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Published: December 19th 2009
The friendliest immigration officer on the planet happens to work on the Mexico/Guatemala border. His helper was a snarling man with a very large gun. It kept things balanced. Guatemala is all about ruins, coffee, colonial towns, and volcanoes. Muy buen (see, my Spanish is coming along!) Our first stop was another big ruin at Tikal. It was impressive with its howler monkeys and wild turkeys. In fact the howler monkeys were darn right scary. The turkeys just looked delicious. One of the temple ruins had a rickety wooden staircase that went straight up about five storeys. Once you get to the top the view over the jungle is incredible. It was one of those times where if we had been in our own country the experience wouldn't have been possible due to insurance rates. Yah to slack health and safety rules.
Not long after we got to Guatemala we decided to whip across to the Bay Islands in Honduras for a few days. It is a diving mecca, but unfotunately neither of us dive. Nor were we in a position to take a course. This meant that we spent the whole time not fitting in with everyone else. I
did get a lot of reading done though. Utila, the island we were on, reaches a lofty 2cm at its highest point. This meant mosquitoes. Lots and lots of mosquitoes. They attacked like something out of Hitchcock's The Birds. Back to Guatemala for us. We went back via a pretty wee town called Copan Ruinas, which happens to have the biggest burrittos known to man. Mine lasted two days. You should go there, just for the burrittos if nothing else.
Guatemala welcomed us back into it bosom with a steaming cup of coffee. It turns out instant coffee is made with the dregs at the bottom of the heap. You shouldn't drink it. Ever. Real coffee however, is carefully nutured and prepared for your enjoyment. There's a reason its expensive back home.
Our Guatemalan entry wouldn't be complete without a mention of San Pedro, where we spent ten days by the lake hanging out with the greatest cat ever. Who knew she was living in a tiny town in Guatemala?? Lenny (as we so named her) kept us company in exchange for chicken bones. It was an excellent deal. We considered stuffing her into one of our backpacks,
but we thought she might have some issues with the bus rides. In Central America most of the buses are old American school buses. Many of them have been pimped out with a flashy paint job and numerous stickers. They also go like a bat out of hell. One such bus, I named the Chrome Beast. It was like a three hour roller coaster ride minus the security of knowing you're attached to a track. Time for another country.
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