The Bread Ladies of San Pedro: They are coming to get you!
We survived three nights in San Pedro before succumbing. Stalked up and down main street each day, finally we were exhausted and gave in.
I have a bread lady now, each morning she catches us either on the street, having breakfast, zipping to the blood laboratory (continuing checks for the missus) or stepping out of a boat. At which point … she smiles and I end up buying some banana bread, coconut bread, carrot cake or cinnamon roll, all of which are fresh and excellent and less than fifty pence.
There are, as far as I can tell, somewhere between three and five such ladies in San Pedro La Laguna, but we are now captive to ours and any purchases elsewhere might cause a very literal bun-fight. They roam all day and seemingly all night: entering the bars at breakfast, lunch and dinner to ply their wares. Typically older Mayan ladies, they normally wear the beautiful local dress, which comprises colourful striped materials and manages to seem semi-formal and intensely relaxed at the same time. With soft exhortations of “pan banane, pan chocolat” they pull open the cloth cover of their basket to show you their baking.
Bread Lady #1 (the original, best and ours) – comes across as the model for this occupation. Short in stature, sweet and understanding, she extracted a promise from us one day that we would return the next morning and she is now part of our daily routine.
Bread Lady #2 – is actually closer to our hotel and frequents the East End of San Pedro’s main street a little more.
Bread Lady #3 – maintains a vigil around the “party zone” and can be found peddling her wares to bar-goers in the various bars around that area. She is also a known pool shark and can apparently be found during the day fleecing tourists at Buddha bar. Some new-found friends of ours have indicated they really want to accept that challenge.
I have to add an honorable mention for Beaded bracelet lady – she has found us in every single restaurant and bar we have visited at night in San Pedro. She has a Tupperware box of friendship bracelets and her techniques is to show you all three sets, then illuminate them by torch and wait and wait and…..wait. She must be eighty if a day and has the fabulous time-worn visage and toothy grin of somebody who has seen it all and knows that they are correct. I believe we have seen her passed a beer by one of the bar owners, but we have also been told Mayan ladies do not drink, so perhaps it was something else. In any case, I suspect that she is old enough to have earned the right to flagrantly disregard such rules.
More focused thoughts on San Pedro and the beautiful Lake Atitlan to follow!
Oh, I forgot! Yesterday Alison bought a huge cookie from a potential Bread Lady #4 just outside our hotel. She is going to be in such trouble if word gets around.