Monday, September 7, 2015

Sun to Rain

Another wonderful day in Guatemala. Bert and Pachi and I went for a walk around Jucanya yesterday and took a bunch of cool pictures. I love this place!
Found some giant toadstools on the side of the road just outside Jucanya./
The crown was bigger than the palm of my hand!
Walking into Jucanya, we decided to talk a left turn onto Calle de Cementerio -- Cemetery Street. Guess what was at the end?

I've had a fascination with cemeteries for a long time. Growing up in Canada, there was a gravel road near our house that I would walk down a lot, and about one kilometer down the road was an old cemetery. I loved it there: the peacefulness, the mystery, the solitude. I loved reading all the mossy gravestones, trying to find the one with the oldest date. I even discovered some small stones fallen in the grass in the back corner of the lot, overgrown with weeds and shadowed by pine trees. Fabulous place.

A Guatemalan cemetery is entirely different. The mausoleums are painted in bright colours, decorated with sentimental artwork, and multitudes of flowers mark the more recent memorials. It was a truly fascinating experience to wander through the aisles. I will definitely return to find the oldest marker.
This big gate was locked, and I thought maybe we couldn't get in. But a few meters down the road is an opening to enter.

A little church area to sit and pray.

We walked through this arch and turned left to enter the cemetery.

Some of the sections were empty.

So many pretty colours!

Some of the artwork on the mausoleums were quite beautiful.

This is a lowered section at the north end.

So many flowers!

The back wall.

In the older section of the cemetery.

The older section had dirt paths.
I've seen pictures of the awesome cemetery in Chichicastenango and I hope to visit there someday.
After visiting the cemetery, we walked down a stone ramp that led right to the lake. We strolled along the lake, but it was quite smelly with the algae (more on this in another post), so we headed back up into the streets of Jucanya to explore some more.
Bert & Pachi heading down to the lake, with clouds covering the volcano ahead.

Bert & Pachi on the shore of Lake Atitlan in Jucanya.
There was a man snorkeling in the weeds!
This was a neat stone platform we found. There were several small stone plinths around it with Mayan symbols on them.

We found this plaque near the circle. It says "Respect this area of Mayan ceremonies."

Also along the shore was a nice park with play equipment for kids. There were a few of these signs posted around the park.
It says, "Do you like coming to stroll? Do you like coming to swim? Then stop making it dirty!"
Today was the first day of voting in the Guatemalan elections. We found out from a Guatemalan friend that there are two rounds of voting. *sigh* I am already so sick of the political advertising but I guess we've got another few months to go before we're done with it.
Santander was partially closed for voting. The street vendors all gathered to sell ice cream, tacos, and chicken & fries.

Part of the election rules is that no liquor can be sold for the days surrounding the election.
This is the liquor display in the grocery store.
We were just heading up to the market when the rain started. Wow, what a downpour! It's good though, since the country has been suffering quite a lack of rain for a while now. We scooted under an awning and thought about waiting it out... but it kept going on and on! So we hailed a tuk-tuk, went to the Despensa to buy some dinner, then were lucky enough to flag down our friend Brian in his tuk-tuk, who drove us through massive puddles right to our front door!

This video is from when were huddled on the steps of a closed store.

The funniest (and grossest) part of the ride home was just as we were approaching the Yellow Bridge. Another tuk-tuk was coming from the other direction and hit a huge puddle at quite a clip. The water splashed up... and came right through the side flap of the tuk-tuk and INTO MY MOUTH! I spit it out, laughing, and Bert quipped: "Great. Now you've got dysentery." Icky!

I hope your day was as wonderful as mine was... except you didn't get dirty rainwater in your mouth. :D

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