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The journal formerly known as ...Latin America

Hola Mis Amigos!

GUATEMALA | Thursday, 22 July 2010 | Views [620]

Hola Mis Amigos! I have not checked in since writing to you from the basement of my parents house in Greeley. So where do I begin¿ We´ve only been in Guatemala for 4 days and we have already experienced so much. Staying in Guatemala city was nothing too exciting...it was really my introduction to staying in a cheap hotel-hostel...the people were friendly, room was comfortable and even had a TV! I suppose my only complaint was the restroom...seriously, Ive seen bigger restrooms on airplanes!

So...tuesday morning we wanted to get outta the city asap. We hopped a taxi to the bus station and were off to Antigua. Although Antigua sounded great in the travel book, we had considered skipping as per some advice from a fellow traveler...he couldn't have been more wrong! Antigua is great! It was an exciting 1hr bus ride through the mountains into Antigua and when we arrived we were greeted by super helpful people at every corner. Of course everyone is making a little money one way or another but everyone is more helpful than anything else. After touring a couple hostels we met with a woman named Beatrice who is hosting us in her home! On top of that we have signed up for Spanish school and taking lessons 5hrs a day (which btw is a lot of Espanol) but how else are you going to learn an entire language in 4 days! Staying with Beatrice is great, she cooks us 3 meals a day and is very nice. There are drawbacks though, like the fact that the bathroom is not even piped for hot water! Kinda like bathing in the pacific in January every morning! Besides that its great, Beatrice only lets us speak Spanish at the table and there is another couple from Germany staying at the house that we eat with. Speaking of, during our first meal with the Germans, the man (paul) asks me, do you have travelers diarrhea? I thought that was a strange question when your just getting to know someone, so I replied, no, are you having some trouble? Apparently there are close to 1000 Europeans in Central America right now testing a new vaccine to rid travelers of Diarrhea! Crazy no? Ironic thing is a couple days later...Im really wishing I was part of the study...lol...i know..TMI!

We have taken a couple expeditions already as well...first a visit to a local coffee plantation where we got to see the entire process from coffee bean tree to me drinking it! Tasty coffee, but def a tourist trap!

Today...we took a 2 hour shuttle ride to Volcano Pacaya! It was amazing! Pacaya is one of 3 (i believe) active volcanos around Antigua...very cool! We hiked around for over 2hours of the cooled lava rock (most recent erruption was only a few months ago). The guide book warned of Banditos that like to rob tourists on the volcano...but no worries, we paid for a guide and security...only to find that our guide-security guard was a 12 year boy that got a kick out of burning us with hot lava rocks...lol! He was funny. Our group was pretty small, including 3 guys from england, 2 guys that didnt talk and another german in the diarrhea experiment! The english were probably most prepared for trip, showing up hungover, wearing sailing shoes and bathing suits to hike in! Cracked me up. But turns out, they are headed south from cancun and recently left a town north of Antigua called Semuc Champa (maybe) and it looks amazing...so that may very well be our next stop! Spanish school is over on Saturday, so we will depart Sunday to our next exciting destination!

I miss you all and hope everything is Great!

Brett

oh, almost forgot, I failed to bring the cord to my camera with me tonight to the internet bar (yes, computer and beer), so you will have to wait a bit for pics and video.

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