first day in Gautemala from Yupitepeque to Jutiapa had brought its
fair deal of nervousness, fear and anxiety which none of us would
like to have repeated and luck, the gods, fate or whatever you want
to call it, was certainly on our side. I am dying to give you just
even a little hint as to what happened that day but I will seriously
risk my position in the group if I attempt to share the gossip without
Miss M’s permission.
The mayor of the town of Puebla Nueva offered his
assistance in the form of a guide that was going to take Miss M
and us over the mountains to a place called Guanagazapa. He had
no horse but because there was going to be so many ups and downs
and rough terrain, it didn’t matter and Miss M ended up walking
with us for most of the time too. Although the pace was slow, we
were all covered in perspiration in jig time. After going for about
4 hours, we arrived in a small village
where our guide knew a family. We stopped for a rest and Miss M
unsaddled us completely. We were given some hydrating gels and Miss
M wouldn’t leave us alone until both Mise and I had sipped
some water down to let the vitamins get through our body quicker.
At this house was also a sweet little girl full of smiles and who
loved Miss M’s riding chaps. The mother put a pretty dress
on the girl and pictures were taken. As a memory, Miss M gave the
little girl a photo of the three of us and also a little Irish Tin
Whistle. Needless to say she was delighted!
We arrived in Guanagazapa in a way that was not planned
at all and although I can’t say too much now, I can just add
that in this world there are just some people you can not rely on….
no matter how decent and friendly they look. But I will leave this
story for another day (yes, I am sure everybody knows by now that
means Miss M will tell what happened in her own time!).
M had a few things to do in a town called Esquintla and by chance
we discovered a very nice place just off the side of the road, about
25km from the town. The whole property was surrounded by high white
walls and this was very important for Miss M as she is always looking
out for the safest place for us, away from the public eye and curious
stares… you never know what can happen when somebody lay their
eyes on me (and Mise too off course!). The owners of this lovely
Spanish Villa were not at home but the care-takers were so friendly
and didn’t hesitate to offer their help when Miss M said that
she needs a safe place for a day or two. We got a good rinse-down,
did our customary role on the ground (Mise still can’t roll
from one side to another – must be a female thing) and went
off to explore everything around us that is edible for the night.
Esperanza, the lady care-taker took Miss M to her room and a few
minutes later we heard splashes in the pool… what an unusual
luxury! The next day Miss M went into Esquintla by bus to send a
few important mails and we were very happy to have an extra’s
Esquintla the road was still a double-way but the traffic was heavy
and far too many trucks and buses went passed us during the day.
Mise nearly got us run over by huge trucks when she got afraid of
some gaps in cement blocks next to the road (I’ll explain
this later.. it’s a bit strange and complicated!) and Miss
M got seriously annoyed at some hissing sounds of a young lad on
the other side, leaning on his bicycle, waiting for a disaster to
happen. Miss M was constantly worried about all the traffic but
as we didn’t have anybody that could help us with alternative
roads, we just had to push along. It was also very hot as we were
not too far from the Pacific Coast and the air was hot and sticky.
were very fortunate though that we had people waiting for us in
Retahluleu...Tirso is the cousin of Eduardo Palomo (our host in
San Salvador) and both he and his wife Annie were extremely hospitable
and helpful. The Cattle Association agreed that Mise and I could
stay on their premises and we both had our own stable. It took us
a while to get used to all
the confinement of a closed environment for most of the day and
on Miss M’s request we were taken outside every day for a
couple of hours to graze freely. A Vet friend of the Cordova’s
called Roberto came to have a look at us and recommended a rest
of at least two weeks and off course we didn’t argue with
him! We really recuperated during our stay in Reu and we want to
say thank you to Alfredo and the people from the Cattle Association
who as a sign of goodwill, did not even want any money for giving
us good food and putting us up for almost three weeks.
M ended up meeting most of the Cordova family and each one ended
up helping Miss M in some way. Ana Lorena gave her assistance when
Miss M had to go to Guatemala city and nothing was too much trouble
for her. Tirso’s father, Don Tirso is a very well-read man
and he was fascinated by our journey. He went through all the trouble
of making her lots of copies from books about ancient treks through
Guatemala and this surely made for interesting reading. Miss M was
spoiled and treated so much during her stay in Retahluleu... there
was an outing to the Amusement Park called Xetulul, which was a
great day out although Miss M only braved it out on the water-boat
ride whereas Annie couldn’t get enough of all the daring
rides, spinning, twisting and twirling around until Miss M felt
sick for her sake! Sunday lunch was with Don Tirso and Ana Lorena
at a wonderful hotel at a place called Hostales de San Martin IRTRA,
which is settled on lovely gardens with chalets and swimming pools.
Bressani (the brother-in-law) of Tirso offered his help to Miss
M in the form of sorting out her route from Reu towards Mexico and
they spent one whole day going in his pick-up, checking out the
roads and see what the possibilities are. Miss M was looking for
off-the-beaten-track roads but they soon saw that these trails would
even be worse than the tarmac as it was literally covered with stones
all the way. Miss M told us later how they nearly had an accident
when a storm came up later that afternoon and they missed two huge
trees falling on the road, by seconds. Shows you..... sometimes
it is safer to go on horse-back!
says I am talking too much and has volunteered (she actually has
no option) to tell about the next stretch of our journey, finishing
the last leg in Guatemala and our entry into Mexico. Before I sign
off folks, I just want to say on behalf of the three of us, thank
you very much
everybody that we know and those we don’t know for continuing
to send us lovely and inspiring messages on the TATA Guestbook.
It is good to know that after all this time, we haven’t been
forgotten (just yet). ADIOS!!!!
Marianne an email >