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Two Weeks in Antigua

2012-12-07 (Please note the dates.  I'm now posting in whatever order I please.)

Clouds Over Antigua
Clouds Over Antigua

Two weeks in Antigua. I'm in that space where I need to settle in or move on. Unfortunately, Betsy is still in the clutches of a good but very slow mechanic for fuel injector service.  I'm getting my cake and eating it too, however, with the help of Club 4x4 Guatemala

Sunbeams at Sunset
Sunbeams at sunset as seen from a private finca owned by a Club 4x4 Guatemala member
Aside from taking trips with the 4x4 club, I am also enthralled by all the abundance of social contact (party, bar, party, bar ...), decent liquor (Zacapa rum ... ahhhh) and good food (I often sing the praises of the Guatemalan tortilla). I did manage to at least try and do something productive - I signed up for Spanish classes.  I have wanted to do something academic to try and improve my Spanish but I was skeptical from the start about the independent schools.

Spanish class wasn't really my thing.  It was sort of like high school, except my instructor always wanted to cut out early and I couldn't fall asleep in the back of the room because the teacher was always right there in front of me.

After a week, I decided not to go back.

Instead, I passed my time visiting the mechanic in Ciudad Vieja, wandering Antigua, making new friends and photographing the volcanos and colonial architecture.

Volcán de Agua
Volcán Agua as seen from Café Sky

Most mornings, I wake up around 6AM to the church-bells at La Merced. On Sundays, at 5AM, as they seem to enjoy launching mortars and setting off firecrackers. Very pious.  I then swing by Café Fernando for coffee and breakfast. I'm not sure what they put in the tomato salsa but it draws me back in almost daily. After visiting the mechanic, I ride the Chicken Bus back to Antigua and commence wandering.

Usually by afternoon I'm sitting in the central park, next to the topless mermaid fountain, with a book in hand.  I talk to the shoe-shine kids, the chiclet kids, the artesanía vendors and other random folks that want to pester talk to me.  I don't like buying random junk and I am also kind of turned off by child labor but I'm always good for a conversation.  After two weeks, most folks aren't trying to sell me stuff anymore, but they do stop by to chat.  I don't mind really, in fact, I kind of enjoy it.

In the evening, I change to the park by La Merced.  My favorite tamale vendor sets up shop there.  I have developed a genuine love and appreciation for park lard, corn meal and chicken bits.

La Merced at Night
La Merced at Night
This routine is pleasant but I think I'm ready to get in the truck and go for a drive.


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