On Thursdays and Sundays the town of Chichicastenango comes alive - it hosts one of the largest indigenous markets in Guatemala. We decided to do a day trip there for the Sunday Markets. Chichi is in the Guatemalan Highlands, and the bus ride was simply amazing. The 108km drive takes about 3.5 hours as the roads are pretty old and dodgy - but also very winding. Everywhere along the road we saw utes with people loaded into the back and hanging over the sides. They reminded me of the bakkies in Africa (utes and Bakkies are the same thing), they were so loaded that the tailgate alsmost reached the ground.
Once we arrived in ChiChi we were greeted by a market simply heaving with people - really, they need to put lights in at some of the intersetions ´cause we couldn´t cross over... And there are no cars, just people!
At first we had to take refuge, and get some brekky in a restaurant. Frankly - nothing prepared me for the hustle and bustle of the markets. Once we got our ´market legs´ we ventured out and had a look around.
Everywhere we looked there was a stall selling traditional hanicrafts - well, some people didn´t even have a stall, they just walked around. We were pased by an elderly mayan man who had a large flat bucket straped to his back, and through the net covering the bucket, there was the head of a turkey sticking out, simply surveilling the landscape.
Each time we turned down a street, we saw yet more colourful stalls selling everything from diaries to duvet/doona covers. There was food, flowers and a rather persistent shoe shiner (after the 5th hassle, Pete gave in and had his shoes shined).
Although there were heaps of busses that left Antigua bearing tourists, the markets were so large, that touorists seemed to be in the minority. I can´t really find the words to describe the vibrancy of the markets - but if anyone is ever in the area - make this a stop on your itinerary, as for me, it was yet another highlight of Guatemala.