Antigua

We decided on an earlyish start to our trip into Guatemala as we were doing it ourselves in Chicken buses and we thought we had a few changes. But as we only had 180kms to travel we didn’t think we would have a problem. 

After one bus change we were soon walking across the border into Guatemala without any issues. So no stamps needed for El Salvador. We think this is because there is an agreement for most western travelers that they can spend 90 days in Nic, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. 

We then picked up our third chicken bus on the border and made it all the way to Guatamala City. Where we were unceremoniously dumped on the side of the road in a not great area and told to walk straight to catch our bus to Antigua. Well it wasn’t that easy but eventually we made our final change to make it to Antigua. Only took us 8 hours to travel 180kms! 

We were meeting Bill and Emma in Antigua so we were looking forward to hearing all of their adventures and although it had only been about 5 weeks since seeing them we both had covered a huge amount of ground. A few drinks later we had all regaled each other of our adventures and we were all looking forward to investigating Antigua.

So what we haven’t mentioned is that Tim had managed to catch some weird foot disease a few weeks ago. We originally thought a bite and then I thought ring worm and then while looking at pictures of ring worm we discovered that he may have potentially picked up a hook worm that had borrowed into his foot. 

So after further Google investigations we decided he maybe should see a doctor. So again googled that and within an hour had an English speaking Doctor visiting the hostel. He was a little taken aback by Tim’s disease as he had never seen one in real life only read about them. You catch this by being in contact with human or animal feces in a wet environment which is quite disturbing but after we mentioned the toilet situation on San Blas he wasn’t so surprised. So off to the hospital for a prescription for worming tablets and a clean of the foot for us. Easy peasy and we were soon out and investigating Antigua with Bill and Emma.

Antigua was another colonial town but not as restored as Granada. A lot of its churches were actually crumbling. This was due to an earthquake in 1773 whereafter the capital became Guatamala City instead of Antigua so there was no money for costly rebuilds. It really was a beautiful place, very touristy but it still managed to retain its charm. 

One of the reasons for this is that Guatemala has a large indigenous population. Walking around the city passing ladies in bright skirts and tops carrying baskets of fruit etc on their heads was really special and reminded us a lot of Bolivia and Peru.

Unfortunately it then started to pour it down so it was back to the hostel for us to do some planning. We did manage to make it back out to visit the artisan market which was full of beautiful textiles and leather work and have another quick walk around before finishing the day off on a roof top bar overlooking the city with views of the 3 volcanoes surrounding the city. Not a bad way to start our Guatemalan adventure. S

Tim being pocked and prodded by the Doc.

One of the many colonial buildings that is just a shell or only has one wall still standing. In this building they use the space to teach local kids a trade. Pretty good use of the space I think.

We just don’t seem to get sick of looking at the colonial style streets. So interesting and beautiful.

I purchased some sweets off this lady and asked her for a photo. She was well pleased and posed up a storm for me.

Such a beautiful church. The detail was just awesome.

Could you get any more picturesque. The street, the clock tower and the volcano.

Another old building slowly crumbling away

The view from the sky bar. We accidentally had it in a scene but the result was pretty awesome.

The views around the town at night was also spectacular. Antigua definitely impressed us.

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