09 Feb


Today were no specific plans. One idea was to go to Guatemala City with a private car for a day. The cost is $30 but depending who you ask can go up to $100. I left in the morning the hotel I stayed because the previous night Senora Estella said that I can stay in her house. Because I did not like the hotel and also the fact that I wanted to be easier to be spotted by the Copan bus that picks you up from your place I took my stuff and moved 4 blocks away. First I did a tour to some of the agencies and to the phones. I took the breakfast with the family and a couple from Holland and Senora Estella advised me to go to Santa Catherina, where today being the first weekend after Ash Wednesday , an event that was completely unknown in Todos Santos, it is Valediction and tomorrow it is a Procession.

I took a tuk-tuk for Q20 to Santa Catherina, where, in the church on the floor, I saw a design made out of all sorts of colors, very nice similar with a sand mandala, but with Christian theme and not so detailed. I spent little time there planning to return and go to Guatemala City, so I took the chicken bus and got quickly in Antigua and when I was coming to the hotel I saw Mercadio des Artesanias and this was the end of the day. I planned to do some shopping in Santa Elena market, near Flores, at the end of the trip in Guatemala, but now because I lost a day, there were few chances to do it. So I spent the entire day, visiting markets and stores that I found out to be absolutely beautiful, some of them exquisite, Also, I did not have time to look in any of them when I came first, but now I enjoyed a lot looking for the beautiful textiles and artifacts that they were selling. I was reasonable till now because I did not buy almost any things not to carry them. Besides, when you do this shopping tour you enter beautiful hotels made in old houses with courtyards with fountains in the middle and catalpa and many other flowers all around. It is absolutely charming this town and the best way is to move from one cafe from another and keep sipping all days smoothies. But it was not the case, because I wanted also to see some things I missed last time, one of them being Casa Popanea, that I found to be close till further notice, and another the ruined monastery of Las Capuchinas. All this took me the entire day. Less eventful and slightly more relaxing but still not too much because I kept going to take pictures in many places that I last time I missed. And there are so many other interesting places Antigua…

In the end I went to the house where I stayed to drop the stuff I bought and returned to town and went to see Las Capuchinas and eat in Las Fuentes, a charming garden restaurant inside a patio surrounded by beautiful art studios and shops. I got a nice quesadilla with a Conga smoothie and when I left for home, thinking of buying a belt from Aguacatan, I stopped in a store in Casa de Cultura, right near the cathedral and I bought for a fraction of the price both the Aquacatan belt, a very rare and relatively expensive textile in Antigua and a poncho from Huelhua, or something like that. Guatemala is famous for its textiles that so as diverse as the number of the Maya communities that exist. Some are too garish for our taste but some are extremely exquisite and I found a store in Antigua called Nativo that has absolutely exquisite textiles. They are collection textiles and the price can often be Q10000 but for exquisite work, In the market things are from kitsch to OK but nothing as good. So the fact that I found this in a sort of market stall was surprising. So with all this flurry of shopping activities the plan to go to Guate for the day was scrapped completely. I went home to pack the shopping of the day and now my backpack is full. The next step is the extra plastic bag. I took my official ticket for Copan for 4 00am tomorrow and I left now to try and have dinner in Santo Domingo, a 5 star hotel done in an old ruined monastery, that it was recommended by the doctors that I met first time when I was in Antigua.

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Posted by on February 9, 2008 in Blog, Guatemala


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