14-Jun-2006 -- 15N 91W is in the Department of El Quiché. In the old days this was one of the most populated regions. Actually is one of the most traditional where a variety of typical dresses are worn, and the most Mayan dialects are spoken. Chichicastenango is one of its most touristy cities; where we can appreciate several traditional dances, harvest blessings, and rituals carried out by the native population. The Native Chronicles indicate that when the Gumarcaj’s (Mayan kingdom) population grew, the necessity to found another city was presented in the place of Chi-Quix-Ché (the name comes from the voices qui: many and ché: trees/woods) hence the name of El Quiché. The Cuchumatanes’ Cordillera (Andes’ mountains) gives lots of altitude and low zones which in turn allows this place a variety of climates.
Today we started from Antigua Guatemala at about 0600 hrs. Mom (Deretha Starnes) joined us in this adventure. We drove for about 4+ hours to get to de Departamento de El Quiché. The degree confluence is located in between the towns of Chiché and Chinique. We took a dirt road toward El Establo. After the car got stuck in the mud, Mom and Anabella had to push while I tried to drive it. Soon Mom and I switched and to no avail. I got covered with mud. Anabella barely got any on her clothes. Finally we got the car unstuck. We asked a lady if we could leave the car on the road and she stated: \"Yes, but please close the gate so that my cows do not get away\". The road got us 1.32 mile from the confluence. We also asked her permision to go across her field. She said yes and took off down the mountain. We did´nt have time to ask her name.
We went down the mountain, across a river, kind of steep terrain; up the mountain again to find a small creek which dumped into the river we had just crossed.
Two more mountains and we came up to a family who lived by another road. I inquired to the lady and her two young sons (8 and 6 year olds) about the 4x4 truck infront of her house and she said that it belonged to the men building up a bridge down the road. She gave us permision to cut across her corn field, down the mountain, across a small creek. Up the mountain we went to discover another river, a very wide, with rushing waters and some rocks that we tried to use to go across. I made it across dried, but Anabella and mom got wet. The degree confluence was about 6112 feet in elevation.
On the way back, we agreed that Mom and Anabella will use the road leading to El Valle de Las Vegas, toward the highway while I went to get the car and meet them on their way. I ran all the terrain previously covered in about 1/2 hour. A man kindly pointed me in the right direction to meet Anabella and Mom. We had lots of fun and hard work for today!