Hola from Guatemala
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So on to Guatemala’s second city, luckily for me there aren’t any other places on my trip beginning with Q or I may be in danger of running out of titles !! Of course it’s also known by the name Xela (a shortened version of it’s Mayan name) but Xela has the X factor is a rubbish title !!
Firstly I had to leave Monterrico and before I did I felt I had to introduce a new paragraph for the blog to cope with my current obsession, not unsightly ladies but my latest animal obsession – well actually it’s been going on for a few months now (so here’s pigwatch)!! As I made my way back to the hotel for lunch a dog chased a pig out of one of the restaurants – they do that here if the pig or other animal doesn’t belong to that particular establishment. Monterrico is an incredibly quiet place so for the pig to run out in the middle of the road and in to the path of a huge lorry was incredibly bad luck, in fact it was nearly a case of smoky bacon !! The driver slammed on his brakes and the pig ducked, went under and then came out of the other side. He had a little mark on his back and obviously shaken went to the side of the road and knelt down on his trotters. He looked so scared. The next moment a girl came from the opposite side of the street, called him and off he gaily went trotting behind her, they are just so endearing. The bus came to pick me up and then as we were going a long the road, we suddenly screeched to a halt, pigs are obviously like buses here and one had charged in front of our bus, again luckily we missed it, I wish they’d stop trying to play chicken !!
Back to the blog…
The bus dropped me back in Antigua, so I ended up back in Los Amigos, it was raining so there was nothing to do apart from go to the “El Chillout” bar in the hostel. We were joined by 2 Danes who were there when I last left, 2 Americans who live in Costa Rica and a local Guatemalan guy who’d moved to Antigua that day. I became the life and soul of the party and staggered to bed around midnight. Actually it was a good night, I know porn names were revealed and I don’t think I’ve been that drunk since Panama, so I guess it’s allowed every once in a while.
The next morning I felt awful and apparently one of the Americans came to say goodbye but I hadn’t woken from my pit at that stage. I went out for some food, skipped my market stop and then boarded the bus to Quetzaltenango. The roads were particularly muddy and windy, but eventually I was dropped off at the Black Cat hostel. I still felt tired so I spent the evening quietly just watching films with some of the other inmates.
Sunday, it’s time to go out and explore, and surprise surprise it’s raining !! I’m back at something like 2000 metres so I didn’t get a good night’s sleep (I hardly ever do at altitude). It’s the first Sunday of the month and today is market day, it’s the only day in the month that the Mayan’s come down to sell their wares. The market was quite small so I didn’t really buy anything. The centre of town has a beautiful square and some very elaborate buildings but apart from that I can’t really find much to do here. There’s still a few gringos (but not as many as Antigua) and I think it would be a good place to come and study Spanish although a little cold. Actually I wanted to come here and climb volcanos but the rain has put paid to those plans. There are lots of colourful houses down the narrow cobbled streets and others up high in the hills. Yes, indeed, it is very quaint. Again, had the weather been better I would have done a few days of volunteer work, there’s a great women’s organisation here that has lots of opportunities, in fact the city is run by women !! Later that evening I went out for some beers with my dorm mates – nothing too heavy this time, hurray !!
This morning I woke up and discovered that I’d managed to lose the padlock keys to my locker. They must have come out of my pocket at some point, luckily the ingenious receptionist had a screwdriver to hand and managed to bust the locker open. So I’m just finishing this page as I wait for my bus to take me to Lake Atticlan. Apparently we are in the midst of the first tropical storm of the season, well the bus is here so it’s time for the off !!
Plane = 26, Bus = 122, Train = 2, Boat =22, Sunglasses = 9, Mosquito Repellant = 11, Books Read = 31 1/2, Bags lost and then recovered = 2.
Take care all