Day 217: Chichicastenango – Guatemala – Jan 20th

Every Thursday & Sunday, the quiet town of Chichi (how can anyone forget this awesome name!) turns into a lively town engulfed in a massive market, is the largest of its kind in whole of Central America. We were warned ahead of time of the chaos, the frenzy and the wonderful handicrafts you can get in this place. Locals and tourists flock here alike, and you’re going to get a hell of a deal if you bargain right.

Having lived in China, handling chaos and frenzied markets are not out of our arsenal of what most Chinese call as essential living. But maybe it was all the hype we’ve heard, because it didn’t turn out to be THAT amazing for either of us. We did see some pretty cool things though!

We grabbed a seat on the balcony of an upstairs restaurant looking to score some breakfast. Then out of nowhere, you hear loud cracks of fireworks (or gun shot?) in the distant. We were a bit weirded out, and it continued on for another 10minutes, and the sounds were getting closer and closer…. Then around the corner of the street, a massive parade of sorts winds its way through the congested streets with large effigies of saints in colourful floats, and men and woman in fancy indigenous clothes played instruments in between the large floats. Some, for the oddest reason we will never be able to understand, were all drinking cans of Coca-Cola….. It seems like the Mayans have adopted the Catholic beliefs, and mixed it into their original ways of worship into something we’ve never really seen. Very interesting!! And yes, as the parade goes on, people lit these massive fireworks in the middle of the streets!!

The market was the highlight of this town, but for various reasons we actually didn’t manage to buy as much as we would’ve. It was really neat though, as although this market is a tourist attraction in its own, the locals outnumber the tourists at least 6:1, so this really is where the locals go. The main reason we didn’t get anything though, is probably because our packs are almost full with all the gear we need for trekking in Patagonia, and our down jackets for the southern tips of South America! In the end, we left without much but well worth the trip to check out what all the talk was about.

Unfortunately, our beloved water reservoir finally broke at the seams and have to be retired. It was good while it lasted!

Tomorrow…back to school!!!! Damn!

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