Monthly Archives: February 2014

La Vida de la Ciudad: Guatemala Pt. 2

After Victoria and Jason, Lorna and David are my favorite humans.  This is all of us hanging out on Lake Atitlan.

After Victoria and Jason, Lorna and David are my favorite humans. This is all of us hanging out on Lake Atitlan.

You might remember that our first couple of weeks in Guatemala ended with quite an adventure, and a night camped out on our new friend’s property. We woke up the next morning refreshed and ready to go, but we weren’t out of the woods quite yet! My Family still had to get us, the big truck and our camper out of the mountains, through Guatemala City and into the city of Antigua. It was going to be a long day, but my Grandparents were at the end of it! I love my grandparents (which are called abuelos, in spanish), almost as much as I love treats, so whatever we had to do to get to them I was happy to deal with.

We said goodbye to our friend Ariel and headed off for Guatemala City, the biggest city in the country. Ariel had mentioned to us the night before that there was a river up ahead we would have to cross, and that the bridge had been washed away in a storm two years ago. My Family had already crossed a bunch of rivers during the Big Adventure, so no one was too concerned. When we pulled up at the edge of this particular river, however, my ears perked up in a hurry. It was HUGE! The drive to get to this point had been anything but easy. We had driven on gravel and dirt, found a way around a washed out road, crossed mountains and almost set our brakes on fire. There was no way we could go all the way back. The only thing to do was to cross it. Luckily, this is a pretty normal thing in Guatemala.

Jason spoke to a nice lady standing by the river, who pointed out a man whose job it was to help you get across. He spends all day navigating cars across the river for 20 Quetzales (that’s Guatemalan money). Before I knew it we were descending a steep slope and splashing out into the river in our truck. The man told us to turn down the river, and suddenly we were driving right down it. I could tell Jason was pretty nervous, but Victoria was enjoying it enough to snap a bunch of photos. I didn’t like being in the middle of the water one bit, but the whole thing was over super quick. We drove up the far shore, thanked the man and were back on our way.

Looking back across the river we just drove through. Not cool, Guatemala, not cool at all.

Looking back across the river we just drove through. Not cool, Guatemala, not cool at all.

The rest of the drive into Guatemala City was pretty uneventful even though the roads were absolutely crazy. Thin dirt trails through the jungle, rocky roads passing by Mayan villages, and nothing but huge hills all the way there. I tried to snooze as much as I could, even though I was pretty excited about the visit. The first thing I noticed was the change in smells. To this point, Guatemala had smelled like farms, horses, chickens, other dogs, and a few people here and there. As we got closer to Guatemala City, I smelled something I hadn’t smelled in a very long time: smog. And there were people everywhere! Guatemala City is big, noisy, colorful and packed with people. It was a bit overwhelming for me, and I noticed that Jason wasn’t particularly happy with the fact that there didn’t seem to be anything resembling lanes on the big highways. We took it all in stride, and soon pulled into the parking lot of what seemed like an office building. What was this all about? Jason went inside, and soon came back with a big cardboard box. It was packed with Christmas presents from Victoria’s parents, and some of them were for me! Apparently, this was something My Family was supposed to receive way back in Mexico, but it had just reached us here. Delay or not, I was super happy to have some new bones and toys to chew on.

I discovered that picking up this box was the only reason we went to Guatemala City. From there, it was a straight trip into Antigua. My Family was pretty excited to see this town, and once we got there I could tell why. It was so beautiful! Surrounded by volcanoes and set in a big valley, Antigua is what is known as a colonial city. That means there were some really old people, a long time ago, who built the whole place, and it basically looks the same as when they were walking around. I’m not too sure how this whole time thing works, so you’re going to have to ask My Family if you want some more details.

I mentioned that there are volcanoes in Guatemala, right?  That sounds totally safe.

I mentioned that there are volcanoes in Guatemala, right? That sounds totally safe.

We bounced along the cobblestone streets and soon stopped in front of a hotel. Not only were we going to have visitors, but we were going to stay in a hotel! I had barely had a chance to jump all over the bed in our new, temporary home, when My Grandparents showed up! Okay, so they’re not my blood grandparents. Lorna and David Palmer are Victoria’s parents, but I think they love me as if I was their own, real, non-adopted granddoggy. And I love them the same way. From the moment I smelled them my tail started wagging, and I don’t think it stopped the entire eight days we spent together!

Before I tell you all about the fun we had, I should say that the hotel was pretty sweet too. Lorna and David treated us to a little over a week in the hotel which meant we didn’t sleep in the camper and we got to stay in the same place as them! The people who run the hotel were more than happy to have me there with My Family. The inside was so pretty with flowers to sniff and a nice breeze and… our room had two floors! That means I got to run up and down the stairs, jump on the couch, and generally stretch out in ways I never get to in the camper. It was super fun.

This is me lounging UPSTAIRS at the hotel.

This is me lounging UPSTAIRS at the hotel.

Even more fun was exploring Antigua with My Family. My grandparents love going for walks, and they LOVE taking me with them. I was more than happy to wander beside them, taking in all the sights and smells of this pretty city. All the streets are cobblestone, which isn’t particularly fun to walk on, but I got to go almost everywhere. There were huge buses, covered in paint, lights, horns and chrome, and people lean out of them yelling “Guate, Guate, Guate!!” all through the day. There were parades, fireworks, and music almost all the time. There were parks, churches, shops and restaurants to explore, and I think we checked them all out. I didn’t get to go out with My Family all the time, though. One night they went to a bar to see something called The Super Bowl. I was picturing my food bowls, but bigger than me, and filled to the brim with grilled chicken covered in melted cheese. I guess the Super Bowl wasn’t anything as cool as that, because My Family seemed kinda disappointed when they got home.

The next few days were pretty much a mix of one fun thing after the next. We walked all over the place, stopped for lunch at all sorts of restaurants and snuggled up at the hotel. I basically spent the whole time jumping from one lap to the next. I think my favorite is Lorna’s, but don’t tell David that!

A big church we saw on one of our many walks around the city.

A big church we saw on one of our many walks around the city.

Me and Lorna. She always smells really good, just one of the reasons I love her so much!

Me and Lorna. She always smells really good, just one of the reasons I love her so much!

A few days later My Family packed our things and we got into a car. It wasn’t the big truck though, it was a ‘rental’. I guess that means it’s not ours forever and David drives it instead of Jason. We were driving out to spend the night at a place called Lake Atitlan, but our day’s adventure was almost over before it started. We ended up stuck in a huge traffic jam, the biggest one I think I’ve ever seen. David asked some of the people hanging out at the side of the road (he really likes speaking Spanish), and found out the road was blocked by something called a ‘protest’. That’s what happens when people are angry about stuff. I protest all the time, but no one pays any attention. Anyway, we spent more than three whole hours stuck in the same place! People were walking up and down the street, selling food, playing music, throwing frisbees and basically looking for any way they could possibly pass the time. Eventually the protesters decided to go home, maybe to take a nap or something, and we finally got to keep going. We stopped for a yummy lunch, drove down a HUGE mountain, and made it to Lake Atitlan.

View from the bridge looking back to where we are parked (behind one of those giant trucks).

View from the bridge looking back to where we are parked (behind one of those giant trucks).

The lake is surrounded by three volcanoes and a bunch of little villages. The one we were heading for was called Panajachel. It felt a little bit like Venice, with its bars, street vendors and general craziness. We stayed at a Bed & Breakfast that was really pretty, with a huge garden and several other nice dogs to play with. Jason settled in to get some work done, while Victoria, Lorna, David and I went out for a nice, long walk.

Me and David, a little too close to the lake if you ask me but everyone else seemed to like it.

Me and David, a little too close to the lake if you ask me but everyone else seemed to like it.

After the walk things took a turn for the worse. My Family went out for dinner, and I got left behind. I don’t know what My Family was thinking, but they zipped me up in my travel bed. Now don’t get me wrong, I actually kind of like my travel bed. It’s soft and cozy, and just the right size for me. But something about this Bed & Breakfast just rubbed me the wrong way. There were strange smells, and the other dogs kept messing with our door. They weren’t as nice as I thought. I couldn’t help but make some noise, but apparently this wasn’t allowed. Before I knew it the owner of the Bed & Breakfast came into our room and took me out of there! She carried me into a thing called a yurt, and expected me to play nice with her dogs. Look, I may have made some noise, but I certainly DID NOT want to leave my cozy bed for some weird yurt thing. And I sure didn’t want to play with some strange dogs. I was more than a little relieved when Victoria and Jason came home and rescued me from this strange situation. They couldn’t believe that someone had come and taken me away, and it seems like they were pretty scared when they came home and I wasn’t there. When we snuggled up in bed I was more than a little bit relieved to be ending the night safe and sound with My Family!

This is Sammy, one of the THREE dogs that live at the B&B. Sometimes I wish I wasn't an only-dog.

This is Sammy, one of the THREE dogs that live at the B&B. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t an only-dog.

The next day we got up early, checked out of that strange place and went down to the dock. We were getting on a boat! Sure, I thought the lake was pretty, but only from far away. You better believe I didn’t want to get stuck out in the middle of it! That’s exactly what My Family wanted, though. We spent almost the whole day taking a boat from one place to another, with some breaks for walking around all the cute little towns. Each time we got out to walk around I thought I was safe from the water, only to find we were getting right back on the boat again! I loved all the time with my grandparents, but after a while I was feeling a bit woozy. Just when I thought I couldn’t take it any more we came back to Panajachel and ended our boat trip. My Family was so happy; they really loved it. I’ll never understand humans.

Volcanoes.  On a Lake.  Awesome.

Volcanoes. On a Lake. Awesome.

I really really don't like boats.

I really really don’t like boats.

The paths in San Marcos are full of holes that are the perfect size for my feet to fall in.  I hope we don't go back there.

The paths in San Marcos are full of holes that are the perfect size for my feet to fall in. I hope we don’t go back there.

We drove back to Antigua and spent a couple more days having fun with my grandparents. We walked up to the top of a big hill where we could look out over the whole city one day and drove up to a very pretty place called the Earth Lodge one another day. Finally, it was time for Lorna and David to go home. I surely didn’t want them to go, but I didn’t really have a vote. They gave me some final kisses, said goodbye to My Family and drove away. I spent the rest of the day waiting for them to get back but apparently, this was just a visit. I was kind of hoping they were going to stay with us on the rest of the Big Adventure, but yeah, like I said, I didn’t get a vote. We had so much fun, though! I hope more humans come visit us!

Looking down on Anitgua from on top of the hill.

Looking down on Anitgua from on top of the hill.

Earthlodge dogs. The dogs in Guatemala seem to have it pretty good, they look way happier than the dogs we met in Mexico.

Earthlodge dogs. The dogs in Guatemala seem to have it pretty good, they look way happier than the dogs we met in Mexico.

Although my grandparents had left, we weren’t leaving Antigua yet. We did check out of the hotel, though, and drive the big truck to a parking lot just a few blocks away. The police live there, and it seems they let some traveling families stay with them when they are visiting Guatemala. We set up camp in a nice sunny spot and took some time to settle back into camping life.

This cat hung out with us the entire time we camped at the police station, even though I chased her away several times a day.

This cat hung out with us the entire time we camped at the police station, even though I chased her away several times a day.

I didn’t lift a paw, but My Family took some time to clean the camper from top to bottom. We hadn’t been in it for a while, and it had needed a cleaning since the time we got all that rain. Jason wasn’t too thrilled about the process, but Victoria seemed to enjoy it. We spent about a week camping with the nice police (I found out later they were police people who were only there to help the tourists – what a cool job!), met a couple of other campers, and did a bunch more walking around Antigua. At one point we packed up the camper and took it into a garage to get our brakes looked at. Jason wanted to make sure everything was okay after our experience trying to get into Guatemala City. It took almost a whole day, but everything worked out great.

The truck waiting for a little love.

The truck waiting for a little love.

On our last day in Antigua, Victoria noticed an ambulance with New York City license plates parked on the street. She got super excited, thinking these must be other adventurers. And they were! The ambulance belonged to Team Last Responders, a group of super cool people who were driving to South America to donate the ambulance and some medical supplies to people who need them really badly. You should check out their story – it’s pretty neat.

When we packed up to leave Antigua, I couldn’t imagine where we could go that would top this. It’s a beautiful city with super nice people, and we had spent half of our time there with my grandparents! What could be better than that? My heart sunk a little when I heard where we were heading next: San Pedro La Laguna. That’s one of the small towns we visited on Lake Atitlan so that meant we were going back to the lake!. If they expect me to get back on a boat again…

PS: To see some of the photos My Family took click here!

26
Feb 2014
POSTED BY Neli
POSTED IN

Guatemala

DISCUSSION 5 Comments

Sick Days, Smoking Brakes and String Theory? Guatemala Pt.1

Alarm clocks are the worst human invention. Ever.

Alarm clocks are the worst human invention. Ever.

The morning started with a pretty familiar routine. The alarm went off, Jason and Victoria grumbled about it, and I curled up tighter to snuggle under the covers. But unlike most mornings, when I’d be allowed to snooze to my heart’s content, My Family quickly jumped up and started packing. That could only mean one thing: a border crossing day! We were ready to leave Belize behind and cross into our third new country on my Big Adventure.

The Trek Stop was only a few miles from the border of Belize and Guatemala, and we were there before I knew it. Leaving Belize was much easier than getting in. The Border Agent looked at me a little sideways, but My Family had all the paperwork in place and we were soon through the process. Once I heard all the humans speaking Spanish again, I knew we were in Guatemala. We stopped a couple of times in some cool little towns, so Jason could find the little stick that lets him use the internet, and so we could go shopping. In the afternoon I looked up from Victoria’s lap to find we had made it to a pretty little town on a big lake. El Remate is a great spot for travelers, apparently, as it’s close to one of those ruined things called Tikal. Our destination was a campsite called Gringo Perdido. Perdido means ‘lost’ in Spanish, which wasn’t that encouraging and when we first got there it felt like it. It was a big hotel, but totally empty. We found someone to show us the pretty campsite, where we settled in for our first night of sleep in Guatemala. We met an odd camper who seemed like he lived there full time, and a nice older couple from the United States who liked me a lot. Good people and a cozy place to stay! I was pretty happy, until I heard screaming in the trees. Victoria called them “howler monkeys”, and I did’t want anything to do with them. They didn’t sound very nice at all, and they smelled super weird.

Me listening to the Howler Monkeys. Don't Like.

Me listening to the Howler Monkeys. Don’t Like.

The Dock at Gringo Perdido.  Don't like this either.

The Dock at Gringo Perdido. Don’t like this either.

Luckily, we didn’t spend long at this place. The next morning we quickly packed up to hit the road. Victoria and Jason took a break to listen to the other campers chatting. Jason was laughing because one of them sounded like someone named Christopher Walken, while Victoria couldn’t believe she was hearing a debate about string theory at the side of a lake in Guatemala. I didn’t get any of this at all. What sort of theories would you need about string? You play with it, you wrap things in it… and that’s about it, right? Anyway, I was happy when we got back on the road, even with another long stop in the city for Jason to fix a problem with his internet stick.

We spent the morning on a beautiful drive through the country. Jason and Victoria stopped to take a bunch of pictures, but soon enough we reached a place called Finca Ixobel. This was a really pretty spot, a big hotel and campsite that was packed with a kids’ party when we arrived. Apparently all the rain that we had had in Belize also came down here and their campground was totally flooded out. My Family thought if we tried to camp there we’d get stuck so the nice people who ran the hotel allowed us to set up our home right in front of the restaurant on the pavement.

We ended up spending quite a long time here at Finca Ixobel. I’m not sure if My Family would agree, but I had a pretty good time. There were all sorts of nice people to meet, delicious food to taste and plenty of grass for running around. Of course, that grass was soaking wet most of the time, as it rained on and off for our whole stay! I don’t like the rain one bit. It usually doesn’t seem to bother My Family that much, but after another day or two of rain I could tell Jason wasn’t feeling very well at all. He just didn’t smell right. Sure enough, he was soon stuck in bed with something Victoria called ‘the flu’ and all of the snuggles and kisses I could muster up didn’t make him feel any better.

So here we were, in a parking lot outside of a beautiful hotel in Guatemala, and getting more miserable by the day. Jason felt terrible, and Victoria and I were stuck either inside the camper or in the hotel’s common area, staring at the rain. There was so much to do around here, and we weren’t getting to do any of it! There were some highlights, however. The nice couple from Gringo Perdido ended up showing up again, and I got to spend some time with them. My Family also met a nice girl from a place called Germany who makes bracelets for people. Victoria got her to make me a collar, the first time she’s ever done that for a dog!

After a couple of days of shivering and groaning, Jason finally started to feel a little better. The rain broke for a couple of hours, so My Family took the opportunity to pack up and hit the road. Some of the other travelers who were staying at the hotel had told us that the weather gets better as you drive south, so we were off to find some sun. I was more than happy with this plan. I mean, I couldn’t even remember the last time I got to run around on a beach or lay on the grass in the sun. Those were the two things My Family said I’d get to do all the time on the Big Adventure, so what gives, huh?

Guatemala is beautiful but also full of mountains.

Guatemala is beautiful but also full of mountains.

We got on the road, and the drive started out pretty cool. The sun was finally out, and everyone was in a good mood. We followed directions that Jason had found, and suddenly ended up on a dirt road that was super duper bumpy. It was like we were back in Belize! Jason and Victoria had thought this was going to be a short trip, but the road just kept going on and on, bouncing along super slow through tiny towns. It was neat to see for a while, but soon I started to feel a little woozy with all of the bouncing. I put my head down in Victoria’s lap and didn’t pick it up again until we finally got back on the pavement.

The smooth sailing wouldn’t last. We were headed to a place called Lanquin, and we thought we were taking a highway there. It was a big red line on the map, and even had a number. That fancy road ended up being the bumpiest, craziest drive yet, up into the mountains and through tiny towns filled with people wearing super colorful clothes. They all smiled and waved, yelling things like “Gringos!” or “Hello!” or “Goodbye!” to My Family as we passed. It wasn’t scary at all, but it sure was bouncy. Every time I started to feel a little sick I looked out at these colorful humans, carrying huge baskets on their heads or massive packs of wood on their backs and forget all about the bumpy roads. My Family said they’re called “Mayans”, and they speak a whole different language from anyone else. I realized what a lucky dog I was to see all of this. I mean, none of my friends from Venice had ever met a Mayan, and I got to meet a ton of them! Pretty cool.

None of the highways at home looked like this.  Sheesh.

None of the highways at home looked like this. Sheesh.

Soon the excitement started to wear off, as there didn’t seem to be any end to this mountain or the bumpy roads. What felt like forever later we finally got back to pavement. That’s when things got really weird. There was a car on its side in the middle of the street, and it was on fire! The heat as we drove by felt like it could have singed the whiskers right off my face. Then down and down and down the mountain we went, into a valley and the town of Lanquin. It seemed like everyone in the town was out that day, and we could barely drive through! I thought that maybe they were there to greet us, but we heard later that something bad had happened there, and the people of the town were pretty angry. Luckily we found a place called El Retiro, just outside of town, that was completely safe for me and My Family.

El Retiro is beautiful but also built on the side of a big hill.  My family took forever to get up  and down the stairs every day since they only have two legs,

El Retiro is beautiful but also built on the side of a big hill. My family took forever to get up and down the stairs every day since they only have two legs,

El Retiro was a huge place, set right next to a really pretty river. It’s called a hostel, which I guess is a hotel for people who have big adventures with only a backpack instead of a camper. And we met a lot of these adventurers! Everyone was so nice to me, and there were a couple of really cool dogs to hang out with too. And the food! Holy moly, the food! Every night there were gigantic feasts, and all the new friends staying there got to go up and get as much as they wanted. Because of this, me and the camp dogs always had delicious tastes. I think I got to try more chicken at El Retiro than I had ever had before in my life. My Family had planned on staying here for just a couple of nights, so they could check out a place called Semuc Champey, but we ended up staying for a whole week. Victoria actually got pretty sick too, so we did a lot of laying around. Luckily the weather was much better here. We had tons of sun, and there were great spots down by the river with hammocks to lay in. Every day new people arrived, and most of them really liked me. That meant a ton of attention, so even though My Family still wasn’t feeling well it was pretty cool there. We hung out at the restaurant listening to good music, laid in bed watching movies, and laughed with the other adventurers at all the cool travel stories everyone had collected.

This is Cho-cho. She lives at El Retiro but she slept outside our camper every night. We all really loved her and My Family even said if she didn't already have a good home she could have come to live with us.  What?!

This is Cho-cho. She lives at El Retiro but she slept outside our camper every night. We all really loved her and My Family even said if she didn’t already have a good home she could have come to live with us. What?!

Victoria and Jason had been talking for days about doing a tour at Semuc Champey, but they didn’t want to leave me alone all day. I was pretty happy with this decision. The camper hadn’t been plugged in for a long time, and nothing was working at full power. I couldn’t imagine being stuck inside all day with nothing but a weak fan to keep me company! Luckily this didn’t happen. We finally packed up our home, said goodbye to our new friends, and drove off.

This Semuc Champey place wasn’t far away, but the drive took FOREVER. As soon as we left the town of Lanquin to head up there, the road disintegrated into little more than a trail. There were huge boulders to crawl across, gravel and mud to navigate, and some of the biggest hills I’ve ever seen. At some points the road was so narrow that only our big truck could fit, with a steep drop on one side and a hill on the other. I curled up into the tightest ball possible and held on to Victoria while Jason drove. We made it to the parking lot outside of Semuc Champey an hour or two later. Mayan children sold chocolate to My Family, but even though it smelled delicious I didn’t get a single bite. I guess the plan was for us to check out this park in the morning, so we settled in for the night. There were nice Mayan guides there camping as well, so we had company as things got very dark and VERY quiet.

Late in the evening, just before bed, I heard beautiful music. I climbed over to the window and looked out at the campground to find a whole gathering of Mayan men. Three of them were playing a huge instrument, banging on it with sticks, while another walked around swinging a ball of smoke. Other people sat around talking, clapping, or stepping in to take over at the instrument when someone got tired. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. I have no idea what it was, but it was a pretty neat way to end the day.

The next morning I found out that I wasn’t going to get to see the Semuc Champey place at all! Apparently dogs aren’t allowed. What a stupid rule. I mean, what did they think I was going to do? If I happened to poo, Jason was going to pick it up anyway! There was no arguing it, so I spent forever stuck at home while My Family went adventuring. Apparently it was a really beautiful set of pools and waterfalls, but all I got to see was the parking lot. I guess you’ll have to check out My Family’s Facebook page if you’re curious about this stupid place with the no dogs rule.

We left soon after and headed for the city. My Family was very excited, because Victoria’s parents were going to be visiting us the next day! I hadn’t seen my Grandparents in quite a long time, and I love them lots so I was more interested in the drive than usual when we hit the road. But before I could cover them with kisses, we had to get back down that terrible road. It was even worse this way! Some people put a rope across the road and stopped us at one point asking for money to use the road (which we didn’t pay, by the way), and then we had to keep pulling to the side while other cars tried to squeeze by. I could smell the stress pouring off of Jason but we made it back to town with no problem, and headed off for Guatemala City and towards our next destination, called Antigua.

Things got strange in a hurry. Later I discovered that Jason had found the directions, which is something Victoria usually does. Apparently, he chose the ‘scenic route’. Scenic means pretty, and everything in Guatemala certainly is. But in Guatemala, scenic also means, bumpy, bouncy, hilly and SLOW. We spent hours and hours doing nothing but driving up and down mountains on really bad roads. Then something really weird happened. Halfway down another huge mountain, Jason suddenly pulled the car over and stopped driving. I knew something was wrong, because I could smell really stinky smoke. In case you don’t know, cars and trucks have things called ‘brakes’, which stop you from going too fast. It turned out that we had spent so much time driving our big truck down mountains that our brakes had given up! Jason was pretty shaken by the whole thing, and we sat there on the road in the middle of nowhere trying to figure out what to do.

Not having 'brakes' is not a good thing.

Not having ‘brakes’ is not a good thing.

While Victoria placed emergency signs around the truck, a man rode up on a motorcycle and asked us in English if we were okay. He was a Guatemalan, but had spent a lot of years in the United States and his English was WAY better than My Family’s Spanish. We explained what was going on, and he suggested that we had overheated the brakes. He thought we should let them rest for a while, and then said he’d come back to check on us. Well, we sat there and sat there, getting hotter and hotter while the sun sunk lower and lower in the sky. My Family started getting nervous. Problems with the truck were one thing, but how would we ever get to Guatemala City now? Apparently we were still really far away from our next stop.

The nice man came back to check on us, and the brakes were still not so great. He helped Jason drive down the hill, while I stood watching with Victoria. I didn’t particularly like watching the big truck drive away, but soon the nice man came back for us. You know what happened next? I got to ride on the motorcycle! It was so cool! Victoria held me while we scooted down the hill to find Jason and the truck. I had never felt so much breeze on my face! It was a little scary, but one of the neatest experiences of the Big Adventure so far. What came after was almost as cool. The nice man, whose name was Ariel, let us drive to his house and gave us a place to stay! It was starting to get dark at this point, and he said the road was pretty bad up ahead. He let us set up camp on his property and the whole town came out to watch, with their dogs and their chickens and their donkeys and their pigs, and played soccer while we sank into our camp chairs. It had been a pretty stressful day, but we were all in a great mood. My Family couldn’t believe how nice Ariel was, and his wife even cooked us dinner! My Family had heard all sorts of stories about how kind strangers could be, but they were still amazed that this perfect stranger could be so fantastic. I know that people are generally nice (and I can tell right away when they’re not) so I wasn’t that surprised, but when we snuggled under the covers that night we all felt particularly lucky. Our first couple of weeks in Guatemala had been filled with rains, flus and smoking brakes, and yet we were happier than ever. What a cool country!

Me, hanging out by the truck on Ariel's property.  Thanks again, Ariel and Marleen!

Me, hanging out by the truck on Ariel’s property. Thanks again, Ariel and Marleen!

PS: If you want to see the photos My Family took during our first two weeks here in Guatemala, they are on Facebook.

09
Feb 2014
POSTED BY Neli
POSTED IN

Guatemala

DISCUSSION 14 Comments