Sunday, March 20, 2011

Antigua de Guatemala

Things are looking up. Made it to Antigua de Guatemala, the old Spanish Colonial capital. Antigua feels familiar, as it´s laid out in the traditional Spanish style, around a central square and a market. Walked around the market & found the artisan´s stalls. I bought Jennifer a traditional Mayan dress & some hand-carved wooden toys for Jeff, including a crocodile, which I am naturally naming Zipacna.

Antigua is kind of claustrophobic, because the streets are barely wide enough for one car and the sidewalks are barely wide enough for one person, where there is a sidewalk at all. The houses are right up on the street and there all joined together. The buildings are stucco brick and adobe, with lots of tile roofs.

There are mountains all around and trees blooming with purple flowers. The streets are full of motorcycles, American and European tourists, and Mayan women in traditional dress walking with loads bundled on their heads. Unleashed dogs lay around everywhere in the street with their eyes half open. Soldiers ride around in small pickup trucks carrying automatic rifles.

It would be very tempting just to hang around in Antigua. It´s set up for tourists, with lots of nice cafes and restaurants with English names that play American music. You can get a hostel room for ten bucks a night.

But that´s not what I´m here for. It´s time to head on toward Huehuetenango. The buses leave out of the southwest corner of the market square. They are rolling works of art decorated in airbrush paint and hot-rod chrome: Furthur, eat your heart out.

I need to get the bus to Chimaltenango. From Chimal I will supposedly be able to get a bus that goes to Huehue, then up to San Mateo. It´s safe to say things are about to get interesting.

I have some great pictures but no way to post them now. I´ll get them up as soon as I can.

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