Thursday, July 30, 2009

Antigua, Guatemala Es Muy Bonita

I arrived in Guatemala Saturday night and came straight to Antigua which was only a 40 minute taxi ride from Guatemala City. I´m staying here for a week while I take spanish lessons which are going slowly but surely. I forgot how many cool people you meet while you´re traveling. I´ve already received three offers from fellow travelers to let me stay with them when I make it to their respective countries(Equador, New Zealand, Honduras).
Antigua is beautiful and the local Guatemalans are really friendly. The city is surrounded by three large volcanos and lush green mountains so a amazing view is never out of sight. I went with a group from my Hostel to Volcan de Pacaya, a still active volcano on Monday. We climbed for about an hour and a half before we reached the top where we were rewarded by being able to get extremely close to a flowing river of lava! We tried to roast some marshmellows over the lava but it was so unbelievably hot that you could only stand near it for about 10 seconds before your face and legs felt like they were about to melt off and you had to run away as fast as you could. It was pretty incredible. I did manage to actually poke the lava with a stick. Its much thicker than I would have thought.

The sun was setting when we climbed down and I was able to get a couple great shots of the other surroundig Volcanos.

Funny things happen randomly here all the time. Below is a picture of me drinking a coke out of a plastic bag. I saw a fridge full of old school glass coke bottles and so I ordered one kind of excited to drink a coke out of a bottle and then the lady opened it and poured it into this bag and kept the bottle. Ha.
Below is a pic of the famous Chicken Buses. They are old Blue Line School buses they have tricked out. I´ve ridden on two, one was from Iowa and the other Georgia. They change the front to look bigger and tougher and some have really nice rims. Alot of them have neon lights inside and others are decorated with streamers like its a moving birthday party or something. Í haven´t had the pleasure of riding with any chickens yet but they are still exciting to ride. Sometimes they don´t actually stop the bus for you to get on or off, you just have to kind of jog and jump on as they slow down. I took one today to a small town outside Antigua where I got a 50 minute massage for 85Quetzales which is $10usd.
I´m visiting Lake Atitlan this weekend and then will be off to the Mayan Ruins of Tikal before heading south to Honduras.

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