Saturday, 17 November 2007

Swap-Meet at Mario's.

Saturday mornings are Swap-Meet time at Mario's marina here on the Rio Dulce. From around 8am lanchas and dinghies begin to pull up at the dock and unload the goodies that they have for sale.

It's actually a wonderful mix of people. Cruisers, local indigenous Mayans, holidaying Guatemalans from the city. All buying and selling.

From the remnants of somebody's turnout from the bilge to beautifully woven local textiles. There's a French guy who brings along fresh-made pies, this morning it was apple, and a lovely old girl called Matilda who sells her fresh baked coconut roll, 1Q each!

You can buy fresh smoked fish from Jennifer, a gringo artist, who has made her home here on the Rio for the past 20 years. She makes courtesy flags, cures snake skins and sells all sorts of other local and home produced crafts.And is a wealth of local knowledge as well as a source of the best reading library on the river. TBH has a wonderful snake skin hat band for his Guatemalan cowboy hat. Jennifer sewed it on for him, me being somewhat challenged in the needle and thread department! He is very proud of it, a fer-de-lance skin, the most venomous and aggressive snake in these parts. One of the locals told him that if he wore it he would be struck by lightning! It stays inside now during storms...

Mario's lay on free coffee and sell superb slices of pizza - popular with the cruisers and the locals
alike. Bloody Mary's are available to them that need a bit of a 'pick-me-up' after a heavy Friday night.

It all comes together in a glorious palette of colour, ethnicity, laughter and free enterprise, what more could you want on a sunny rio morning?

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