Sunday, February 24, 2008

Glad to leave Antigua

This morning I was ready to leave the smoke choke city of Antigua. Despite its colonial history and ruins, its inhabitants (included gringos), over touristy, and bus exhausts just a bit too much for me. I think it is one of those place where if you never been there you got to see it, but never again.

I continue my journey into the western highland and home to many Mayan. I took a slow bus (but more comfortable than the chicken bus) to Panajachel the jumping off point for the volcanic lake Atitlan - surrounded by volcanoes just like that of Antigua. Since it was Sunday, I decided soon as I drop off my bag at the hotel I will go visit one of the largest Sunday market in nearby Chichicastenango. There were tons of tourists there already when I got there around 1PM. I took my time people watching, and dealt with a pushy boy trying to sell me dolls - I did cave-in in the end, but I think I got a good deal. I wonder the shops and overpaid for few other souvenirs. By 3, most of the tourists have gone, so I started my photography in earnest. Unfortunately, the Mayan people don't like to have their pictures taken (one lady even tell me not to take a photo of her textile items that were for sale). If they allow you to have photo, they usually demand you pay. So some of my photos are of sneaky in nature and therefore not well composed. Mayan women and kids (mostly girls) dressed in their traditional colorful cloth with some more modern accessories. But most of the man dress western/colonial Spanish style. Only the really old men I think dress traditionally.

Anyway, it was a good day despite the long and crowded chicken bus rides. And since they don't like their photos taken, I will post as many as possible :)

Tomorrow will be more at leisure, I am taking a boat tour around the lake and visit some of the villages.

BTW, the Mayan of Guatemala consists just over 50% of the country's total population.


Betty said...

Great blog so far Jonathan. How do you manage to find cybercafes so easily? :)

Jonathan said...

Thanks Betty!
In the third world countries where very few people can afford a computer and internet, internet cafes are more common than supermarkets. In the developed countries it is hard to find one and only with your own computer (via wifi)