Blogs from Cobán, Verapaz Region, Guatemala, Central America Caribbean - page 5


This was probably the most humbling experience either of us will ever have. We saw the opportunity “advertised” in the Lonely Planet and I (K) was unsure. These types of visits are often ill managed with families being saturated with visitors and numbed by the experience. The literature at the centre, EcoQueztal in Coban, was carefully written and clearly well planned. The organisation had been running for 12 years. 50 families were involved throughout the area and it was used to supplement to their regular income. All products sold and profits made were ploughed back into sustaining the development of the region. We decided to go. The following day, Carlos picked us up. With my sketchy spanish we managed to bumble along and make small talk. We took a chicken bus to a village where we ... read more
Pear hunting
Piglet Scratching
Grinding maize for tortillas

So I wanted to do an entry just on the mundanities, because thats a good way to really know what travelling in Guatemala is like. So, Food I love black beans. Which is good. Because the typical Guatemalan breakfast and dinner is eggs, rice and black beans. Lunch includes chicken or even beef instead of the eggs. Which means I eat eggs instead with rice and beans. 3 meals a day. For the past 2 1/2 weeks. Mom, make me a brisket for Shabbos when I get back and I promise you I'll never forget mothers day again. Showers There are two kinds of showers. Cold Showers. And Not-as-cold showers. A cold shower is just a showerhead on a cold water pipe. Any hostel that has this system is also cheap, dirty, and poorly lit. ... read more
Your Shower
Your Locals
Your Security

Had an eventful trip across the border between Honduras and Guatemala. A very nice man gave me a lift in his truck (he had been doing business in Honduras) to the next major junction where I could get a bus (about 30 mins drive).. but unfortunately we omitted to stop at immigration. I didn't worry because I had read there was an office in Puerto Barrios but, having arrived there and traipsed around hot and dusty with ALL my gear to find first a bank still open on saturday morning that would give me some money (and queuing 50 minutes in what they then told me was the wrong queue) I then made it to the immigration office only to be told they only dealt with arrivals from Belize... don't ya just love bureaucracy... so they ... read more
Lago de Izabal
Lanquin caves
The ubiquitous Guatemala bus

Note Posting pictures requires: 1) a USB port, 2) Windows XP that isn't locked down or admin access to Win2000, and (preferably) 3) a speedy internet connection. No such luck this stop. When we are lucky enough to encounter all the preceding conditions, we'll be sure to post pictures. Intro to CobanCoban was once a stronghold of the Rabinal Maya. In the 19th century, German migrants moved in, founding vast coffee and cardamom fincas and give Coban the look and feel of a German mountain town. The era of German cultural and economic domination ended during WWII, when the USA prevailed upon the Guatemalan government to deport the powerful finca owners, many of whom supported the Nazis. Today Coban is a pleasant town, despite the chilly, rainy weather. Our ExperienceWe hopped on our bus for Coban ... read more
Joe Smiling Aboard the Platform/Barge
View from the Bus Window Leaving Coban

Hello everyone! I´m sitting in an internet cafe connected to my hotel that offers free coffee, though they charge for donuts. We´re in the coffee capital of Guatemala, Coban. I hope to pickup a pound of first class coffee for three dollars tomorrow, come over for a brew! We´ve had ups and downs again while we have been traveling these few days. We left the little town of Panajachel for one that was supposedly less touristy. There we were followed around by a ¨greeter¨ who helped us ¨find¨ a hotel (for which he was paid a commission, thus raising our price) and then wouldn´t leave us alone until we hired hiim to take us up a mountain. Yes we needed a hotel, and yes we needed a guide. His name was Pedro, and he made ... read more
The Volcano, Pacaya
Lizzie, Lava and Myself
Chicken Bus Station, Antigua

From San Pedro we took a bus to Chimaltenango, where we got another crazy bus to Antigua. In Antigua we found a hotel where we spent the night, and began a search to a way to summit the Pacaya Volcano. We found Sergio Garcia who another traveler mentioned on the internet. We signed up for a tour with them, and they took us to the trail where we walked a total of 3km. After 1km we saw the lake produced by the Pacaya volcano, a clear blue ery pretty sight. We got to the top of the walk where you could look up and see this Huge lightly smoldering volcano. And look down to see Flowing rock, thats right lava, red hot, straight out of Dante´s Peak lava. And i was thinking oh my goodness i ... read more

Well, Coban is an alright little place. There is a Temple and graveyard just 8 minutes out of town and filled with great picture opportunities. There are beautifully dressed Guatemalans everywhere. Just outside the hotel dorm is a backery with enticing goodies and further up the street is the food market. The baleadas are good but very different from Honduras. The colours are intense and make me smile broadly. My companion draws a lot of attention being blonde and having great assets. We will be going our seperate ways in a few days. Me to Utila and her to wherever her feet take her, with her departure date approaching she is anxious and confused. So tomorrow off to Guate City and then I will navigate my way to the sunny islands of Honduras. I need some ... read more
Fried Chicken store
Off to market
Off to market avec pollos

Hola mi amigos, que tal? I´m doing good as usual. It´s been a great few days since my last update. We went to Tikal of course, which was pretty amazing to see. The ruins were beautiful and it´s was crazy to think of what it might have looked like thousands of years ago when it was at its peak. The last night we were in Flores there was some great lightening over the mountains across the lake, and we were serenaded by a very innebriated man singing in the distance. After Tikal it was down to Coban, which is a nice little city. We spent the afternoon in Coban, checked out a little Mayan museum and a church up on a hill with great views of the city. Guatemala is a real mixture of tradition and ... read more
Dental care and more...
Hanging out in the Parque Central...
The power of water....

Cant remember what happened in my last entry. I visited Flores in the North and went to Tikal, take lots of bug spray people. I look like an acupunture victim after 3 hours in the forest. Got some great photos of an anteater like raccoon animal eating bugs it was used to people or just didn´t care. The ruins covered in jungle were my favorite. It s very impreesive but very hot and wet past 10 am. Went back to Flores for another night at Los Amigos. Good food and great folks but make sure you get one of the thicker mattresses or you feel like you are sleeping in a tortilla. Left there for Coban at 630am and got into Coban around noon. Nice place. The temple on the hill is a must see. It ... read more

So after another marathon trip across Guatemala, I find myself in Lanquin, just outside of Semuc Champey. I made it to Copan yesterday, but since there was so much rain the shuttles had stopped running to Lanquin. I stayed in a beautiful little place called Hostal de Dona Victoria. It has a nice garden courtyard which is surrounded by an overhang filled with wooden sculptures and a collection of masks and other unique items. This morning I hopped a shuttle up to Lanquin. Now here's the thing. When you jump on a chicken bus you expect to be pummeled by as many bodies as they can cram into the damn thing. On a shuttle it should be a straight shot to your destination, no extra passengers, supposedly a great little trip. However, this is Guatemala. How ... read more
Twenty-six, baby!

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