Saturday, 1 March 2008

Guatemala - tick!

Hooray, we made it to Guatemala! And finally, after 6 weeks and 2 days of travelling I got my first tick! For those of you who don't know about the tick system, there is a spreadsheet that those of us in the know have been using for quite a few years to record every country/dependency/territory, etc, etc that we have visited. TK is currently in the lead with 56 (or is it 57, TK?) but hubby and I are snapping at her heels. Guatemala now puts me on 52 ticks and hubby on 48. TK is sneakily planning a trip to Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil for the end of the year so hubby and I have to put some leg work in to keep those ticks coming!

Yesterday (Friday) was spent travelling from San Cristobal in Mexico to the border at La Mesilla and then onwards to Quetzaltenango. The Mexican part of the journey was conducted in relative comfort on an air-conditioned bus; the journey across no-man's land between the two borders was a bit of a squash in a 'collectivo' taxi, and the Guatemalan part of the journey was 6 hours on a 'chicken' bus. These are basically old American school buses which are garishly painted and drive at high speeds (when possible) belching out noxious fumes with as many passengers as is physically possible (and then a few more) crammed inside. Still, it was an experience!

We spent the night and this morning in Quetzaltenango (shortened to Xela, and pronounced Shay-la - go figure!), which was a very pleasant town (see photo at top). We were especially pleased to find a rather good secondhand bookshop where we were able to off-load a couple of books and pick up 3 new ones. Hooray! It's the simple things that make us happiest.

Then this afternoon we took a minibus another 2 hours across the country to Panajachel on the shores of Lake Atitlan. Fantastic views of the lake, ringed by volcanoes as we drove in to the town. I am very much liking the look of this place as there are shops and stalls all over the place, selling jewellery, bags, clothes, textiles, etc, etc. Hubby might not be so pleased...


Nathan (aka - hubby) said...

The market was extremley productive since we spent a grand total of 25 Quetzels. Which equates to about 1.60 GBP. That´s my type of shopping. No I lie not going shopping would have been even better.

Justine said...

Hubby, you are turning in to a grumply old man. Perhaps you should go home to the UK where 1.60GBP will just about get you a packet of seeds to plant at your allotment. Then you can sit in your shed on your own and watch them grow, in a grumpy fashion.