Monday, August 4, 2008

52. Getting to La Antigua, Guatemala

You have no idea how I hated to leave Lomas de Tzunana. It was just so nice. Although, this British couple did get attacked (Maria's word. Mugged is more accurate) on the road to Tzunana by three teens. One of them was wearing Metallica t-shirt. The Mr also saw them on the trail as he was on his way back to the hotel. Fortunately, he had picked up a bamboo walking (fighting?) stick and they didn't mess with him. I don’t know. Maybe it was time to go.

Our departure went off like clockwork. 10am checkout and goodbye to Maria and Thierry. 10:35 not Mariano (our waiter and all around helpful guy except that he spoke close to zero English) took our bags down to the dock. Caught the 11am launcha to Panajachel. 11:35 guy from travel agency meets us to get his money. 12 van arrives. And then things get wacky. There's another woman on the van. She's traveling with her husband and teenage son. They've made the trip before. Apparently, there's a shortcut to Antigua that avoids the construction and delays on the Pan American Highway. And by Highway, they mean road or street. The shortcut is super curvy, cliffy and skinny. She’s freaking out about it because she “gets sick”. So I’m thinking car sick and I am like, Hey I have stuff for motion sickness. And she says, No it’s anxiety, sheer terror and I cried the whole trip. She begs the driver to take the PAH, to drive carefully and not kill us because she has a child and needs to survive this trip in sort of Spanish. He quietly listens and lets her finish and finally says: Tengo ninos tambien. Nadie muerte hoy. I have kids too. No one dies today. It was really hard not to laugh.

Other than that, the trip was uneventful. Yes, the road was curvy and cliffy and skinny. A guy in the back got sick. Strangely enough, I didn’t. Perhaps I was too busy trying to listen to this total hippy semi burn out guy who talked the entire trip. His name is Jack when he’s from Santa Cruz. Joaquin when he’s in Guatemala. Jack talked about all he’s seen in Guatemala in the 29 years that he’s been coming to Atitlan. Talked about the Mormans invading Santiago de Atitlan. Talked about how no one knows what’s happening with the sewage pipe in the lake after the earthquake. Talked about Demi, Ashton and the girls being on the lake two weeks ago. Talked and talked and talked. Which was actually fine because crazy anxiety lady didn’t get her freak out on.

We’re signed up for 20 hours of Spanish classes at Centro Linguistico International. They had a last minute cancellation and we were able to get a room at the school. It’s ok. Not great. Bed sucks, but once again, the Mr comes up with a genius solution. We sneak into the bodega after hours, help ourselves to two mattress pads and an extra blanket and remake the bed with all three under the sheets. It helped. We have a view of the courtyard and the volcano to the south. We get free laundry and internet. Plus, it’s only $125US for the week, so I guess you can’t really complain. Classes start tomorrow afternoon. And tonight I’m wondering what I’ve got myself into.

View from our room at ILC Spanish school


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