Blogs from Guatemala, Central America Caribbean

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Central America Caribbean » Guatemala October 24th 2020

Hello there, It's been a long time again. Even though I did have plenty of time to write and catch up, I didn't do it. This whole Covid-19 situation and the lockdown in Curaçao was difficult for me and I wasn't motivated at all. Luckily I'm doing much better again...and ready to write more often. After leaving Semuc Champey I continued towards Antigua. The city of about 50.000 people is a major tourist magnet in Guatemala and I see why. It's gorgeous and colourful colonial city where the Spanish colonial heritage is very well represented. The city was founded in 1524 and functioned as the capital of Guatemala until 1773, when the city was heavily damaged by an earthquake. The volcano "Volcán de Agua", at 3760m, rises majestically in the background and offers beautiful photo opportunities ... read more
Ziplining by Lake Atitlán
Antigua
Antigua


After one week in Belize, I left San Ignacio by bus towards the border with Guatemala. The crossing and procedures at the migration went smooth and without any issues. Guatemala is the second largest country of Central America after Nicaragua but has the most amount of inhabitants: about 17 million by now. The country has a rich culture and history, and is well known for its active volcanoes and other natural beauty. "Soul of the Earth"; that is the tourism slogan of Guatemala! From the border I took a taxi into a town nearby, Melchor de Mencos, from where I took a bus towards Flores. Flores is a small city of about 15 000 people located on an island in the Petén Itzá Lake. It's a unique and colourful city, ideal to use as a hub ... read more
Semuc Champey
View of Flores island and Petén Itzá Lake
Flores


The great continents of North and South America are linked by an isthmus which also separates the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. This volatile area both politically and geologically is where the Mayan Indian ruled in pre-Colombian times. Now between Southern Mexico and Northern Colombia lie seven nations; Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. My adventures in the latter had wetted my appetite for the region, and I now embarked on a five country odyssey of discovery. The beginning was a little convoluted, flights from Birmingham to Newark, (Wonderful views of the Arctic/Canadian icy wastes, the snow covered forests of New England, and the Manhattan skyline from the Hudson River approach) change for Houston where I am convinced we flew along the great Mississippi, then on through Mexico to Guatemala City, where I ... read more


I leave rising from the plains burning dry heat a landscaped apron of mango trees stretched drum tight under smoking volcano Fuego his sister Agua their brother Acatenango west wind raising a loose horsetail of pumice dust from Acatenango’s flank rust colored against turquoise the gouged once molten rivered mountainside is etched deep trampled glowing red they lied when they told us who is buried here was it 200 hundred no senor it was certainly 2000 mas mas they lie to us here but we know who did not come home that night never came home that morning the truth is washed away when they spray the cobbled streets with precious water while people here are waterless the cane fields burn behind me the armless man waits and I shake his stump and say good morning ... read more
Woman and yellow wall
garage door and red wall
Man walking between colors


She spills the black tea leaves dry and mounded on the battered metal scale the canella and the ambered incense the brown bark wrapped in burlap and the chilied nuts and the manzanilla flowers where eternal sons of leathered mothers pull handcarts loaded groaning under mountains of yuccas to be laid displayed atop complicated vibrant weavings abuela woven dyed deep soaked remolacha red and dried beneath volcanoes history deep a blink a breath a beat a step a whisper the tap of a finger the tender swipe of a baby’s brow to settle her while you make pyramids from shining red tomatoes and braid garlic for your brother who then slings them over his shoulder walks off yelling gravelly voiced ajo ajo ajo ajo mira momnita then you chop tops off the purple yucca expose the ... read more
Garlic seller
Arriving at the Market
Old market entrance


Antigua is quite close to Lake Atitlan. To arrive to Antigua isn’t easy though but we tried to take the easiest way; a small travel package: boat to Panadol and a shuttle mini bus to Antigua. We had to cross the mountains, there I experienced some of the most uphill maybe at 25% incline and crazy ‘tornanti’, sharp elbow curves. The first 50 km the driver just used the first two gear. A big lorry carrying new cheap pieces of furniture crashed into the side of the road and turned over on its side blocking both ways of transit. We lost another hour of sun and we gain 1 hour to our transport time to Antigua. On Airbnb we had found a room in a house, reasonable price, photos looked good, just good reviews. We got ... read more
Marco’s chaise longue
Making PASTA!
Walking sticks from the kids for the volcano trek


Arrived to Panadol (Panachel) we followed Claudio, he went already different time to Lake Atitlan and he knows where the boats depart for San Marco la Laguna. He’s going as well. 25 Quetzals to go on the other side of the lake, we had to get used to the new currency. 11 Queztal are 1 Pound, more less. 35min boat ride on a calm water to arrive to a little wooden pier where at night the water it looked to us similar to cement screed. There were guys ready to offer us tuk tuk type of transportation, they call it taxi, we skip that and continue following Claudio, he said that his hostel it’s just near our one. Literally 5 mins later walking Claudio indicate with his index finger a wooden gate, that’s your hostel. Daria, ... read more
Lake’s favourite transportation
Drums ceremony
Ready for the workshop


As a kid we often drove from France into Italy, Spain and even the UK, so since a young age I have had an affinity with border crossings. Being half Russian, half Italian also feeds this interest for borders, cultures and heritage. Having never crossed a border by land in Latin America, I was especially excited by the long and bumpy journey that lay ahead of us as we left my beloved Mexico for pastures new. I’d never been to Guatemala either and I was excited to see what lay across the border line. We boarded the mini van at 7am and spent the next hour picking up the other passengers at their hotels. On board was Claudio; an Argentinian who had done this journey many times and who we then hung out with and cooked ... read more
Luxury travel
Guatemala Guat’s up!


Hola chicos Nogle fede dage i Flores og Peten er overstået Peten er lig Maya civilisationen. Det var her det hele startede, her de største og vigtigste templer ligger - der ligger mange Maya templer og ruiner i Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua osv. Men det startede i Peten ca 5000 fkr og havde deres storhedstid til ca 1200 ekf da kristendommen for alvor tog over. Men hvad skete der så med dem? Såmænd ikke noget, mayaerne trives stadig i Guatemala og en stor del af befolkningen er Maya. Når man lærer ansigtstrækkene at kende, ser man tydelig forskel. De er lavere har lidt skæve øjne og høje kindben. Central Americas kinesere kan vi kalde dem ;) Vi besluttede at lave en plan der hed: se nogle små mayaruiner, derefter noget stort - Tikal, og slut af med ... read more
Streetfood når det er bedst. 4 tacos med masser dyppelse.
Hytten ved floden i Waka El Peru
Nydelige omgivelser


Hola gringos! Efter en sløv start har vi nu fået lidt af Guatemala under huden! Vi startede med at være et par dage i Antigua, den gamle kulturelle hovedstad. En fin, by med farverige bygninger der bærer præg af tiden fra de spanske "Conquistadores". Godt jetlagget, skulle de første dage bruges på at få hovedet med herover så der blev slappet lidt ved poolen, slendret rundt og bare suge folkene og stedet ind. Antigua ligger på vestkysten, i et vulkanfyldt område, samme kæde der starter Andesbjergene længere sydpå. Jeg har set billeder fra nogen af vulkanerne hvor man kan komme op og se "floder" af rød lava - det lyder jo ret spændende, så der måtte vi op. Tidligt afsted om morgen - og endelig med fødderne i støvlerne - gik turen op af på vulkanen ... read more
"Guams" flag på tagtoppe i Antigua
Mange spisesteder og butikker ligger i fine baggårde
Udsigten på hotellet




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