Today’s route was only 70 miles – for a good reason – the market in Chichicastenango Guatemala. On Thursdays and Sundays, thousands of locals and a few tourists gather in “Chichi” at the largest indigenous market in Central America.
Everything from live chickens to pots and pans to handiwork is sold, bought, or bartered. Women bartered vegetables in front of a backdrop of colorful embroidered pieces. The sincere look on one little lady’s face convinced me that I needed to buy an embroidered piece from her. She was not pushy, just had “the look.” I wondered how old she was, maybe younger than me. She couldn’t have been 4 ft tall and I suspect she had had a hard life.
After a break at a barber shop for Larry to get a local treatment, we walked through the meat and produce sections of the market. The sausages looked delicious although the darker ones reminded me of my swollen, bruised toes.
Sometimes, I wonder if, and believe that, souvenirs I’m considering are locally produced or “Made in China.” There was no question regarding the embroidered work here. Colorful yarns, the same type used on the finished pieces, were for sale as well.
Larry and I frequently bring home carved animals representative of countries or regions we have visited. We decided that after my bike meets canine experience, a dog would be the perfect memento from Central America. The dog I hit was an orange/tan color, the size of a small Labrador. We found just the right carving at the market. When I showed him at our nightly meeting, Richard turned him upside down and said that’s what the dog looked like when I was done with him.
Hotel Santa Tomas was our one night haven after exploring the market in Chichi. Parrots, macaws, and a native marimba player entertained us in the enchanting courtyard of this monastery turned inn. The owner’s vast collection of masks and crucifixes decorated the halls and walls. The overall ambiance, décor, and wood burning fireplace that provided our heat both in the evening and morning earns Hotel Santa Tomas 1st place among our Central American hotels.
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