Our friend Francisco recommended we travel the Highway we believe to be CA-7 – they aren’t labeled. Soon after passing through Coban, we started to really wonder about this route.
It was dirt and mud most of the way. At one point, the entire side of a mountain had crumbled down, leaving us to detour on an even worse dirt road than the one we were supposed to be on.
Several hours after the detour, we finally met pavement. It wasn’t much better. The rest of the way we only saw half the road…rocks and gravel covered the other half. Since it was a mountain road, this was a bit unnerving on the curves.
We drove ALL day. Luckily, we had no van troubles because there was no place to pull off the road. We made lunch and ate it in the car as we rolled on. We limited our beverage consumption, and we loaded Bode up with movies and games. Again, he earns the award for the best traveler of the day.
In trying to avoid thinking about the road conditions, I focused on the fashions. In Coban and the surrounding areas, women wore long skirts that were sort of a combination of madras and plaid. They also wore lace shirts, mostly in orange. What was interesting was that in the center of town, I saw many women in their traditional dress, but wearing high heels and a slightly more fitted lace shirt.
As we drove through the small towns and villages, the clothes changed slightly in each community. An apron was added over the skirt in one town, shiny satin shirt with lace colors or embroidered tops in another. And every woman in each town wore the same thing.
Finally, we got to Chichicastenago, a small village in the mountains known for it’s fantastic Sunday market. We checked into a sweet little hotel with a fireplace and lots of Mayan decorations. It was chilly and raining.
We celebrated our safe arrival with a roaring fire, and a cheap box of wine. And once it got dark, the church next door started their fireworks celebration. Quite impressive, I only wish it didn’t continue at all hours of the day and night over the next two days.
The market here was better and bigger than we expected. There were plenty of handicrafts, and here they had gone to the trouble of making things tourists might want. It was wall to wall people and the array of colors was something I can’t explain.
Taking photos was tricky, as we didn’t want to offend anyone. We handed Bode the camera and let him take photos. Most people though it was cute.