Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Chichicastenango and Antigua


Hitting the Market

After a wonderful day and night in Semuc Champey, I hitched a ride and then caught a bus to Guatemala City. This is where my longstanding luck started to wear thin.

The trip from Coban to Guatemala City was the coldest bus ride of my life. That's right; in one of the poorest countries in the world they feel the need to blast the A/C like electrons are going out of style. I arrived in Guatemala exhausted and cold and went to bed around 7pm.

The next morning I got an early start and headed to the famous Chichicastenango market. I continued to feel sick throughout the day, but I was able to pick up gifts for all the remaining folks on my list.

Here's a areal shot of the indoor portion of the market:


And here are the woman and daughter I bought some coffee from:


Racing to the Finish Line

In the early afternoon, I caught a bus to Antigua, the place where it all began. I was hoping to stop in and say hi to the Monterroso family, who had hosted me so graciously when I was studying Spanish more than six months earlier.

Well, as the bus pulled into Antigua and everyone was getting off, someone stole my wallet. After hardly ever being sick on this trip, and no incidents since the tragedy at Valparaiso (where my camera, iPod, etc. were stolen), I was getting a hell of a send-off in my last three days.

But, I arrived at the Monterroso's house and they were happy to see me. Here's a picture of the family (except for Carol, the oldest daughter):


In a stroke of good luck, one of the students the Monterrosos were hosting was also leaving the next day and she took me out to a nice dinner. Unfortunately, I can't remember her name because I'm now writing this nearly two months after my trip ended; but I remember it was a pleasant evening:


The next day I caught to bus to Guatemala city and hunkered down for my early morning flight home. On the afternoon of August 28 I touched down at good ol' La Guardia Airport--and my six and a half month adventure had come to an end:



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