Guatemala here I come

Trip Start Feb 19, 2010
Trip End Jan 31, 2012

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Where I stayed

Flag of Guatemala  ,
Friday, October 22, 2010

Arrived at the Tica bus terminal at 4am in the morning to get the 5am bus. At the border had to get out the bus at both the El Salavadorian and Guatemalian border post to do the passport thing before getting back on the bus. Lots of nice views from the bus window.

Also changed some money and got riped off but wanted enough for a taxi and hotel room for one night. In the end found that both the taxi driver and hotel were willing to accept US cash. But better to be safe than sorry.

Arrived in Guatemal but not a the location specified in the travel book. Had planed to catch the local metro but decided on a taxi. Sure I was overcharged but at least I got to my destination. Taxi driver told me the hotel was closed but I said I had a reservation since its common for taxi drivers to take you to hotels to get a commision. In this particular case the hotel was closed. The travel book said the hotel was becoming delapitated and it seems it must have reach the point where it was no longer servicable.

Thankfully their was another hotel I was considering around the corner and the taxi driver helped orientate me and give me direction (which is why I think I overopaid him). After checking in )nice enough hotel with hot water shower, wander around the streets a bit in Zona 1 (downtown) where the hotel was located. Lots of people around and once again lots of stalls lining the side of the road.

Along the way wandered into some ministerial build (cuartel de policia nacional) that had some cool architecture. HAd to get a pass at the door and was only suppose to stay on the ground floor (and since i didnt know better) wandered up to the first floor where I was politely told I wasnt allowed to be .

Continued wandering the streets til I reach Parque Centoral and since it was siesta time had to wait for the palico to open. Spent the time watching the people in the square and trying to sneak the odd photo. Saw the odd tourist but once again not to many. Nice way to spend an hour.

Wandered around Palicio Nacional Cultura when it opened. Grand old building that was interesting to wander around. Also think I may have wandered into a couple of areas I wasnt suppose to since I wander past some conference and the hall was blocked off )though it hadnt been on the other side of the building where I entered).

Fom here continued onto Museo National de Historia which I didnt find particulary interesting (and expensive for what you got). This was followed with a visit to the Church Inglesia Santo Dominigo. Lots of food, religious and other types of stall in the church courtyard and nerby streets where I bought tea and some snacks. Had a really nice crushed coconut slice.

Upon entering the church found a number of people praying and that the church had banners strung up everywhere decorating the church. Given this I am ssuming that there must be some religious festival going on at the moment though the stalls outside the church may be normal.

Was getting late and didnt want to be on these streets after dark so wandered the streets a bit more back in the direction of the hotel. Lots of people, lots of cars. Seems that it was the afternoon traffic rush found in most cities.

So far the people I have met in central america seem very polite and happy. People seem to smile in the street at each other and to themselves. Very much unlike the people I saw in the countries of North Africa. Places like morroc seemed to have a lot of angry agressive people. Also strange to get polite service, with a smile, when buying something. This is especially true when you compare it to the service I got in America, when tips werent involved.


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