The morning after Tikal we packed up and checked out of the hostel. Our bus to Antigua was not until 8 pm, so we had about 10 hours to kill. The hostel offered lockers for the day, so we locked up our stuff and grabbed some breakfast. We were a little over budget at this point in the trip, so we decided to have a low key day and utilize the good internet at the hostel. We hunkered down in on of the many cushioned corners of Los Amigos and Logan read while I uploaded some pictures (a slow and tedious task on my iPad mini that I aam using as a computer). We worked (well I worked) until around noon, and decided to go out and enjoy the beautiful sunshine for a bit.
We walked along the waterfront once again, this time enjoying how the water sparkled as the intense light from the sun hit its surface. We stopped for some ice cream and wandered the cobblestone streets of Flores for one last time. I really loved how small and calm Flores was. No one was hassling us to buy anything, and despite the crazy amount of hotels and restaurants on the waterfront, it did not feel as commercialized somehow.
After a few hours of walking, we went back to the hostel to have a snack**, and read in the hammocks in “the jungle”. We drank a few Gallos (the local beer) and lounged until dinner. Since our bus was at 8 pm and the kitchen at Los Amigos was a tad slow, we ordered dinner early (about 6 pm). We were glad to have ordered that early because our food got lost somehow, and they had to make it over. We finally got our food at 7:30 and ate as much as we could, since we did not know when we would be eating once we got to Antigua. We finished just in time to catch our bus.
The bus ride was about 8 hours long, along a highway which was covered in pot holes and speed bumps. Logan took a sleeping pill and passed out in our relatively comfortable seats. I slept for a bit but our seats were on the top level of the double decker bus, right in the front, so I was too distracted by the horrible road, the rain and feeling the the bus may tip over at any moment (I had read the Guatemalan news earlier in the day and saw a story about a bus crash), sneedless to say, I did not get a good nights seep on the night bus.
We arrived in Guatemala City at 5:20 am and waited until 6 am for our shuttle to Antigua. Our driver to Antigua drove the van like he stole it (speed limits don’t seem to exist here) and we were in Antigua by 6:30 am. Since it was so early, nothing was open, so we tried, and succeeded in finding our spanish school, Antiguena Academia, before finding a park bench to plant ourselves on and wait for things to open. We got really lucky and despite it being a Sunday, our school’s office was open by 8 am. Our home stay was not ready for us, but we got to leave our bags to go find some caffeine and food. We found the main town square and feasted on coffee (a latte for me) and dulces. Logan had a piece of banana bread we bought in Flores and I had lemon pie, both of which were DELICIOSO and kicked off our new obsessions with panaderias and the sweets they make.
With a few hours to kill, we wandered around the city, stumbling upon the Sunday market, where we bought a blackberry smoothie for 7 QZ ($1 US) and a bag of 5 avocados for only 3 QZ ($.38 US!!!!). After our trip to the market it was time to go to meet our home stay family. We are in Antigua for a week taking Spanish lessons and our school offers a home stay program where you live and eat with a family for a week. We met Consulo and her son-in-law Gorge and walked to the 7 bedroom, open air, very traditional Guatemalan home where we would be staying for the following week. Our room was being aired out from the previous student (I guess they were stinky or something?) so we went out to find more food (the family does not feed you on Sunday).
We ended up eating at a small restaurant we found by following the sound of sizzling meat (always a good sign). We had a dish called a “mixto”, which consisted of a thick tortilla, covered in guacamole, meat (we both had chorizo), onions, cabbage and four sauces, which we think were mustard, mayo, cheese and ketchup. They were sooooo yummy and we really were enjoying our Sunday walking around Antigua with a wonderful mix of tourists and locals. But, due to the lack of sleep from the night before, I was in desperate need of a nap, so we headed back to our home-stay to settle in and sleep.
I woke up just in time for dinner, but we were running low on funds (having paid for a week of lessons and for the week at our home-stay) so we found some cheap empanadas at a bakery and went to the grocery store to buy garlic, lime and chips to make guacamole with our cheap avocados. We feasted on our cheap dinner, I taught Logan how to play cribbage, and we called it a night as breakfast at our home-stay is at 7:30 every morning.
**We ate at the hostel quite a bit because most of the restaurants on the island were very touristy and expensive, while the hostel offered huge meals for cheap.