In 1983 I returned from a years travelling in Australia and South East Asia. Our guide book was a Lonely planet South East Asia on a shoestring. Now each country is a huge book. The first week back home I bought South America on a shoestring. I still have the book and I said one day I would get there.
It has taken 34 years to have the chance to go.
Colour and textiles…..and now, I know, so much more.
With such a busy life and huge family commitments I could only manage 10 days away. I did some research and away I went with my friend Fiona (she can also walk 30,000 steps in flip flops) We set off with a carefully planned itinerary.
Its a long flight, but with plenty of good films to watch and surprisingly good food it did not seem too bad. With a delay in Dallas I was glad to have booked a hotel quite near the airport.
The next morning we started our trip with a visit to Guatemala city to the Museo Ixchel to see the costumes and to the nearby Museo Popol Vuh
We next went to Nola, a shop that sells Guatemalan fabric by the roll.
Our next plan was to go into the centre of Guatemala to the market but travel was slow due to loads of traffic so we decided to get the chicken bus to Antigua – a good move.
Chicken buses are old American School buses and used by locals to get about. It was an entertaining ride, with hawkers coming on to sell sweets, religious posters, face cream, budding rappers came on to entertain us hoping for some money. It was all very entertaining, controlled and civilised.
Our hotel in Antigua was lovely. It is a really beautiful town, lots of colourful houses, cobbled streets, women in traditional costume and some very trendy shops, coffee shops and bars.
There are lots of good things to see from churches, museums, beautiful shops, artisan markets and regular markets.
Here are just some of the 2500 photos I have taken in 10 days. Lots more to follow!
We caught a chicken bus to San Antonio Aguas Calientes to see the huipils being made in the artisan market.
What is a huipil?
Known for its fascinating patterns and vibrant colors, a Huipil (pronounced wee-peel) is an embroidered blouse worn by indigenous women in Guatemala. Handwoven on back-strap looms using timeless techniques passed down for generations, a single garment can take anywhere from one to six months to complete, but the end result is a one-of-a-kind work of art.
There is so much i could write about all the different styles and types and I will photograph the ones that I bought in another blog post
The market was quiet and the small town, lovely, just to wander around.
San Antonio Aguas Calientes Market
The next morning we took a shuttle bus to Panajachel. The sun was shining and approaching the town the driver stopped for us to see our first view of the lake – it was stunningly beautiful.
We checked into Jenna’s B and B in the centre of the town and took a tut tut to the towns of Santa Catarina Palopo and San Antonio Palopo, to see some weaving and pottery.
Here are just a few more photos
The lake was beautiful and the driver took us to the local market and to see where the women buy their fabric for their traditional blue outfits. Every single woman in the village was wearing the traditional blue outfit, some with gold necklaces.
On the way back we stopped off to see Jenna’s new place where she is having built about 8 concrete yurt style rooms. It will be a fabulous place to stay. With a glass of wine we chatted watching the sun set.
My new blog is not quite as easy to post as my old one so thats all for today. It’ll take a bit to get it all worked out.
More to follow