Guats Up? From Guatemala

17 06 2011

The gang sitting down to a self-made meal

My how the time has flown already! It feels like just yesterday that we landed in Guatemala City and were instantly greeted by Pam and Brian.  We have already explored the beautiful town of Antigua for four days!  How good it is to be around such good friends again! I just wish the time wasn’t going by so quickly.

We currently are on the road to another adventure in another part of  Guatemala, but it feels like I blinked my eyes and we were leaving Antigua.  I know that we did a lot,  I have the pictures to prove it, but I can’t believe the first leg of our Guatemalan adventure is over!

When we first arrived in Antigua we did all that we could to find our bearings.  We walked aimlessly through the streets and explored the clean and amazingly old buildings.   We got lost a few times trying to find a cheap place to eat… It turns out that it is a little more expensive to eat in Antigua than we had planned.

We have visited the local markets and various churches of Antigua and have tried to get a true feel for the place.   The town is beautiful.  It is pretty neat to see such old architecture and indigenous people with volcanos in the background.  The town itself is very quite.  There are hardly any animals, the people are all very quiet, and in a really bizzare fashion, people don’t use their horns when driving.  It took Miguel and I a few days to actually accept that we were in a Central American country.

While staying in Antigua we took a day trip to a volcano nearby. The volcano is called Pacaya and it is still active.   On Pacaya we roasted marshmallows in a lava crevasse and walked into a huge vocano cave… It was hot as hell but super cool.  The whole time on the hike we were followed by locals on horses.  They were offering a “natural” taxi ride to the top of the mountain.  As we laborously walked up hill, they would temptingly call out, “It only takes 10 minutes to the top if you take a horse, but 1 hour if you walk.  Taaaaxi.  Taaaaaxi natural!”  Although it was tempting, none of us could bring ourselves to be that lazy.  The hike was quite easy and quite nice, but we have now taken to calling out, “Taaaaxi natural” anytime one of us starts draging.

Eating a lava roasted marshmallow

Our view from the volcano

The gang in the volcano cave

After our day on Pacaya, we took a cooking class at a local restaurant called Cafe Flor.   The cooking school was called Frijol Feliz.  From a local Guatemalan man, we learned to make traditional chili rellenos, tortillas, guacamole, and a traditional dessert called rellanitos (a mix of sweet beans and fried plantains). We had a great tme (it didnt hurt that we had free drinks while we cooked).  After cooking we feasted on our meal.  We could hardly walk home we were so full, but it was all worth it.  It was a great time to be in the kitchen, learning new things, and drinking a few beers with my friends.

Top Chef Antigua

Rellenos. Yummm.

I would say the only downside to our trip in Antigua was our choice of hostel.  We stayed at a place called El Hostel.  The ammenaties were nice and our room was very spacious and decently cheap… but it was so so loud.  Our room (as did most in the place) shared a wall with the street.  In addition, we were directly across from a place called Cafe No Se which features nightly open mic music until 1 am, at which point, the musicians just play on the street.  It would seem, we picked the only noisy road in Antigua to sleep on.  The bad news for this hostel is there doesn’t seem like much they can do to remedy the situation.  The building is old and has an open courtyard in the middle which adds to the noise… and it seems that Cafe No Se has been around and will be around for quite some time.  Thank goodness Pam and Brian had the foresight to pack ear plugs.

All in all, Antigua was wonderful.  It is such a romantic and eerily clean town.  The locals are sweet, the food is good… what more can you ask for?

-V

Antigua is for lovers

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One response

18 06 2011
twanda

Vanessa, your expression says it all. Magnifico! Does this mean the end of Smores’ for you?

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