Weekend in Guatemala

When I got on my bus from Guatemala City to San Salvador, I never expected to do the reverse drive to Guatemala City and return by the same route again. But I did, when my friend Frida decided to do the trip in her car. Another friend arranged for a CouchSurfing host who lived in a very modern, tall apartment building with a reception desk and a beautiful view. This was a very different experience than my previous visits into the city. I will post the photos of this view when I find them. I didn’t get to take my photos of me leaving Guatemala and entering El Salvador the first time across because passengers were not permitted to get off the Tica bus. So this timne, at least I got a photo as our car crossed the bridge borders. (Of course, I don’t photograph customs offices.)

Salsa at Pelicano’s restaurant in Guatemala City!

I am dressed in my nice new skinny jeans for the first time on this trip. Blue jeans, white shirt, makeup, the necklace my sister-in-law gave me for the trip, a bracelet I bought in San Marcos de Laguna, and as always, the bracelets my good friend Andrew gave me to wear and think of him. On my feet are the flat black bit-of-sparkle-on-the-strap Aerosoles that I bought in NYC for this trip. It is fun to be dressing up for a night out. I came to Guatemala City to meet Jewish Guatemala – and Motzie Shabbas found myself at Pelicano’s tropical style rooftop seafood restaurant having Margarita on the owner while my friends were the band to which everyone danced. On another weekend visit I actually danced. Salsa, me. Life never ceases to amaze me when I give myself the liberty to say “sure” or “I’d love to” or […]

FABULOUS place to stay during travel on Lake Atitlán

This is what I walk out to in the morning. It is the view from the dormitory of Posada Jaibalito. (You can have a similar view from a private room, too.) Morning is 6 a.m. for me here — and I love it! The smell of smoke from the homes of surrounding Mayan families greets my nose. The air is full of chipping and other animal sounds that are better than music. The sun comes up behind a volcano mountain so it doesn’t get bright and warm until close to 8. Before that it is a bit of a romantic hazy light and its own warm color. I love it all! Morning is laundry time. My clothes dry in the fresh air. I love the view from the roof — these rooftops and the hazy smoky sky being one. I don’t recall what time of day I took each of these […]

Quest for chocolate

I have heard over and over that the best cocoa beans are in Guatemala. Staying here among the lush vegetation in this volcanic region in the rainy season I can understand why. But I was not finding the people behind the chocolate and am not into taking a paid tour. Today I met the former neighbor of “Chocolate Bob,” the man behind ixcacao — so now maybe I will have to change my plans to go see him.

Giving whale watching in Guatemala a miss

Looking at things to experience along the coast of Guatemala, I was excited to see that the beach town of Monterrico offers whale watching — until I saw the price. Products Mundiales’ whale watching is from 1250Q per person. That is US$178! In Redondo Beach, California, whale watching with Voyager Excursions is around $15. I will be doing my whale watching in Redondo Beach.

Departing a country and leftover currency

Many a traveler or backpacker is acquainted with the challenge of having enough money to cover his or her costs in a country while leaving with as little spare currency as possible. We will often play the where-are-you-going-wanna-swap-cash game with other travelers. That gives us a bit to get our first bus or cab inn the next country. From Mexico to Belize I had it measured perfectly, but then ended up with extra pesos which I swapped with someone Mexico-bound — and that gave me the perfect amount to depart Belize with. From Belize to Honduras I thought I was perfect but later found a couple of extra dollars so I changed them upon arrival to Honduras — which gave me money for my first bus. Leaving Honduras I thought I was doing well, then realized I am a whopping 74 Limpera (under $4) short on my share of the […]