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Arrival in Guatemala...

GUATEMALA | Thursday, 16 July 2009 | Views [732] | Comments [2]

With much anticipation and a nervous disposition, I have arrived in Guatemala. The flight from London to Huston was trouble free and we arrived in Huston half an hour early.

However, going through customs and immigration wasn't pleasent at all. The security and customs officers were commanding and rude; not a very good first impression for any new arrivals in the US. I was screamed at and they even threatned to call security. Why? Because I didn't fill out two words on my form and instead of moving away, I just tried to fill those two words out at the desk. Big mistake, apparently and I will told in a very aggresive way to more to the back of the line. When I got back to the front, I was a bit annoyed and the officer could obviously see that. This is when he told me if I was being "cheeky" he would call security. Awful experience.

Despite the horrible customs experience, I boarded the plane ready for the two and a half hour flight to Guatemala City with no other problems.

Once we landed and I was finally in Central America, I breezed through the lax airport "security" and went outside to find my guy from the hotel. He was there with a sign and a broad smile "Marianne?" he said, and went to get his van. The hotel was only 10mins away from the aiport; I could actually see it from my window.

I slept awfully that night due to airport noise, screeching cars, rumbling motorbikes and 5am by fireworks going off nearby. I couldn't stop thinking either. I was pleased that I had made it to Guatemala, but apprehensive about the trip to Antigua the next day.

After breakfast the next morning, my shuttle bus arrived and took me to Antigua, which is about 45mins west of Guatemala City, through the mountains.

The differences between Guatemala City and Antigua are extreme. Guatemala City is busy and industrial, with almost every building covered in a perimeter of twisted barbed wire. I didn't feel safe at all in Guatemala City. But as the shuttle bus drove down from the hills and I caught a glimpse of the colourfully pained colonial buildings, tall white churches and cobble stone streets, my emotions began to change. 

Antigua is a heavily tourist based town, and is therefore the safest city in Guatemala. Tourist police are everywhere and the locals are friendly aand welcoming.

After my shuttle dropped me off, I checked in to a hotel called The Black Cat and went to try and find Alex and Morgan. I found a msg from Alex on my facebook, telling me where their hotel is and on my way there I bumped in to them on the street.

It is so good to see them again and for a few hours being here felt like a dream. We went to get something to eat (beans, tortias, rice, salsa and salad!) and talked. In the afternoon we visited the ruins of a 17th century Catholic church in the center of town. They're in the process of rebuilding it using red bricks. I thought the old parts looked best - the building had crumbled and big chunks of the old walls lie on the dusty ground.

In the evening, we drank beers on the roof of Alex and Morgans hostel and talked and laughed. For dinner we got pasta and mojitos at a little bar in the center of town. It was a lovely day and I am so happy to see my best friend again. Traveling with her and Morgan is going to be lots of fun indeed.

We spoke about our plans for the next few weeks and it seems to consensis is to leave Guatemala by bus and head to El Salvador and Costa Rica. There is a lot more fun and adventure to come. :)

PS: I'll post photos soon! xx

Pacaya Volcano...

Pacaya Volcano...

Comments

1

Real good to know you have arrived safely at your destination Maz.Look forward to the photos and more of the blog.

  Gran & Granddad Hender Jul 17, 2009 6:26 AM

2

Doh! I've been looking at your UK blog wondering why you hadn't updated it only to realize I had to click on the Guatemala link. I'm gonna change my name to Homer.

Glad you're safe and well. Take care sweetie. Great photos yet again.

  Baba Jul 20, 2009 7:12 PM

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