played on marimba
Ahhh, it was so beautiful, so crowded, so vivid, so adorable!
Most of market taken for crafts, and in Chi-chi you’d find all kind of crafts that producted in the area and, probably in whole Guatemala - endless variety, just shopping paradise.
Short alley with flowers at the entrance and small area et the end used as a food-market.
Then we arrived into smoky cloud – it was cooking area.
Huge pots were boiling on open fire,
near women made tortillas,
Food smelled good. Slim white guy, that eat his lunch with appetite, said he was satisfied with food.
We had a lunch – comida coriente, as usual: chicken breast, boiled in the deep oil, rice, some beans, tortillas and cup of terrifically sweetened coffee from the pot.
The pleasure cost us Q30 (for both), we felt full and glad.
Chi-Chi market is really beautiful. I took as much photos as I could.
There are smooth concentrate of Guatemalan culture - Mayan ppl from different areas came there to sell and to buy.
Adults and kids in their colorful dress: men with machetes in their hands, wearing high hats and patterned pants (sometimes skirts), women’s huipils (traditional square-cut blouse) and head-bands - Maya traje (traditional costume) is village-specific or language-group related.
Some people where sleeping on the steps of the church.
X-mas tree from Textil
Everything was interesting, but people were the most remarkable subject for photo.
Taking their (people) pictures – not welcomed at all, and often simple impossible.
I didn’t want to be rude and missed many good shots. Until now I feel sad about it.
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Hotel Q 40
Transportation: boat Q 40
buses 10+8+24= Q 82
Food: 30+36= Q 66
Shopping: textile 100+70+75(bag) = Q 310
Souvenirs (stone + dolls + turtles) Q50 + Q15 (musical)
Total: Q507 = Q197 + Q310 (shopping)
$66 = $26 + $40 (shopping)
9AM boat from San Pedro de Atitlan > to Pana
10AM bus from Pana > to Loc Qusientos > then another bus to Chi-Chi
11AM – 14PM Chichicastenango (Chi-Chi)
14PM bus from Chi-Chi > to Santa Cruze de Quiche, arriving at 15PM
15:30PM bus > to Nebaj via: St. Margarita > Rio El Naranho > La Estanzuela> Rancho de Teja > Xetabal > 16:30PM Sacapulas> to Nebaj
arrived Nebaj at 18:00