Xela Week uno
Trip Start Sep 22, 2007
14Trip End Ongoing
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The 1st week is over and the last part of the week was very interesting.
Friday I went to a hot springs just on the outside if Xela. The hot springs is where all the locals come to hang out and relax in the BURNING HOTTT water. The was sooo hot that i even burnt my foot. The water was heated by the volcano just a few miles away. It was an amazing opportunity for me to hang out with the locals.
I woke up at 5 and met up with some schoomates and a guide and we took a chicken bus to the base of the volcano about 1.5 hrs out of Xela. The Hike was intense and very beatuiful. At the beggening we hike through this small farming village. Their Crops surrounded us on both sides. When we walked by we could see right into the house of each farmer and see a glimpse of their lives. It was very interesting. Once we walked through the village. We hike about 45 mins up hill and entered a Mayan Reserve. We entered this even small village. We payed the locals a fee and talked to them for a bit. After we rested and took a bathroom break we carried on with our hike. About 1-2 hrs later we reached the top of the volcano. The volcano was dormant and in the crater their was a huge lake. This lake is a sacred prayer ground for the mayan people. Every may they close down the lake and do sacred ceremonies where visitors are not allowed. At the top of the volcano we met these 5 kids who were no more then 7-10 years old. Each of them were holding machettes about half the size of them. They were the children of the mayan village before. We talked for a bit and they were amazed how hairy one of the students arms were. It was very funny. We hanged up at the top for about 30 mins then started down these gruesome stairs. These stairs were really steep and were a pain to go up. After the stairs we entered the lake area. This lake was perfectly still and very peaceful. We noticed that their was a huge class of about 100 students and a professor. Our guide told us that this was a class studying the mayan culture and were studying ceremonies. There was a huge fire in the middle and it was very interesting. After we had lunch we started our small hike around the lake. It took about 30 mins to walk around the lake and it was very beautuiful. On our way around we saw a small group of villagers singing and dancing it was very intersting. After we finished the hike around the lake we started our hike up the Stairs of doom and into our descent. It was hard on the knees but overall this was an awesome hike. We returned back to the school at about 2ish. I walked home had some lunch and started my way towards Parque Central. I took a collectivo, a small mini van used as a bus. People were crammed into about 15-20 people. It was an interesting experience. The bus boy told me when to get off and i walked to the parque central. The Parque central is the center of the city and has the main church, city hall, a museum and a couple of banks surrounding it. It was a glimpse into what Xela looked out in the colonial era. It was very beatuiful. This was a very intense day and a very exciting one too.
Sunday i wooke up at 6am and met a fellow student at the school to make our way to CHICHI, a huge market. We headed to Terminal Minerva, a very dirty, crowded bus station. We got on a bus that this told us was the one we wanted. About 1.5 hrs later we got off at this huge bus station in the middle of no where. We asked another man which bus we wanted and pointed out one. We got on and about 45 mins later we arrived at CHICHI. Chichi is a small village that every Thurs and Sun holds a giant market filled with food, jewerly, masks, clothing and many many other amazing items. We walked around for about 4-5 hrs and both of us bargined our way to some beautuiful items. The student i was with was awesome at bargaining and I learnt alot from him. After we were tired we started the 2.5 bus ride home. We got on the bus we needed too and headed back. The Bus Drive wanted to rip us off and some other fellow travelers. Since we took the bus to chichi we knew how much it was. He wanted to charge us double the price and the other student started to argue with the bus boy and then the bus driver. It was very annoying and the bus driver refused to go until we payed up. It was raining and we didnt want to stand in the rain and wait for another bus we payed up. We arrived home and I feel asleep right away.
The weekend was very iteresting and I enjoyed it alot.
This week i am going to go to another hot springs, a museum, aborignal farm, the hugest market in Guatemala and another volcano. I will probably leave Xela on Sunday or Monday and make my way to Panachel. I will try to post again on either thurs or friday.
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Xela Parque centre
Volcano y Laguna Chicabal
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