Monday, May 25, 2015

A Different Side of Panajachel

Yesterday morning, we walked off the main streets of Pana to explore a bit outside the touristy areas. It's quite an astonishing difference. Most houses and shops have lovely facades painted in bright cheerful colours, but when you go around back... it's all cinder blocks and tin roofs.
This feisty fellow barked loud enough to wake the neighbourhood.
We're finding a lot of streets are dead ends. But they're still fun to explore.
Cobblestone streets, webs of power lines, and plants growing in every corner.
This is the Guatemalan equivalent of Dollarama. It says everything is Q3 (about $0.48) but it's not true!
The aisles in this store are so narrow, you have to walk sideways.
There are some really interesting ironwork doors and gates around Panajachel. Security can be beautiful!
This was some sort of business crest. Very cool!
We walked down a side street and headed back towards the river. We strolled along a dirt road that runs alongside the river. People were still driving their cars and bikes down the gravel, perhaps to avoid the busier roads in town. The dust mingled with our sweat and coated us with grittiness.
Broken glass bottles for security on the top of a wall, plus you can see the tin-walled tops of houses, and the ever-present background of volcanoes.
Bright colours on the houses... backed by dusty gardens, chicken coops, and trash.

Laundry hanging to dry... .probably very quickly! It was super hot. I got a nice suntan line of my bag strap across my chest.
The river road looking away from the lake. The river is down to the right. The town is to the left. 
The fronts of these buildings are quite nice when facing the streets of Panajachel. The backs are a bit more decrepit.
Chickens and ducks hanging out with a cactus. So strange!
Looking back over the river to Jucanya. 
 I took a 360 video of the river and area. Check it out here!
Guatemaltecos are genius at reusing things! This is a kids playground and soccer/football field. 

All three volcanoes in one picture!
We took a picture of this waterfall before on our walk through Jucanya a few weeks ago.
You can see how high up it goes.
A friendly fellow was out walking his goats. (Cabras)
He took them down to the river for grazing and fresh water. 
We saw several abandoned buildings. Strangely, all of them had no roofs. I think the tin had been taken to be used elsewhere.
I took Pachi down to the river for a drink. Behind me is a guy washing his clothes. I'm not sure if the blue-tarped area is his home or his working space. Many people work in the riverbed gathering gravel and rocks for construction.
It's hard to see in this picture but the rocks are all encased in wire mesh. The river "road" had ended and we were walking on the path or on the meshed rocks. 
We walked all the way to the far end of Panajachel, where the town turned into scrublands.
There is a fancy metal bridge at the far end of Pana with some commemorative plaques.
The bright flowers are always eye-catching.
I think in Canada, this tree would have been cut down to make way for the roof. Not so in Guatemala!
The welcome sign for Panajachel... plus trash. *sigh* We have seen men cleaning the streets of garbage in other parts of town, but I guess they don't get out this far.
This is the lane near where Bert walks doggies for Mayan Families.
Sunday Market Madness. This is only the edge of it. It's a block deep and wide. 
Motorcycle parking area near the market.

Bikes parked in front of an abandoned house with political grafitti.
Another side of the market.
A shiny chicken bus picked up people from the market. 
 I took a video of two chicken buses navigating the narrow street near the market. Check it out here!
Pickups are a cheap form of transportation from town to town. Bert takes them to and from our house to Pana for only Q3.
He likes to stand on the bumper and hang on.
Even the Mayan ladies take the pickups. The men are true gentlemen and offer them seats on the benches in the back.
We want to take more pictures of the Mayans in their beautiful clothes, but we don't want to be rude.
There are a LOT of corner stores in town. They are called tiendas. They are always covered in ads.
After our five-hour walk (ugh), we had lunch at a place on Santander. I tried my first horchata. It's a Mexican drink made from cold pureed rice with sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Not impressed really. It was kinda pastey!
We got home in the early afternoon, and sat down to watch the rains come in. It's neat how the mornings are so bright, sunny, and hot, and the afternoons are now rainy, windy, and chilly. It's refreshing! And gives me a good excuse to put my feet up.

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