Quetzaltenango, Huehuetenango. Reiki classes, rituals und Shamanism in Todos Santos. Trip to San Ignacio, Belize.

Travelogue Guatemala 2002
North-Guatemala

April 25th, 2002

Dear Friends,

You have not heard from me for a long time. After arriving in Antigua I first relaxed, visited the family I stayed with the last times and my old Spanish school. Soon I met old friends of Bill’s group, who is my shaman. After two days my backpack arrived in perfect condition.

Guatemala, Quetzaltenango: Pick up ride
My very first pick up ride – to the hot springs
 
Guatemala, Quetzaltenango: hot springs hidden in jungle-like vegetation
The hot springs are hidden in jungle-like vegetation

So a few days later I left Antigua with Joanne from England , heading north to Quetzaltenango. The north of Guatemala consists of mountains, Xela (the short name of the town) lies on 2000m. This land keeps on surprising me with new landscapes day after day. The next morning we visited hot volcanic and jungle-surrounded springs. A wonderful place making us forget the combination of hot water and burning sun, resulting in sun stroke, headache etc. for the next days.


Guatemala: The (concrete) ruins of Huehuetenango
The (concrete) ruins of Huehuetenango
 
Guatemala: Valley of Todos Santos
The beautiful surroundings of Todos Santos
 
Guatemala, Todos Santos: Mayas in their traditional cloths
Crowded streets on market days – the Mayas in their traditional cloths
 
Guatemala, Todos Santos: Hitch on a truck
Returning from hiking this time we took a big truck. But be carefull: always ask for the price before starting the trip!

The next night we spent in Huehuetenango, had nice street food as dinner and visited some Maya-Ruins the next morning, which where reconstructed in 100% concrete. Then we went of to Todos Santos, a small town deep and high (2500m) in the mountains with almost pure Maya population. The men wear colourful cloths, red trousers with white strips, colourful shirts and little round hats.

In the Bus we met Garlit and David, two other students of Bill. The group planned to meet again in Todos Santos. There we found Viktor my Reiki-Master and a Maya Shaman. On 9th April was 8 Baj (?) the Mayan New Year of the ritual calendar (which only has 260 days, about the time a woman is pregnant. My birthday is 5 ajmaq which is next on 31st October. I expect presents. In night Viktor did a traditional fire ceremony. Unfortunately there were only tourists, because the Catholic Church suppressed the Mayan rituals and they don’t dare to do it unhidden. It was a fantastic experience.

The area of Todos Santos is unbelievable beautiful. If you love hiking this is your place. And at least I did not know how many stars you can see on new moon in the mountains.

My dinner in a comedor had given me amoebas. The next two days I got depressed, then two days ill with no chance leaving the bed, then it got better. I had come to a decision: Todos Santos was to cold for me after the German winter. It took me two more days to get fit and then I started to Belize .


North Guatemala
Once again Guatemala surprises me …
 
North Guatemala: Mountains
… with different, beautiful landscapes

I got the bus Monday at six in the morning. Two hours to Huehue, then six hours through the most beautiful scenery. At three in the afternoon we (that’s Marco, whom I met on the first bus, and me) arrived in a little town, looking forward to our bed in Coban only four hours from here. But they told us, that the only bus leaves at THREE IN THE MORNING twelve hours later. But right out of nothing appeared a pickup and there we stood for the next four hours shaking from the bad road and asking ourselves whether we could trust those people. We could. And I can tell you that you sleep like dead after a day like that.

Next day up at six, bus left at eight, bad information. Eight hours through the jungle and then catching the last bus to the border from Flores , Taxi to San Igancio , Belize , where I am now. The information from my guide was out of date and I ended in a hotel double the price I wanted to pay and six times the price I paid in Todos Santos. But it was heaven: Cleanest beds and baths on good European standard: vacation for my body and soul. In the morning I visited some Ruins and then went to the internet cafe. After three weeks it took me five hours to do everything. I warn you guys: working on the computer save in short intervals. I had come to this !!! point when the electricity went. Luckily I learnt this lesson earlier. Anyway it was now too late to leave for Belize City and so I will stay another night in a hotel on good Central American standard and a less then have the price of the last one. Tomorrow I will go to Barton’s Creek a river cave system, then live for the city. From there I will go to Caye Calker, including the famous dive site Blue Hole, which is expensive, but I would never forgive me not seeing it. Then back from the islands into the jungle south, visiting more beaches and diving sites and then back to Guatemala . Plans subject to (constant) change.

Next mail might take time again. All the best and love

Volker

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© Volker Umpfenbach

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