Tuesday, November 13, 2007

it´s an adventure, not a vacation.

crazy tilapan perro
el centro de Tilapa
along the ride home
la lechuga del nahual

Well it is already tuesday, the week is flying by, but the weekend was such an adventure that it deserves a bit of an entry. Some of my friends from school were heading to Tilapa on the Pacific coast of Guate, and being that Xela is freezing it seemed like a great idea. I think all of us imagined clean white sand, teal waters, etc. The reality was a little different but incredibly entertaining. After spending most of saturday morning negotiating two chicken buses to Tilapa we found ourselves dumped in the middle of a tiny dusty town at two in the afternoon. All the residents witness to this seemed quite amused by the appearance of five gringos on their doorsteps. Our first interaction was a kid yelling, ¨gringo, take my picture,¨ as we walked to find somewhere to eat lunch. We ate local sea food, laughed at the bow legged squinty eyed dogs, and rehydrated with gallos. After cervesas and ceviche we felt ready to take on the task of procuring a place to sleep. Luckily only half a block from the empty place where we at lunch was an equally empty hotel. We dumped our stuff in the two rooms and headed to the beach.
From the end of town you walked across a rickety boardwalk suspended above the mangrove mud and pigs eating the garbage that had washed up there. Then we discovered that getting to the beach required a ride in a launcha something the guidebook had failed to mention. Never the less we found ourselves a lovely boat driver Lilliana who was our personal launcha driver for the rest of the weekend. Once at the beach we braved the rip tide and splashed about for a while, finally retiring to our towels for Guatemalan sangria and rum. At some point we agreed that it was best to think of this not as a vacation, but more as an adventure.
The night was spent playing cards, eating guate tacos, drinking gallo, and meeting the local kids. During one of our many card games a huge bug dive bombed our table. HUGE I tell you, I mean we´re talking tamale sized. The doña calmly removed it from our table and dumped it in the garbage. Loco.
Sunday we went for a launcha ride to see the mangroves with Lilliana, and then ate breakfast on the beach. As we were finishing our frijoles y tortillas an entire Evangelical congregation showed up and posted themselves at the next palapa over. After a enjoying a couple of their hymns I took of with Sasha to build a sand castle. Being that we were the only gringos on the beach and building a sand castle we attracted quite a crowd. A theme that continued into the afternoon with collecting sea snails. The highlight of our time at the beach was witnessing the baptism of five of the members of the congregation. The whole group was standing in the sea, calf deep in water, singing with the band, while the preacher walked people out into the waves in his shirt and tie. Once waist deep the preacher would dunk his new convert and the band would start up with a new song. It was fascinating.
Getting back to Xela was another five hours on the chicken bus, including a three course meal procured solely from vendors that borded the bus. Good times.

No comments: