Second trip to Guatemala


Feb 10th, 2010, 05:39 PM
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Second trip to Guatemala

This was our second trip to Guatemala and I traveled with three of my friends. We only had a week and after much research I decided that I wouldn't mind going back to Antiuga and then to the lake. Last year when we visited one of our guides was starting his own travel company Mexcal so since we really like Rhet last year we decided to use him for part of our trip this year. It was a great decision to do so as we really got to enjoy a lot of things with him.

Day one
Rhet picked us up at the airport and took us to our hotel Casa Cristina. It's a cute hotel and we liked it alot although we didn't get great sleep. This was really other guests at fault not the hotels and we would stay there again.
After checking in we were anxious to be on our way. Rhet walked with us while we decided where to have a quick snack and then it was on to Old Town to finish up our arrangements with them for the next day. While at Old Town we met some other travelers and invited them to have a drink with us at the Sky Bar which turned out to be great fun. One of the men was in town because he was adopting a child so we got to see many photos from the orphanage as well pictures of his child. He had been in Antigua many times so when we mentioned we wanted to buy some chocolate to bring home he had the perfect place.Sabe Rico.. great chocolate and we ended up eating dinner at this place too. Wonderful food in a great setting surrounded by flowers.

Day two.
We had an early breakfast at Cafe Condessa and then to Old Town to meet them for our hike to the Earth Lodge. We requested a guide that we had used last year which made for a nice day. It took us five hours to hike up to the lodge..but it was great fun. Our guide was on the look out for bandits at one point but luckily we didn't see any. We left everything that was important back at Casa Cristina's.. If I would have known about the possible bandits I doubt I would have done this hike as I really try to keep safe.
The Earth Lodge was a like being at a picnic.. hammocks, games to play and good food. Our lodging was in cabins.. clean restrooms and showers outside. I only wish I would have brought a towel...luckily I had a sarong. We had to carry everything we needed in our backpacks for the night. Dinner at night was homemade pizza, salad and carrot cake. It was delicious.

Day Three
Early morning breakfast and back on our way to Antigua. Our hike down was much easier as we walked mainly on roads. We checked back in to Casa Cristina, had a quick shower and went back to Cafe Condessa for a quick lunch of fresh berries and yougurt. Everything at Cafe Condessa looked so good so of course we just kept going back. We did the after Sip and Cycle tour with Old Town. It's just a quick ride to a coffe farm and music museum. The museum was very nice and we all enjoyed trying the coffee. We were tired after our day but a couple of us just couldn't get Kac Ic which is a traditional turkey soup out of our minds. This is part of the reason I wanted to go back to Antigua.. I love that soup and I wasn't dissapointed.
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Feb 10th, 2010, 05:50 PM
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Thanks - sounds great so far! Was the village you biked to Jocotenango? There's a really beautiful old rust/red church there. I bought some of my favorite keepsakes last summer at the gift shop by the museums.

I love the soups in Guatemala, too - Kac-Ik, pepián, Garifuna seafood tapado - mmmmm.

Can't wait to read more!
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Feb 10th, 2010, 05:53 PM
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Day Four
We had an six am pickup with Rhet to head to the lake. He was waiting for us at six with a driver and a big van. Very comfortable. He insists that his driver drives safely and not too fast. I always felt safe.
We stopped at a roadside restarant for breakfast. We stopped there last year too but I can't remember the name. It was freezing inside but it was fun as they had little fires going around the room. We had an enjoyable breakfast and we bought some cheese to try too. Everything is just so delicious in Guatemala!
Our first stop was Iximche. I was hoping to see a ceremony but nothing was going on while we were there. Still an interesting stop.
Second stop was the market at Solola which turned out to be much fun.. but not because of the shopping. We needed to use the restroom so Rhet took us to a hotel and while we were gone he was talking to an old woman.. perhaps the owner. Next thing we knew he was taping her as she was sending a message to her friend in Antigua that she wanted Rhet to find and deliver. She was such a beautiful woman and had messages for us that Rhet had to translate.. one being " stay away from technology" funny right after she was talking into the i phone.
Third stop was the Reserva Nataral. I don't do the canopy tours but my friends love them, since I wasn't going I let our driver take my spot. He loved it and so did they. It's really a nice place with a place to sit and buy some snacks.
Finally time to check into our hotel and get some lunch.We stayed at Posada don Rodrigo and had our best nights sleep on our whole vacation. We ate both lunch and dinner at the Sunset Cafe which is right next door. The hotel has a little museum that has things that they found at the bottom of the lake. It was quite interesting and was free if you stayed at the hotel.
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Feb 10th, 2010, 05:59 PM
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Yes, the town was Jacotenango. I have to finish writing later. Another snow day tomorrow for us! I am not used to being a "stay at home Mom" and I didn't get anything done today except play and shovel snow.. he he
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Feb 11th, 2010, 07:03 AM
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Really enjoying this report.
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Feb 11th, 2010, 05:33 PM
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Day Five
After a great night sleep at Casa Don Rodrigo we were ready to get our day started. Rhet met us at the hotel and we had a great breakfast together at a cute little place very close to the hotel.I can't remember the name but they had great banana pancakes. We also saw a man milking a goat in the front of the place and selling it. Some of the girls who worked there bought cups of it. I really wanted to try it but didn't chance it.
After breakfast we headed down to the dock where there was a boat waiting for us to take us to Santiago. We spotted a ceremony on the way which we were able to watch for a while.They were starting a fire with many candles of all colors and playing music. We were told it was for the lake.
Our ride to Santiago was great. Luckily we didn't smell any odors from the lake.
We checked into Posada Santiago. We stayed at Casa del Mundo last year and I have to say I liked this hotel just as much. The grounds are beautiful and they have a nice pool, hot tub and sauna.
We stayed at probably the cheapest rooms there but they were very nice and we had no trouble with noise.
After checking in we heading off to a couple of the little towns and ended in San Pedro. Here we visited a woman's co-op, I wish I could remember the name of it. They made us lunch and showed us how to make torilla's which was a lot of fun. We bought some very nice textiles.
After a quick latte.. just so delicous and affordable in Guatemala that they are hard to pass up we visited a woman who has a small art area where she makes many things out of paper including balloons that you can fly. We attemped this but it was way too windy at the lake that day. I bought one to fly at home though.
We headed back to our hotel around four and enjoyed the rest of the day sitting by the lake and having dinner at the hotel. Very good homemade icecream.
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Feb 14th, 2010, 12:30 PM
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Thanks for posting a report!
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