Our second and last stop on our weekend vakay was San Marcos (Saint Mark — hey, now wait a second … maybe these villages weren’t named after the 12 apostles …). San Marcos, let me tell you, is WEIRD — not the kind of weird that makes you fear for your life necessarily, but verging on uncomfortable uneasiness. This place sends off funky vibes. I’ll try and explain why.
First of all, when we got there, we felt like we were interrupting something. This town is so little and quiet compared to San Pedro, and life for the locals was carrying on at its usual slow pace. So, at least initially, we felt our presence as tall gringos with our bulky backpacks was just wrong.
Second of all, on our hunt through the brush for our, again, $4 a night hostel, we ran across several retreat center / meditation communes, offering everything from sun and moon courses to Indian head massages to hypontherapies to astral traveling to tarot-card reading to chocolate-channeled spiritual exercises (more to come on that).
Our hostel felt like a combo tree house, Spanish mission. Except Spanish missions don’t have stained glass windows depicting Mayan human sacrifice. Karen and I were cursed with dreams of heart extractions because of this thing.
Third of all, we heard that, when in San Marcos, you have to find “the chocolate man.” It seemed that everyone we asked knew who he was but didn’t know where he was. Finally some estadounidense girl with hairy legs who lived in a fairy hut at this place gave us directions to Keith the Chocolate Man.
The trip to Keith’s house was downright eerie. Maybe it was the silence and desolation. Maybe the Mayan murals of distorted Picasa-esque faces drinking blood. Phew, though, we made it to Keith. But he and his harem of beautiful old lady women gave us the heebie jeebies as well. I think all of us hesitated to buy the chocolate (don’t you dare be thinking Cadbury or Hershey’s … this stuff is pure cacao and tastes like dirt) initially because, I don’t know, it seemed kind of sacrilegious to patronize a guy who thinks you can commune with spiritual forces by rubbing chocolate all over yourself.
So after Keith, we napped then arose just in time to watch USA get pummeled by Mexico at Blind Lemon’s restaurant. After eating our disappointment away in burgers, fries, brownies, and ice cream, we asked restaurant owner Carlos from the States to pluck us some blues tunes, because Lonely Planet told us to.
KJ has some live video coverage of this goofy man, but I’ll post one of his YouTube videos next. He warmed our souls for sure.
The weekend ended in, of course, packed chicken buses … the chicken bus almost escaping with my backpack on top (if it hadn’t been for a bus traffic jam in the terminal and Brant’s speedy reflexes, I think the driver would’ve stolen it) … and a 6PM-2AM power outage, resulting in my baking butternut squash by the romantic glow (not) of headlamp light and going to bed at 8:30 PM. Oh, AND, while I was showering, my shower head burst into flames. Well, first it started smoking, and it smelled like burnt cherry Pop Tarts. Guys, if your shower ever starts smelling like burnt cherry Pop Tarts, no matter how hungry you are, don’t be fooled … that’s the smell of impending doom. Your electric shower head is about to turn into a mangled mess of plastic. I need to go talk to my land lady. Hasta luego.