Page 16: - No Return Ticket - Just a Ride Report /w Pics - From the beginning
Xela, Guatemala - Market:On the other side of this market is an area where the so called ‘Chicken Buses’ drop off and pick up people. This is a lively section of the market where a lot of food is prepared and sold and people are running all over hooking up with their bus. Enjoy………
These kids I think are in training to be one of the runners that climb on top of the bus to stash and retrieve people’s belongings. Anyway, they were sure having fun.
And people were cooking and eating up a storm……
Get a load of those eggs!
I couldn’t just walk through this area without eating something. Hamburguesa (hamburger), this was made out of some type of meat that looked orange after being cooked. Not sure what it was but it tasted fantastic ($.65)
What a fun day. We bought a couple of towels to use at the gym, $.65 a piece, some fruit, a baseball cap and some other stuff. Plus, we came away with a whole new experience of the friendly people of Guatemala.
We walk a new way back to the hotel: We walk a new way back to the hotel, away from the busy downtown area. We were looking for an inexpensive table lamp to use for reading but no luck. On the way back we pass a very small lamp and electrical shop. We purchased a 2 meter extension cord, a small lamp socket that plugs into the cord and a high efficiency bulb for about $3.00, perfect for hotel room reading :)
Heidi sees this pic. She says “Look, there are no electrical wires” I say “Good eye”
Getting close to the hotel. Talk about carpooling. There was no room for even one more person in this truck.
Heidi has been looking for a scarf to replace the one she lost. Score….
A few impressions - The People of Guatemala:
After the border crossing absolutely every encounter we have had with the people of Guatemala has been warm and friendly. The first day on the road we stopped in front of a small rural home in the mountains to suit up into our rain gear. We were worried about getting to a hotel before dark, it was getting late and we were averaging under 20 MPH. We weren’t quite sure how far the next town was. A mother and several small children came out of the house and were hanging out in the yard close to us. I asked a young man walking past if he knew where the nearest hotel was, he acted like he didn’t know of any hotels anywhere. Then he points to the home and the family we were parked next to, saying we could stay here if we needed to. And this was from Guatemaltecos that are not accustomed to seeing tourists, let alone bikers.
Eating at the hotel restaurant where we are staying, there was a table of four gentlemen eating. As they finished their meal and were walking out, everyone of them paused briefly while passing our table to great us with a “!buen provecho!“ basically, have a good meal. While out on a marathon walk in the market area for locals, we stopped at a typical Guatemalan restaurant to eat. There, we get the same treatment, “!buen provecho!“ from an older gentleman. The people we have encountered here have all been reserved and extremely polite.
While out on one of our walks we came across a gym. We walk in to sign up for a week membership. The Owner Antonio comes up to me right away and says “bienvenido” (welcome) and introduces himself. The look in his eyes was warm. We walk into the weight room and get the same treatment from someone else, “bienvenido” (welcome). Every day we are greeted with hand slaps and knuckle knocks. We feel just as comfortable and accepted here as we did in the gyms of Mexico. Shadday Gimnasio
Heidi lost her headscarf and saw some kid, Lorenzo, with a pile of handmade stuff. Lorenzo showed Heidi several scarfs. We said we will look for him later. He was super polite and just said OK. This was nothing like any experience we had in Mexican tourist areas where they would keep hammering on us and follow us. Anyway, we looked for him later in the day but he was gone. The next day Heidi found another woman selling scarf’s and purchased one. Later, Lorenzo sees us and politely reminds us who he is. We told him, in Spanish, that we looked for him but he wasn’t around and bought from someone else. No pressure, he just looked kind of disappointed and started walking away. Heidi and I looked at each other and both were thinking the same thing. For the few bucks they were charging for this handmade beautiful stuff, we have to try to buy something. We chase him down. He takes us to his mother and brother who had a big stash of handmade items. I bought a scarf for me for when we try to cross the Andes Mountains and Heidi buys a cute little hand pouch with a zipper. What a pleasant family.
Numerous times while out walking and passing by people we hear some type of greeting in basic English. When we look we usually get a wave and big smiles. We enjoyed returning the greeting with some slang English. This usually brought out a lot of laughs.
As with Mexico, we are really enjoying the people of Guatemala :)
We hope you enjoyed our mega pic tour of Quetzaltenango (Xela), Guatemala……….
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