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Published: February 23rd 2014
All I really managed to get through in that last blog post was their 1st/2nd day in Guatemala-- yikes!! We really packed a whole bunch into just 2 weeks, but hopefully I can get a bit further on sharing their trip with this blog post 😊
I left off with us leaving Tikal (after getting our plane tickets, passports, etc back). From the airport in Guatemala City we took a cab to Antigua and headed off to the hostel Roger and I stayed in previously. Because this was our travel day from Hell, our reservations got lost and we ended up roomless for the night. Luckily, the lady who owns Villa Esthela is really nice and flexible and found enough beds for us to stay the night (for free), and helped us out by calling some hostels and such in the morning. The next morning, we split into 2 groups. Jason and I were off to find a hostel while Roger, Jesse, and Teresa headed to the nearest hospital. Jesse had hurt his shoulder a few weeks prior to coming to Guatemala and all of our vine-swinging, tree climbing adventures just hurt it even more. For the rest of the
vacation, Jesse had to take pain killers and wear a sling 😞 (which is exactly what they found out at the doctor). Jason and I found a brand new hostel called Carlos' and claimed a dorm room for the 5 of us (soon to be 6, because Chiara was joining us!) It was so new that we were the VERY first people to sleep on the mattresses, always a comfort in hostels. Unfortunately, it was also so new that there wasn't any internet and our room didn't have curtains so privacy was out of the question. Meh - you win some, you lose some. We got lunch that first full day in Antigua in this super plush garden space. There weren't many tables, but there were plants and birds surrounding everything. The food was pretty tasty, if I remember correctly. Really, the setting was the thing to remember. I felt like I was eating in some Disney garden party place!
The next morning we hiked up (and down?) Volcano Pacayo. It was a 6k hike in total, and not really hard, but more difficult than I was imagining. It was also SUPER windy at the top, and that made
it quite a bit colder than we had been used to. At the bottom of the hike, we stopped for a snack and to roast marshmallows! That was a pretty fun experience, even if they were fruity flavored marshmallows. We just stuck them on a stick and in a hole in the ground and a few minutes later they were melty and gooey! When we got back to our hostel, Chiara was there! We had a pretty easy evening and the next day we did a bit of a church tour. We went inside... 3 or 4? different churches, and Chiara had her guide book to tell us facts about where we were. I actually learned a lot! I'd share more, but I imagine it's not too interesting for people who haven't been there -- I'll bore everyone with these fun facts in person when we get back to MN 😉. Today was a big shopping day for all of us too! Antigua is so easy to spend money in!! Roger and I bought a 100% wool blanket for only 150Q (less than $20). It's super warm and I cannot wait to use it in cold weather haha We also
took a tuktuk up Cerro a la Cruz (Hill of the Cross) to watch the Sunset. It's exactly what the name implies -- a large hill with a giant cross on top of it, over looking the city. It was very pretty, even if it was a bit hard to see the sun actually setting. It was quite peaceful up there.
The next day was probably all of our favorites (besides seeing the jaguar in Tikal!!) -- we got to tour a small coffee farm called la Finca los Nietos. It was only about an acre big and we got to see everything!: beans growing on the plants, picking beans, washing the shells/husks off, drying in the sun, grinding them and of course, tasting them 😊 The owners, a really nice couple named Raul and Christina, also gave us bags of beans to take home as a gift! We stayed far too long at their home, talking to their family and playing with some of their grandkids. They were just such a wonderful family! They make you feel perfectly at home right away 😊 It was hard to leave, but somehow we managed.
Hmm... I can't find the
Us standing at the bottom of the hike/ first sight of lava fields
rest of the pictures right now so it's looking like there will be ONE more blog post chronicling our adventure with family and friends!
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