Eerily quiet this morning. So much that we slept in until the comfortable hour of 7AM, about the same time the housekeeper arrives. All this pampering of having breakfast made and no pressing tasks or agenda items for the day might make friends jealous.
After a freshly prepared breakfast of guava and apple, drizzled with yogurt and granola (plus a side of salsa covered eggs and dollop of hot black beans), we made it out for a stroll. Today, museums and rain showers. Luckily we only had a few blocks to walk from our place to the Santo Domingo del Cerro Museo, so we could time our departure to dodge both puddles and cars without getting too wet. An earthquake ravaged palace of sorts.
This place is what they figure to be 5 museums all in one, and free to visit! I did see one sign that said it was free for hotel guests to visit, but there was no turnstile or vigilant money takers guarding the entrance…so we just strolled on in. It looks like they have somehow obtained permission to build a 5 star hotel into effectively an archaeological site…which is interesting because there is no way something like that could happen in Canada.
So we wandered. Snapped a few pics. Checked out the modern art museum portion as well as the ruins of the church and surrounding buildings. When the rains picked up…we sat. Observed other gringos wearing garbage bags taking far too many pictures from terrible vantage points. Organized tour groups moving through en masse at a pace too quick to enjoy. Couples that are lost and too scared to ask for help. Kind of like us, but different.
Us scared white people then headed out for lunch. Today, Asian. What does that mean in Guatemala? Surprisingly tasty broad rice noodle dishes, maybe more of a Chinese or Japanese flair to each meal…but damn tasty. Add some hibiscus tea as a beverage and we were happy. Maybe our guts are more tuned to food like this because the last couple days have had our guts wondering what the hell was up.
For dessert, we headed over to the chocolate museum. Melanie had a sweet craving, and rather than over indulge on a chocolate filled crepe…a couple samples might suffice. Sure enough, 20 minutes of learning that cocoa nibs take some effort to produce, and that the Swiss eat far too much chocolate, we headed off for an ice cream and the market.
This is more than a market. This picture really does not do it justice. On the map, this is a massive plot of land. I thought the supermarket we encountered was “the market” but no…i was very, very wrong. Highly organized vendors selling everything you could imagine all side by side. Stereos, socks, plumbing parts, light bulbs…everyone had their specialty. And as you go north, the stalls thin out to the point of just being an exposed, muddy parking lot. These are the poorer vendors that are stuck just selling their veggies. Not a pretty site, but interesting to see. I wanted to strap a camera to the front of me and just do a time lapse of trying to get out of the market. That would have been fun, but us scared white folk didn’t snap much in the way of pictures due to everything feeling a bit foreign to us.
We made it out of the maze and back. Out for tacos and spectacular margaritas in the rain again and now in for the night. Tomorrow we have a travel day. El Tunco, a small El Salvadoran beach town. A house all to ourselves. Maybe it will also be time for some skinny dipping after that long drive.