Guatemala I love you so

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It’s probably time to start discussing my Guatemala trip and throwing photos at you.  It already feels like a lifetime ago and a million miles away, well that second part is probably true.  It’s hard to remember what my expectations where before I left for Guate, but these words came to mind: unsafe, third world, dirty, colorful, busy city, and travel.  About half of those turned out to be true, but some of those words were a bit off.  The words I’d use to describe Guatemala now are, colorful, green, nice people, yummy food (NOT mexican food), adventures, green hills, volcanos, and third world/ bustling city, oh and crazy crazy drivers.

The trip was inspired by Cassie, who moved down there back in July.  She had some things planned for our trip and I couldn’t have been happier with their outcome.  First, hang out in Guatemala City which most tourists skip and I’m so glad I didn’t.  Yes it’s crazy, but also so great to see how another city functions or how their roads are totally whack or that I was definitely the only tall blonde person for miles.  Next we went to Antigua for the day/night on our way to Semuc Champey.  Antiqua is touristy, gorgeous and cobblestoney.  Yes that’s a word.  Semuc Champey was way back in the outskirts of the wilderness, an 8 hour shuttle ride, up and down a windy, wet, slippery dirt road and on a partially flat tire.  This was was Cassie best describes as “Indiana Jones” adventures. We could hear the Indian Jones theme song all day long, we road in the back of a truck with 15 people (standing), swam in bat caves, jumped off rocks, swam with a candle in hand and went as far back as we could go.  I fell at one point which really shook me up.  It made me realize that we are so vulnerable in nature and to be more cautious.  The nearest hospital was 3 hours way on a dirt road.  I didn’t want to take any chances.  And yes, I saw one bat hanging above, all snuggled in for the day.  I even saw it strreeetch it’s cute wing.  After the bat caves we dove in the river via a rope swing.  This was rad up until the point where this girl in our group almost didn’t jump off the swing and could have seriously broken her back.  We then tubed down the river and laughed at the three people from singapore who didn’t know how to swim, and then feared for their lives when they did NOTHING to try and get to shore before the waterfall around the bend.  Oy!  THEN we had lunch. After lunch, we hiked to the top of the hill, which felt much more like a mountain, and took pictures of actual Semuc Champey, which was breathtaking, hiked down and explored the river.  This was a major highlight of the trip, warm blue water, new found friends, green green hills.

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It was the devil’s birthday, so tradition has it that you burn a devil piñata in the street and rid your sins from the year.

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This is Antigua, see what I mean about cobblestoney?

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These tostadas need a whole post in themselves thats how good they were.  If I could have one thing here in the states it would be these tostadas.  Don’t be deceived, it looks plain, but good lord its a slice of heaven, or a tortilla shell of heaven.

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Here we stayed in Semuc in a  cabina

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Mayan tradition says you wear face paint, or the tour guide was playing a big joke on all of us.

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This picture above does not do it justice, but it really looked like heaven on hearth at this moment

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Totes normal.

After our trek back to the city, we drove our car up to San Pedro at Lake Atitlan.  Having a car was glorious up until we got stopped by the policia and had to pay them $200Q ($25) for driving without a license.  I had to take the wheel with my drivers license, Cassie’s passport and another person’s car registration, huh?  Anyways, San Pedro was amazing.  Quant little lake town with too much time on our hands.  We ate, we drank, made amazing friends Katie and Steph.  The highlights here are quiz night, Zoola food and hiking to the top of Indian Nose at 4am to watch an active volcano and sunrise over the lake.  Epic I tell you.  We ended up staying in San Pedro for the duration of the trip and skipping out on the beach.  We packed in a day trip to Chichicastenango, where the huge Sunday market is. Pronounced “Chia-cast-eh-nahn-go”

This is such a brief summary on such a big adventure, but I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

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Lake Atitlan!

 

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Also, totes normal.

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Every.single.one of the tortillas in this country are hand made and I vote these tortillas for president!

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Real life yo.

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COFFEE!!

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These are the girls we met in San Pedro, both Australian and both amazing.

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Chichicastanango!

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This was the cemetery outside of Chichi and boy was it colorful

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This lady here on my right made the shirt I am wearing.

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We set fireworks off at the top of Indian Nose

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See on the right how it totally looks like a face in the mountains, that’s indian nose.

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And lastly, this guy made my shoes!!!

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