|Well, I have been in Antigua for a week now. Looking forward to moving on to the Lake Atitlan tomorrow!
Last week was the big week with lots of people around, processions lining the streets in celebration for Semane Sante. They were pretty cool, roman soldiers marching down the cobbled streets..carrying heavy floats with a mellow, silent plod...only to be followed with the lovely sound of thundering generator being pulled behind to power the lights strung on the floats! Very good.
Though now its all over, it all went a little for a couple of days, and now its back - With hoards of American tourists travelling around in big groups (you can tell their American because of the socks..)
Antigua is so so beautiful! Really lovely to just walk around the city, take a book and just go and read in the central park. There are also lots of beautiful ruins dotted around the city. We went on a walk around them and then up to a view point which looks over the whole city. A nice little walk up through a wood..a little like Switzerland!...kinda...
Another day, I was just sitting in the central park, reading, and some middle-aged Guatemalan guy came up and kept saying..I'm an honest guy and I just had to tell you you are beautiful. It was so so funny! He kept saying..wait there, then coming back with something for me. A really tasty chocolate brownie cookie, a snicker bar, and then a girl came around and tried to sell me some anklets, and he picked two for me. It was just hilarious. There was a Canadian couple sitting next to me on the bench, so I was safe, and every time he went away we all laughed. He wasn't too creepy, actually just a nice guy. Was quite a nice afternoon really! haa..
Then yesterday, we went and walked up Volcan Pacaya. An active volcano an hour outside Antigua that last erupted last year, May 27th 2010. It was really cool...the clouds were low so there wasn't much of a view, but it gave it an odd, eerie feel. It was pretty steep and hard to walk due to the layers of loose dried lava, and one American woman took one look at it at the start, and said no. Even though she had paid for it. Silly.
We got up to 2,700m at the top. Though there was no flowing lava, it was still very hot, making some hot rocks around too. Then, when we got just over the top, there was a little cave, which was literally a natural sauna! The guide called this his 'cocina' - kitchen, as there was a little space, like a little pizza oven, where he put some sausages in, and Flic had brought some marshmallows with her, so we put them on a stick and cooked them too. It was the perfect Marshmallow cooker-thing. Perfect temperature..amazing!