Friday - Arrival in Antigua
We had a nice chatty breakfast with Braulio and Wendy, caught the bus and arrived in Antigua around 11. Coffee and fruit at a cute little cafe before dropping our things of at a cute little hotel. Lunch, window shopping, jade museum, amazing banana bread hot out of the oven, and a nice walk up the hill to a scenic overlook of the city as the sun was setting. A little more wandering around town before drinks at trendy Cafe Sky and then paella at a Spanish restaurant.
Saturday - The Day I Learned About Coffee
After a relaxed breakfast on our rooftop patio, we took a tuk-tuk (a tiny 3-wheeled taxi) out to a coffee plantation. They have a neat museum all about growing, harvesting and processing coffee. There's also a little museum on ancient and current traditional Mayan music that's pretty good. Scott dragged me to Pollo Campero for lunch - it's a fried chicken fast food chain that's huge down here. Good and greasy. We spent the afternoon shopping for gifts and souvenirs and then split a liter of Brahva (the Brazilian beer that's just arrived on the scene to compete with Guatemalan-brewed Gallo). Upscale Guatemalan food for dinner.
Being in Antigua makes me miss Rome a lot. Maybe it's because this city is more colonial, has more fancy old churches, feels more European than the rest of the country. I find myself thinking about Rome (and Lisbon) quite a bit. The architecture, the markets, the food, the museums, the streets.
Sunday - I'm 25 today!
Today is my last full day in Guatemala, which is a sad thing I'm not ready to go home yet and feel like I could spend at least 10 more days here with Scott. I guess that's a testament to how wonderful this trip has been.
We got up at 5:30 this morning for a 6am departure for Pacaya - an active volcano about an hour and a half outside of the city. It took a few hours to hike to the top, most of which was on loose, sandy, rocky volcanic terrain. We got to see lava flowing, steam coming out of the ground and rocks being spat out of the crater. Cool stuff. We got back to our hotel around 1, showered to get rid of the black dust that had managed to get under my toenails and up my nose, and had a little picnic on the rooftop patio - toast, avocado, local cheese, mango. Lovely.