Weekend Travels

 Posted by May Wright at 11:36 am  Guatemala
Jun 282015


Today was wonderful! First stop was dropping off laundry. Second stop was meeting Luisa at the bus station to make a day trip. Meeting Luisa was the first adventure. I had been directed to go to the bus station “behind the market,” and I assumed I could walk through the market to get there. Well… technically it’s possible but it’s quite a crowded maze. I was on a mission to get out, so I can’t tell you all that was there, but I can tell you it was crazy! The most notable thing I actually saw were baskets of live chickens.

When I finally reached the bus station, I watched and waited for Luisa. The station is a sight to behold. First of all, it is full of “chicken busses” or school busses painted 100 different colors. Second of all, it is constant motion – busses moving, men running on and off of busses yelling out destinations and checking for people in the way, people walking around the lot (I can’t believe people don’t get run over all the time as busses back out!).

We found a good seat near the front of the bus, bt as we moved through town it became extremely crowded. A woman with a baby joined us on our seat. Remember this is a school bus seat… We passed by so much Antigua excitement and hustle and bustle. Luisa and I observed how much of the city is behind walls. You can see the tops of trees and houses, but they’re blocked off from the street. So much of this city’s beauty is hidden I would venture to say – judging by how many times I’ve entered a building and found a beautiful garden behind the wall.

We arrived at the Finca Macadamia Valhalla – that is the Macadamia nut farm. First thing, breakfast: pancakes with macadamia butter and blueberry compote with fruit and coffee. We had a nice chat before taking a short but informative tour of the place where we learned about the collection, shelling, sorting, processing, and final products of macadamia nuts.

The return was a bit of a roller coaster ride since it was downhill. The rest of the day was a nice busy time at work. The city seemed busier too. Weekends are alive here!



6:15 I was picked up for a morning hike up Pacaya volcano. It was another hectic and somewhat sickening busride up to the trailhead. Luckily we got to stop for coffee first J The hike was a lot steeper than I expected. I guess some people have problems getting up the ascent because there are locals on horses selling “taxis naturales” most of the way up for those that want to give up. The trail was a lot of black volcanic sand and soil that made the hike a bit difficult. There were several resting spots on the way though were you could look off into the distance at beautiful surrounding volcanos and towns and lakes below. As usual on these types of tours, I met some very cool people: a young American woman my age that’s teaching English here with her mom here visiting, an Israeli couple, a polish couple, a Guatemalan couple, 2 American girls, and another American couple. There was a neat little store, “the lava store” up at the “summit.” I put summit because it was close to the top of our climb, but we did not go all the way to the opening because it’s dangerous (and really hard). The lava store sells jewelry items made from coconut shell and lava rock to benefit local communities that suffered damages in past eruptions. It was really beautifully done.

After that stop, we went to an area where there was some serious heat coming up from the earth. We were able to roast marshmallows! The most perfectly roasted marshmallow I’ve ever eaten!

The return to town was another swervy ride, and I was glad to be back to eat some pizza, take a nap, and walk through town some more. I’m at Maximo now trying to catch up on my posts! Sorry to keep you waiting! Pictures to come!




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