here it comes...
07/02/2005 - 08/02/2005
Beautiful. It called Rio De La Pasion. The name talks for itself, isn't it? In the point where La Pasion makes a sharp turn, exactly on the pick of the curve, the town was built. At least for me - it begins from the dock. The dock is full with long narrow boats - they bring staff from Mexico. Being correct - there is no dock, but rather boats came ashore on the river's edge.
Then there is a vehicle transport ferry - exactly same like it was in movie "Waterworld" with Kevin Costner, if you remember. Ferry is a wooden raft of primitive construction: logs, fastened together & outboard motor & the thatched roof - from sun, from rain and from all adversity (touch wood). There is no bridge to cross the river and ferry is extremely in demand, powering the diesel trucks and buses across the river. At night, the traffic continued, with lights sometime glaring from the vehicular ferry through our hotel room window. Launches, that frequently the passengers.
Our hotel was right on the waterfront, so we sat on the balcony, watching the ferries traffic back and forth all day and night. This is quite a spectacle, and it's favorite activity in this lazy town ( kidding! ). I watched pedestrian traffic fill-up the launches on the opposite shore and then power their way across. Once, I witnessed a goat loaded onto the launch, and then watched it unload below the balcony. Farther in the distance I could see also ferry periodically made it's crossing.
Hotel "GUAYACAN" came in two parts at two sides of the road. One looked like nice but cost Q150/night (for double-room), crossing the road it was hospedaje (hostel), where it cost half - Q35/ person. We took hospedaje. Room was basic, with shared bathroom and cold water. The room was very small and quite unequipped - there was not even a nail in the wall - to hang clothes, but there was a window (!), a bed and shaky whether stool or table of unknown purpose. The long gallery (I called it balcony above), encircling the entire building, was notable. It was sutable for enter/ exit the room and also supported wonderful views. It was a street market under the balcony. There were garlic braids, tomatoes, cabbage and naranjas on sale. Spectacular!
Afternoon, when market finished, the view became even more exciting, because I could see the street-life better. Along the street with continuous traffic (venichels were going to/from ferry) , huge Mexicans played cards and drunk wine. They were boatmen, who come there for business and stay for a night or two before return to Mexico. Comandante del hospedaje - talkative dude with a pock-marked face, explained that they are the majority in our hostel. Boatmen were really big guys with calm flat faces, silent as a rock. They all were equipped with massive knives, hanged on their belts. Sitting on low shaky stools, very close to rickety tables, covered with oilcloth, Mexicans sipped wine and intently exchanged cards with their huge hands. Do I sound fascinated? O yes, very much so! I loooove this kind of places. But it supposed to be a hostel description! So, except of us and Mexicans there lived two more foreigners: French girl - Sonja and other lonely traveler from somewhere Europe - thin and tall like a stick. He was a very shy person, but he didn't mind to communicate with us. Unfortunately we had too short time there for making connections, so it only happen a small talk, nothing else. Also a bat lived under the roof - we could hear her making voices.
mmOOOOOOOOOOOOuuu - - -
It was evening and already dusk. I staid alone in the room, unpacking.
Here is comes: unexpected, loud and shocking - like in horror movie.
Creepy moan broke the night to pieces.
mmOOOOOOOOOOOOuuu - - -
It was so sharp and so loud that sound like somebody shouted right into my ear.
I freezed, listening.
The moan stopped as suddenly as it begun.
Oh My God! What now?
And then it came again, same prolonged and strong and terrible voice. Damn!
I have to know what is it! I pushed the door and jumped out, onto the balcony.
Under the balcony, directly against my room door, somebody parked a lorry. A cattle lorry.
The platform was full with zebu. Their muzzles were almost at same height аs the balcony, that's why it sound so loud.
Each 10 minutes they were madly buzzing, like a chimney.
The night was warm. Milky fog hung over the river. Our night sleep was accompanied with sound of boat engines, sighs and heavy moves of zebu in the lorry, horns from the river, the rustling of tires on gravel. Occasionally dogs barked. In the morning cock awoke and contributed to the orchestration. Bravo!
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Feb8, 2005, Tuesday. 5AM
MORNING IN SAYAXCHE
The morning came with the cook. It was too early and still no day light. Incredible variety of sounds was heard from the street. There were sirens and working engines of vehicles, dropped onto the ferry, monotone voice of carrier repeating the direction, ansamble of cattle lowing and cries of cock. We planned to see Ceibal Ruines and it was a reason to stay in Sayaxche for additional day.