Animal waste products seemed to define our lives on this trip. We visited some limestone caverns and emerged
covered with bat guano, and then descended from the mountains at last, awash with the ordure of
everything that flies, swings or crawls. It was time to move on, before we achieved the "traveller" look entirely by
accident. Besides we had to find food. The mountains are filled with subsistence farmers,
who appear to subsist
entirely on sweet maize cakes and very sweet bottled beverages. Nowhere in my geography textbooks
did they mention the plight of the muffin and Coca-cola farmers of Guatemala.
Their lives are hard. It was market day
as we passed, endless streams of women walking miles in the mountain rains, carrying great bags
and pots on their heads to market. Each was dressed in the multi-colored dress that indicated
village, people and even containing references to the same religion that raised the pyramids or Tikal.
softly in their own tongue, laughing and looking down as we passed. Perhaps they noticed
the bat dung. And finally we left our dirt track,
back onto the main road, the normality of truck stops and traffic fumes that had seemed so remote the night
before, and on to
to our next destination.
We skipped Guatemala City, known to be the centre of all death, and came to Antigua. Antigua is of course
beauti... oh hell you know all that.