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The Belly Of The Beast

Aside from the giant sinkhole, there wasn’t a whole lot about Guatemala City that striked my fancy. A lot of the research I had done leading up to my Guatemala explorations seemed to indicate similar sentiments. For one the city is FILTHY, with some of the worst air polution I’ve experienced outside of Hanoi. Unfortunately the bus to El Salvador leaves from the terminal in the capital city, so I had to venture into the depths of downtown. Fortunately I found some really tasty breakfast and killed some time taking some pretty cool photos in the markets.

Home Away From What Used To Be Home

Spending time at Hotel Isla Verde along the bank of Lake Atitl├ín provided a perfect opportunity to get some much needed R&R. The hotel is very “granola” with a yoga room, vegan meals, and sun-heated water. I think the Internet access here is even operated by passenger pigeons. So it’s quite fitting that this peaceful paradise is situated just a stones throw from the town of Santa Cruz.

Sites Along The Parade Route

Today was one of those magical travel days where you head out the door with no plans and no expectations, and just by following your intuition you stumble across a wonderful time. This time it resulted in following a parade route for a few miles to a rowdy soccer match between the two local rivals.

From Young To Old In Antiqua

The many colorful faces (and garments) of the Guatemalan people — in ascending order by age.

Antigua Guatemala: Never A Dull Color

This was one of the more spontaneous trips I’ve ever embarked on. About a month ago I flew from SJC to KUL via LAX. My layover in Los Angeles was long enough to meet up with a good friend for dinner. While at dinner she told me of her plans to visit Guatemala. It just so happened that her flight out of LAX was the same day that I had planned to return to the US. In fact, my return flight arrived about 2 hours before hers departed. So we thought that maybe, just maybe, I could join her on the trip to Central America. She pulled up her flight details on her smartphone while I launched the Kayak iPhone app on mine. I plugged in the dates and times and sure enough, there were still available seats. As fate would have it, I had just began a frequent flyer match program with Delta (the airline she was flying with) and I needed the miles, so without hesitation I booked the flight right there at the dinner table from my phone. My how I love technology! Fast forward to a month later. I arrived into LAX from Malaysia with a very small window of opportunity to catch my flight to Guatemala. Fortunately since both my arriving and departing flights were both international, I was able to save some time by not having to transfer to a different terminal. Unfortunately I still had to wade through the customs process AND the horrid security screening at LAX. But luck was on my side that day. Due to my Gold status with Delta I had priority access and was able to breeze through security. With only a few minutes to spare I was at my departing gate AND Delta had upgraded me and my companions ticket to business class! That’s just how I roll.

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