Guatebuena! - Antigua Guatemala
Finally finally finally after 9 months we headed to the actual target of out travel. Central- and Southamerica! Took us quite a while, since we first planed to be there in January or February:-) Our first country in Central America should be Guatemala. Actually it was México with Tijuana, but that does not really count. ;-) We choosed Guate because a lot of other travellers told us it should be amazing. Let's find out!
We skiped Guatemala City since a lot of people, even Guatemaltecos told us that it's not really safe to go there and anyway a bit to busy for what we needed after so many crowded cities. So after our quite exhausting 26 hours! trip to Guatemala City we jumped into a cab and drove directly to Antigua! Was not so easy to find a hotel at 01.00am in sleepy Antigua. We found a nice stay and made friends with the crew there. Luckily, because one of the guys recommended the best restaurant in Antigua to us. The Rincon Tipico! if you ever go there! Simple and tipical Guatemalteco cuisine! Fantastic and cheap! We immediately felt thinking back to that simple and more adventurous travelfeeling. Finally no more rules everywhere, no more spending 50$ on a meal and most important... Hello again 1$ beers! :-) Or in one sentence:
"Welcome back my beloved freedom!"
Antigua is a fantastic little city. Like the name says, everything is quite old and a bit slow. The restaurants are occasionally some of the most beautiful we have ever seen and everything is a lot of hands on. Here the word "craftmansship" is really indicated. If you like old churches and stuff like that, it's paradise. We didn't wanna to a lot there, since a guy on the street asked us if we wanna do a Spanisch course. Why not we thought. And pam..! the next day we were living with a family from Antigua for the next 9 days! :-) Insted of doing nothing, the call was 5 hours of study a day. A little change. The stay with the family was very interesting. Quite a bit different than in Switzerland. :-) It was a coming and going of people from 06.00am to 09.00pm. We had a good time though and were forced to speak Spanish. A lovely experience.
After this 9 days with the family, the day when Petra (our friend from CH), should arrive, was finally there. We would spend the next 12 days together. It was very nice to see a known friend after so many months.
The first 3 days we relaxed and enjoyed the several markets, bars and restaurants. On day 4 we started a 2 day, one night hike to the third highest vulcano in Guatemala. Vulcano Acatenango with 3976m! Hiking vulcanos is quite popular in Guate, since they have 36 of them and a few are aktiv. :-) Like one of the most active ones in the world, that's called Pacaya. Where Nadia and I roasted sone marshmallows over lava the other day! ;-) But back to the hike. It's a nice and not too strenous hike from 1200m up to 3600m on the first day and the 376m more to the summit in the early morning of the second day. You don't wanna miss the sunrise. What makes the hike a bit a pain is, that you have to carry all the stuff by your own. Tent, sleeping bag, water and food and so on, but it's totally worth it! When you are lucky, like we were, you can see the nearby vulcano erupt! El vulcan de fuego, was very activ that day and we saw many awsome eruptions from our base camp. Absolutely overwhelming! The way to the summit in the morning at 04.00am is quite easy, because you go without baggage and it's only 376m. You will get payed with a marvellous sunrise above the clouds. Stunning! The problem on the top is the cold. The wind is fucking blowing and you we were freezing. Especially because one douche of a Asian girl attempted to the hike with, let's say inappropriate gear, and slowed down the whole group. So we had to wait for her at the summit and after 30 minutes we weren't able to move our fingers anymore! We were happy to go down to the fire at the base campe to warm up again. After breakfast we started the decline, which normally takes about 2,5 hours. Because of the before mentioned genius, it took us 5 hours! Unbelievable how stupid some people are!
Since we were a bit exhausted from all the hiking, we decided to go to the black beaches, on the pacific coast of Guatemala, to relax a bit.