Next stop, Anitigua, we had to endure around about a 5 hour journey to Antigua, sat on a bus packed with other Guatemalans can get a bit tedious after a while, so we were glad to get off. We soon headed to Calvin’s house with himself and LIndsey, to dump our bags and have a shower e.t.c. His house was great, somehow it felt really homely and was so nice a decorated by his flatmate Alyson (from the states, a very funny a bubbly 30 year old women). Ally and I soon headed out to see Antigua during the day, and so headed in the direction of the Central Square and wandered around for a while, getting something to eat and checking out yet more markets. We also went to this really cool church near to Calvin’s House, which had these really nice gardens next to it, where you could spend the day for a little charge. The church was massive and the Gardens were really pretty with all of their ruined walls from extension plans gone wrong, .... I joke, I joke .... they are from bits of the church that have fallen down in the past, y’know ruins! You have all been there, done that, got the rock!
Anyway, later that afternoon we headed back to the house, and talked about what to do for dinner. Alyson said that she was more than happy to cook, and sent Lindsey, Calvin and Ally to the supermarket to buy supplies. She also phoned her brother (who also lives in Guatemala) to see if he wanted to come over for dinner, and had also invited this man whom she met earlier in the day, who had unfortunately been mugged the night before just outside his hostel, so Alyson felt sorry for him and invited him to the self-named ‘Dinner for Strays’.
What followed was one of the most hilarious nights I have ever had, so much fun drinking Ice Tea and Vodka, homemade enchiladas and apple crumble style dessert! Alyson and Calvin are just a comedy duo, and throw in Lindsey as well makes it so my sides were burning for about 70% of the evening. One very hilarious anecdote was when LIndsey was telling us about when she goes to the gym back home in the states, an indian women gives her a ‘foreigners nod’. She gets this nod because she is latin american and she said people often think she is foreign, but she was raised in the states. She went on about this nod for ages and had everyone in stitches as she explained what she thought was the reasoning behind this ‘You know/foreigners Nod’.
Moving on, this night was fantastic and will stick in my memory for ever, but sadly we had a reservation with earth lodge to spend christmas and had already payed the deposit, as much as we wanted to spend christmas with ‘The Strays’, we were soon on the back of a pick up truck headed up the mountain to spend 3 nights in this gorgeous eco-lodge looking over Antigua. This place was amazing, so chilled out, so pretty and met some really cool people. There was a great little sauna, and even a massive collection of DVD’s to watch whilst sitting in front of a fire! We arrived on Christmas Eve, which is the big day in Central America, so that night we had a great meal and quite a few drinks before we stayed up until midnight to watch this huge firework show in the valley below us, tell you one thing ... was very weird looking down on fireworks, really strange for some reason. Anyway, christmas day was great, Me and Ally woke up and both headed up to the communal area. We exchanged gifts, I got this great Guatemalan Cook Book (which I am still translating from spanish!) which has some really great recipes in it, can’t wait to get to uni and show off my skill at making ‘Chile Rellenos’. The rest of the day was spent just chilling around, using the sauna, watching a few DVD’s eating, drinking and marveling at the view! It was a really nice day and I even got to skype my family for a very little while, but yeah was nice, but no-where near as good as a christmas spent at home. I missed my family a great deal and wished I could be with them, but was such a day to remember for those reasons. The next day, boxing day, we headed down into Antigua for the day to spend some more time with Calvin and Lindsey, just chilling around, buying coffee, going back to chill at the really nice park/gardens and just having fun really! That night we headed back up to Earth Lodge to spend our last night in the amazing Lodge and to have some of their amazing food! Literally, this place has its own cook book because its food is complimented so much!
Anyway, the next morning, after we checked out, we jumped back in the pick up truck and headed down into Antigua once more t see if we could get out of the country and back into Honduras to go and meet the rest of the Hondies at Lago de Yajoa for New Years eve. However, when we got down into Antigua, we were just a little too late to get seats on the shuttle bus, so they told us that we had to wait until the 5am shuttle the next morning, so there we were at ‘Café Y tu Piña Tambien’ (meaning Café And your Pineapple too) asking calvin if we could crash at his place once more, to which of course he said yes, because, after all we are such lovely people to be around ... no?? ... oh rude!
That night was a very chilled one, watching movies and me cooking dinner and just generally laughing a lot once more!
All in all, I had an absolutely FANTASTIC time in Guatemala and really want to go back once more before I leave! I think I really fell in love a little bit! That country has so much culture, so much fun, and so many different places you have to go and visit! I really would recommend it to anyone, such a great place!
So till next time ...