I’ve been looking forward to this year, and think a blog might be the way to communicate with loved ones.
This village set on a steep mountainside
can only be accessed by boat.
We ate at a community development programme restaurant from which we watched eagles.
We awoke to find a hummingbird in the lime tree in front of our room, then caught a ferry across the lake, which is ringed by forested, cloud topped mountains,
to the town of Santiago.
We visited the church, which held icons dressed in homemade clothes, on the way to Maximon.
Maximon is a deified wooden idol, cared for by a shaman.
He looks very like a Spanish conquistador, and smokes offerings of cigarettes, and drinks proffered whiskey. In return, he rids the worshippers of their vices. Here’s hoping he delivers!
Women walk from their highland villages
to trade at the Chichicastenango market,
and to go to the Catholic church there, which incorporates traditional Mayan ceremonies.
We left Antigua for the volcano ringed Lake Atitlan.
The whole town turned out for the parade.
Later, we drank Mayan Hot Chocolate, served with honey and chilli, close to this view of a smoking volcano.
It’s Guatemalan Independence Day, so people are running through the cobbled streets in groups, waving flags and blowing whistles. The cannon blasts intermittently.
Our hostel has a hammock on the patio, a great taco shop next door,
and a view of a smoking volcano from the street.
Our day trip from New Orleans to the bayou
yielded a trapper’s hut, raccoons
and a turtle dedicated to reconciliation.
Later, we visited the big house and the slave quarters at Oak Alley plantation.
I hired a footpath poet to write a poem for Rose back in Nawlins.