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¡Ahora empieza la aventura!

Llegada segura

sunny 80 °F
View Turtle and Barracuda go to Guate on BenjaminE's travel map.

After a night of flying, we arrived safe in Guatemala City this morning at 6:30 am. Unfortunately, our luggage was reticent to join us on the journey and spent a night on the town in Chicago without us. Apparently, a five hour layover is not enough time to crawl four terminals over. Luckily, TACA Air is delivering it to our hostal in Antigua tomorrow morning--and so we are putting off the inevitable unheated Central American shower until our soap arrives.

Though some blog posters and tour books will tell you that Guatemala City is a run down cesspool of 4 million people filled with danger and ghoulies around every corner, we found this not to be the case. The airport was much nicer than many American airports we´ve seen and though we made a direct path to our hostal in Antigua, Guatemala City looked ¨llena de vida.¨ From the pure sight of it, clean with people running and biking, it looked more well kept than LA or Philadelphia. However, instead of staying there, we came straight to Antigua, a colonial city 45 minutes away, nestled in a valley between three giant volcanoes. It is comfortable, clean, with cobblestone streets and a big central square. There seems to be a giant ornate white or pastel-colored Catholic church every four blocks and a religious procession every hour with incense, a horn marching band, firecrackers that echo off the steel and concrete houses, and priests strolling in full regale. But, we did arrive two days before Guatemalan Independence Day, so that seems to be the cause for all the celebration. The weather is perfect (80 degrees or so) and an afternoon thunderstorm is brewing on the volcano as we write.

We are planning on staying here for two days until we head to Lake Atitlán to start Spanish classes and volunteering. The food so far is good and affordable and sold at the local fiesta. I have already brushed my teeth with the tap water (oops!) and Kim ate a bunch of watery green peppers today prior to my reminder that they use tap water to wash them and often fertilize them with human fecies (Kim wanted me to add this part). So we will just have to wait and see how easy our next two days are!

Posted by BenjaminE 23:35 Archived in Guatemala Tagged backpacking

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Ohhhh, so happy to hear from you Ben-E. Sounds like you have not lost the barracuda...good job!
Guatemala sounds wonderful and surprisingly nice . We had the same enlightning experience upon arriving in Spain.
Good luck Kim, you may need the Cipro before you had planned.
Love to you both- Momma/CEIL:)

by Cecelia Elaine Lyon-Forrest

Great to hear you got there okay! Too bad your luggage was a bit more reticent. And so the adventures begin! Dn/Dad

by bnussbau

Good luck and be safe! I love Central America; wonderful people, unique cultures, awesome food, amazing history! I get stuck on the history part. You will be totally in love with it all, I'm sure.

OK, I won't keep you guessing. I'm your mom's (Kim's) first cousin, soaking up the September monsoons in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

Looking forward to following your adventures. You have made me reminisce of my adventures hiking and camping the wilds of Scotland, diving the crystal waters of Belize..... Oh my wasted youth!

Hey, didn't you know God invented carry-on bags for a change of underwear, a tooth brush and water purification tablets? Just saying.


by islander13

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