Monday, April 28, 2008

Antigua, Guatemala City, Chichicastenango & Lake Aititlan

Its been awhile since my last entry, thanks to slow internet connections and many bus trips in between.
I am now in San Pedro, a small town on Lake Aititlan, surrounded by active volcanoes. Its a bit like Lake Taupo, only warmer...
I spent 4 nights in Antigua after taking a 7 hour bus trip through the night from Finca Ixobel. Antigua (the old city) is about 45minutes from Guatemala City. Its a very beautiful historic city, also ringed by active volcanoes, with cobbled streets and colourful stalls lining the streets.
While there I took a day trip to Guatemala City- supposedly the most dangerous city in Central America. Actually, I really enjoyed my time there. Its crazy, chaotic and colourful but full of life. I visited the palace, a museum of modern art and, best of all, the only Libertarian university in the world, Francisco Marroquin university (see
There were statues of Hayek and von Mises, and the bookshop was full of Ayn Rand and all my other favourites... The university itself was in a very beautiful setting, set amongst trees.
Yesterday I took a day trip to the famous markets in Chichicastenango. The bus trip weaved through the mountains, stopping along the way for cattle and dogs wandering across the road. Not to mention the thousands of Mayan men, women and children in traditional dress walking the roads with their wares. The market itself was huge (although nothing like the Bangkok markets) and sold anything from hairties to meat to hammocks. I came back with a heavier backpack and a suntan.
After San Pedro I am heading to Quetzaltenango, a smallish town set in the Guatemalan highlands, to learn Spanish. They have very cheap language schools and you can have 4 hours of one on one lessons per day, plus a homestay and 3 meals/day for around US$100 a week. Hopefully it will give me some grounding for my return to Mexico, and make every interaction with people that bit less frustrating!

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