Guatemala was the country of dengue fever, kidney stones, poo samples and police arrests. Oh, there was a colonial town and a lake in there somewhere.
We crossed the border near Copan ruins in Honduras into Guatemala. We did our usual early morning crossing with a smooth transition, well as smooth as any border crossing can go.
We made a stop along the way to get Priscilla’s exhaust fixed at a Toyota dealer. A mount had broken many months ago, and Mike had been doing backyard mechanics to hold it in place. The staff was very accommodating, and we were on the road again. Take a read of the funny story below.
KEIRA: THE CHARMS OF A LITTLE GIRL
So to set the scene: Keira and I were standing outside a Toyota dealer/service center in Guatemala, when a heavily armored truck arrived. You know the ones that come to pick up money from businesses and securely transport the money to banks?
Keira and I were about to walk back into the building but decided to wait as 2 armed guards were stationed either side of the doorway. Keira said “Hola” in her innocent little voice and gave them a timid wave. The 2 grown man with guns melted on the spot, and started waving back and saying Hola to her. This continued as they got back into the truck, and they all waved goodbye to her through the little tiny windows/gun slots.
SECURITY GUARDS EVERYWHERE:
We completed bypasses around the capitol, Guatemala City with our doors locked and on high alert.
In Guatemala every business has their own security guards that are carrying shotguns. They are posted outside businesses all over the place. Imagine our surprise though when we saw 2-armed guards riding shotgun on a water delivery truck!
Really necessary? Must be, but strange all the same. It has been said that water will be the new gold.
Our destination for 2 nights was the old colonial city of Antigua. The cities location is quite spectacular. 2 volcanoes, one of which was active, surround it. From the rooftop of our hotel we could see the smoke billowing from the volcano’s crater.
Antigua is a beautiful town, with cobbled streets, churches and the usual plazas that are a trademark of Sth and Central America. It reminded us of other towns we had been in, like Cusco and Granada, but a little shabbier. We enjoyed walking in the city, and completed some shopping, adding once again to our chocolate and coffee collection. We also bought cool masks, and a doll for Keira’s international doll collection.
Street scenes and pics taken around the Plaza
Returning from our shopping jaunt, our car that we thought was parked legally had a wheel lock on. Mike then did something wrong (as Mike sometimes does) and was “unofficially” arrested by the Guatemala police. He was taken to pay the parking fine but was not released. He was driven out of the city where the police demanded a bribe for his release. One and a half hours later after paying a portion of the bribe the police were insisting on, he was returned to the hotel. Not an occurrence we wish to repeat! Police corruption at its best!
Whilst in Antigua we decided to get a final check for parasites to make sure we were clear before going home. This was a very simple and inexpensive process. Obtain containers, get a sample, take it to the lab and an hour later the results are ready. All for the grand total of $4 USD each! What is wrong the medical system in first world countries? Results were all negative, all clear!
CRAZY TUK TUK RIDE:
We took a tuk tuk around the town, which was quite a ride. The cobbled streets make for a pretty rough and loud journey.
There were more chocolate establishments in town and it was fun to watch them making chocolates. And of course we had to sample some!
Markets and weavers:
Some of the items at the markets, all very colorful.
**********ANTIGUA was definately a place we will remember for better or worse.********
Just a place to keep our mates informed on where we are at, and what we are up to.