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Round the World in about 200 Days

Guatemalan Gringos

GUATEMALA | Sunday, 13 April 2008 | Views [625]

Guatemala has been an adventure of all sorts…chicken busses packed to the absolute brim, sitting in 1 old school bus seat with the 2 of us and a family of 4, traffic jams on mountain roads for hours, using your broken Spanish to ask for directions in a small town only to realize that they only speak the local Mayan tribal language and that was all before we reached our destination!

Isla Flores was a really cute little place, great hostel, lots of cool people but we only stayed a couple days because we really wanted to get in 2 full weeks of Spanish class before heading up to Mexico for Kim and Brady’s wedding.

Dennis and I arrived in San Pedro la Laguna and found a place to stay. It is a funny sort of place the way it is set up…it is as if there are 2 separate places just right next to each other.

There is a whole old school Mayan village just going about their business for the most part and an entire separate community of Gringos, mostly that live here for at least half the year. It is kind of a bizarre set up but they seem to be happy with it. Lots of Guatemalans have jobs teaching Spanish or working in the restaurants down on this end of town but seem to be happy to be able to go home to their part of town and not deal with us all the time.

At least that is what our Spanish teacher told us. We had a great guy as a teacher and he taught us so much in 2 weeks! I was so impressed. The school was great and we even got free salsa lessons one night!

It is absolutely beautiful, this huge lake in the middle of volcanoes with little villages dotting the sides. The first week was a bit tough as we managed to pickup some kind of crazy sickness form the water or food or something, it is pretty dirty, the water here; there is cholera and dysentery in it, I seriously thought we had eradicated that stuff…

But once we got well again it was back on the wagon. We met up with a guy Steve we had met in Flores, he is the guy playing guitar in the pictures. We made a bunch of friends pretty quickly. It is such a small town scene it takes an hour to walk 20 feet because you know every 3rd person you pass.

All in all it had been a good time here and we are both a bit sad to be moving on. Would love to take some more Spanish classes and actually get to climb one of the volcanoes but knowing I get to see the SF crew in Puerto Vallarta in a few days makes it much easier to go.

Plus it will definitely be nice to stay in a proper hotel and spoil ourselves for a whole week! PV here we come…

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