Today we got to Antigua. In Spanish colonial times, pretty much all of what we now think of as Central America was ¨Guatemala,¨ with Antigua as the capital. The capital was moved to Guatemala City in the 1700s after a super destructive earthquake, and Antigua was stripped of its colonial finery and pretty much abandoned until about 50 years ago, when tourism revived it. As such, everything that wasn´t nailed down was moved to GC but the ruins and architecture remain. Antigua now has many museums, art galleries and nightclubs to feed the appetite of tourists.
We´ve spent much of today wandering around the historical center of the city, taking in the sights - and since its Guatemalen Independence Day there are many sights - and enjoying the local cuisine. There is so much music, culture and art surrounding us that it is difficult to take it all in!
There are a few sights that have become commonplace since we got to Antigua: people wandering the streets selling textiles, tuk tuks (psychotic taxi cabs with only three wheels and canvcas roofs that don´t seem ot fall under ANY category of traffic laws, vehicle, pedestrian or otherwise), pan pipes, marching bands, huge marathon mobs of kids running around with torches - like the Olympic flame - horse-drawn buggies and cobblestone streets.
Tomorrow we leave for our trip to Panajachel / the markets of Chichicastenango then on to our homestay in San Juan la Laguna on Lake Atitlan. We will be coming back here for a couple of days to take in some more of the sights afterwards, and to pick up a few more people who will be joining our tour. After that, the great mystery of Honduras and the ruins of Copan await us!
Tons of love from Thom and Meg!
P.S. The internet is a bit dicy here so we'll be posting pictures / updates in a pretty scattershot fashion, apologies in advance!!!!