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hanging out in xela

Xela quickly starts to feel like home. I am lucky enough to score a room in Posada San Andres, a ramshackle set of buildings that surround a sunny cobbled courtyard inhabited by an eclectic bunch of expats doing their thing in Xela. The place is cheap and chilled out.

Posada San Andres has something of the feel of a farmyard - a series of rooms open out onto a sunny sheltered courtyard...

...which may be the warmest place in Xela.

The rickety wooden structure is an fine example of hopelessly faded elegance.

The bathrooms boast disturbing electric shower heads - somehow electricity and cold water goes in and a dribble of hot water comes out.

The kitchen itself doesn't have running water but a concrete block room in the courtyard provides adequate washing facilities.

The gas stove rivals a camp fire for the quantities flames and soot produced.

A herd of hungry cats gallop thunderously over the tiled roof above.

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While outside, sleeping dogs lie in the streets.

I while away some days attending yoga classes at Xela’s famous Yoga House and chatting to Kevin, who runs the house and instructs most of the yoga classes, in the second-hand book store, where he also works. In between, I investigate the various markets and stock up on cheap warm clothes from the innumerable shops and stalls that dot the city selling last year’s used fashion, imported from the US, in order to ward off the mountainous chill.

One of the things that keeps me in Xela, is the necessity of renewing my visa. Guatemala is part of the CA-4, a border treaty between Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua which allows the majority of foreign visitors only 90 days within the four countries. I have already been in Guatemala for almost 90 days and so I need to cross the border into Mexico to get a new stamp in my passport which will bring me back to day zero.

I am loathe to make such a boring bureaucratic trip, however, and once I discover that, for a relatively small fee, I can get someone to do it for me I quickly decide to take that option. Handing my passport and cash over to a stranger to perform this slightly shady procedure is slightly nerve-wracking but I take the plunge and am left waiting for the document’s return.

{ 3 } Comments

  1. Lindsay | March 27, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Shower head looks good for those days when you need a bit of a jolt to get going in the morning. Or perhaps when it doesn’t seem worth getting going at all. I hope you gave it a miss.

  2. valeria | March 27, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    amazingggg!!!! your travel experiences are awesome truly inspiring.
    Vx

  3. Mark_BC | April 14, 2011 at 3:58 am | Permalink

    I didn’t think you could herd cats….

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