Sunday, February 27, 2011
Sunday in the parques plus two years
Sunday morning the sun is out as is the electricity. Cold showers in Xela include stinging pellets of ice so thats out of the question. I'm the first arrival at La Baviera where they probably assume I've been out all night on a bender. Yummy coffee con leche, the small fruit plate that would still feed two, some granola and still no power at the hotel.
Where do you go when you're feeling not so fresh? I walk to the zoo where I believe I'll blend in without attracting too much attention. The Zoo is free to residents and tourists alike. I missed it two years ago and its better than expected. Lots of green space with picnic areas, room for frisbee tossing, and isolated benches for the ever-present young guatemaltecos to discreetly smooch on. It is very much alive and kicking on a sunny sunday afternoon.
The animals appear to be humanely housed. They range from a couple of imported leopards to falcons and parrots and monkeys. The zoo has a nursery which raises the flowers to be transplanted all around the grounds as well as feed crops for the animals. The reptile house is closed but I'm slimy enough to make up for it.
There are two big playgrounds filled with incredibly dangerous equipment, a concrete pipe train to run through, a snake made from discarded tires to crawl through, and a four story tower with concrete slides from each of its levels to the ground (the kids will sleep tonight). Los ninos run and play, fall and get hurt, get picked up and dusted off and reminded to be more careful. No OSHA, no liability, no lawsuits. While its got tons of staggering problems there is a sense of personal responsibility here which is refreshing coming from our cradle to grave nanny state.
Shining beacon of goodness above Cerveceria Nacional
Lots of hens and chicks in the nursery
Tower of fun and danger
Carrot tops little brother, parrot tail
Well used green spaces in la ciudad
Hellbound train on right
In the parking lot, seriously.
My feet are begging me for a return to hammocks and soft sand beaches but its not in the cards. I hobble back to el centro over concrete and cobblestones and grab a couple of Cabros with a Tecun burger. The hot waters back on and its probably time for an after shower nap. Yesterdays dumped garbage was being collected on my walk home so things are definitely looking up.