Sunday, January 8, 2012


We have been in Antigua for a few days now and it is quite the colonial city. In many ways, it is as if this ciy was transported from somewhere in Europe and dropped down here in Guatemala. It's easy to see how this used to be the capital until the city was largely destroyed by an Earthquake, and there are ruins from that time period scattered about the city. In total, Antigua is basically 8 blocks by 9 blocks with the Parque Central in the middle. There are numerous coffee shops, hotels, and fine restaurants. For adventurers on a budget, such as ourselves, we have largely been avoiding these sorts of places and trying to find places that locals patronize. For example, yesterday we had lunch at a little comedor and for 15 quetzales each (a little less than $2 US, we both got a bowl of chicken soup, a plate of vegatables, a chicken breast, tortillas, and a homemade fruit drink. However, in the more touristy cafes, a cup of coffee is easily 20 quetzales, and a bowl of soup could ranch from 35 up to 70+ depending on your tastes. That said, it would appear that it's very easy to get a good deal, relative to American prices, on some very good food. Tour agencies abound and the majority list their prices here in dollars instead of quetzals. English is spoken nearly everywhere along with other European languages.
Sarah has had a little cold the last few days so we have been taking it easy. Yesterday we went to the printing press musuem where they have a replica of one of the first printing presses from Central America. As seems to be the norm in Guatemala, there are different prices for citizens and foreigners, and this process is institutionalized. Entry to this museum is 5 quetzales for Guatemalan citizens and 30 quetzales for foreigners. Unfortunately, when we entered yesterday, the musuem did not have change for a 100 quetzal bill, and so we managed to get into the musuem for 42 quetzales instead of 60. There are many old books, and even some musical works which Sarah enjoyed. We hung out in the Parque Central for a bit, listened to some Beatles being played by a local band, with local instruments, and generally took it easy. A nutritious pizza dinner and some ice cream rounded out the evening. We are going to head up to Flores in the next day or so where we are considering a 5-8 day hike away from civilization. We will keep you posted!

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