Sami Greenbury
Technology, Teaching & Travel

Xela (Quetzaltenango) and the Re-Inspiration of Awe

These last few months I’ve been to many different places and, lets be honest, most places are pretty dull.

That’s not to say they cannot be enjoyed, especially in the right company, but dusty standard issue roads lined with concrete block houses aren’t the most inspiring places to visit.

Before I had quite identified this trend I was becoming a tad concerned that I may have been growing tired of traveling. Perhaps there’s only so many times it’s fun to explore the layout of the market, drink 12 coffees in a day to find the best coffee shop and after a time you wonder if you’re taking a photo because of the admiration for the scene in front of you or just out of habit.

My puzzlement was dispelled yesterday morning, however, as I walked down Xela’s 12th Avenue and felt familiar waves of being the first tourist ever to visit this town.

The walk from the bus stop took around half an hour, I’d picked a first class bus over taking chicken busses because it was only a couple of dozen Q’s more (~£2) but meant I could spend the 4 hour trip working on the laptop kindly let to me by Alejandro after I broke mine for the third and final time.

The feeling climaxed, as it should, as I entered the “Parque Central” – the Town Square – big impressive buildings surround the really nicely designed park/square with not only trees and patches of grass but rows of columns, monuments and steps up and down to things. Watching down over this, and all of Xela are cloud covered mountains reaching into the heavens above even the 220m of altitude we already have.

I spent one wonderful day and two half days reunited with my triumvirate, Claire and I explored the market and failed to find the Soy Milk Lady; Alex and I had a heart to heart in the park as we finished our beers and watched jolly gringos stumble home. I also spent a great amount of time in Artisano, an incredibly Vegan friendly restaurant-café and slept in the very cosy Don Diego Hostel. The next day, I headed to Huehuetenango.

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