Thursday 10 January 2013
Highlights: Chicken Buses, Stunning Panajachel sunset, Chichicastenango Handicraft Market.
There is a saying that it isn’t the destination but the journey that is special and that was very true today travelling on public Chicken Buses which can be very exciting. You can check out the YouTube video of the Chicken Bus if interested.
Today we travelled on several different Chicken Buses from Antigua to Chichicastenango and then onto Panajachel. Chicken buses are old USA style school buses but here they are pimped out into amazing colours and have music blaring out. Anything goes on these buses as people seized into every position possible. We left our bags in Antigua and only took day packs for the next 3 days and 2 nights.
During this trip I tried every sitting and standing position on the bus;
- Sitting in a seat with a women and her baby almost in my lap
- Standing with the gear stick between my legs and the driver rubbing me every time he changed gears:)
- Standing at the back of the bus with James with me trying to hold on as we took tight corners
- Sitting between two seats in the aisle as the seats supported me and
- Sitting comfortably with only one person next to me, the most comfortable ride of these journey.
Watching the conductor try to collect fares as he walked on the top of seats while talking on the phone isn’t something I will quickly forget!
We stopped for a few hours in Chichicastenango home to an enormous handicraft market. People and colours were everywhere. Our base camp here was this grand hotel that had these very colourful birds including a couple of toucans. It’s a mission to find toucans out in the wild before I head home.
Our drive into Panajachel was also an experience as we saw a van that had fallen off the edge and into the trees. At one point one of the buses back wheels went slightly off the ledge. That got my heart pumping!!!
At sunset I got to experience one of the most amazing scenes in my life. The lake seemed to turn red and there was a vast array of colours in the evening sky. Amazing.