Guatemala Journals

The Lone Gringa

An October 2011 trip to Guatemala by Melanngw

Quote: Last fall I had decided to go on a journey throughout Central America. It was a journey I did on my own, giving me a chance to meet many people, brush up on my Spanish and explore to my hearts content.
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I left the hotel this morning to head to Chichicastenango for the Sunday mercado. It was a lot of fun wheeling and dealing, although I feel like I always get ripped off - but at least I bargain where most people (gringos) just pay the named price. I also got to see a couple of churches and a really cool cemetary that was so colorful. All the headstones and houses were of different bright and pastel colors. We arrived at 9:30am and left at 2pm, so I had a full day to spend money on crappy little gifts, (por la sobrinos,) and get sun burned. There was a beautiful posada called Santa Tomas that had this gorgeous courtyard filled with all kinds of birds, (I cant tell the difference between a parrot and a ...Read More
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Today I ended up doing the boat tour on my own, I was tired and they left at 8am, so I left about 10am and went to a couple of the villages along the lake, plus it was a third of the cost and I did not need breakfast as my hotel already included it. One village, San Marcos was idyllic, only problem is, it was filled with hippies, ha ha ha! I went to couple different ones, but the one I spent the most time in and had lunch and coffee was San Pedro La Laguna. The village is all uphill, so motorcycles and tuk tuks roam the streets in droves, it is quite a sight, cute if you ask me ;)The highlight of my day was the boat ride back to Panajachel - it was right at sunset and what a gorgeous view ...Read More
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I arrived in Antigua yesterday afternoon. It is a beautiful colonial town with cobblestones and colorful buildings. Antigua is surrounded by three volcanoes and coffee plantations galore. I toured a coffee estate yesterday and learned more about coffe than I ever hoped for ;) They are beautiful estates, like wineries. Some people have weddings and receptions at them. Finca Filadelfia, the one I visited has a 5* hotel and several restaurants attached.Today I spent the day wandering the streets and sitting in the central park and lunched at Cafe Condessa. I met a Guatemalan Mayan while writing postcards and we talked about the government and the oppression of the Mayan people. He was b...Read More
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I left Antigua today to visit the lake town of Panajachel, Lago Atitlan. I arrived just at dusk and got to see a beautiful view of the lake while driving down to get to Pana, but unfortunately by time I got to my hotel and showered I have not seen much of the lake today. Tomorrow I journey to Chichicastenango, a Mayan town in the highlands with a big mercado on Sundays and Thursdays. I am glad I was able to time it right and make it.

I am at an Internet cafe drinking coffee because there is no sale or service of alcohol today due to elections tomorrow.

Guatemala City

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Guatemala CityI arrived in Guatemala City yesterday evening. I was exhausted from the weekend of moving and all the stress and chaos leading up to this trip. I booked a transfer from the airport ahead of time to take me to my accommodations for the next couple of days, Posada Belen in the historico districto - Zona 1. Francesca and Renee who run the place were very nice and welcoming. The kitchen made me some soup and tortillas. I have no idea what kind of soup it was, (light green,) but it hit the spot! I used the slow computer for a while until a nice couple from San Antonio, Texas helped me figure out how to use the wi-fi on my phone. I spoke to them for a while - they basically did the same ...Read More