Week Four/Five - South to Guatemala

Trip Start Apr 10, 2005
Trip End Jul 09, 2005

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Saturday, May 14, 2005

easy all, i am back...here is entry 4, perhaps rather belatedly...as im sure you really missed your weekly fix of sashymail.
hmm where to start? last time i spoke to you i was in campeche as i recall, millions of miles from where I am now it seems. this fine day you would find me residing in Antigua, Guatemala. yeah... ive finally moved on from the land of cacti, tacos, little brown people, donkeys and cool weather...only to move on to another country with...cacti, tacos, little brown people, donkeys and cool weather...oh...i took an overnight bus to san cristobal 2300 m up in the mountains, all misty and a bit chilly, palm trees replaced by pines. it was also the town held by some terrorists about 10 years ago called the zapatistas, who still live in the nearby villages and the area is full of army patrols and checkpoints since its a technically still a Conflict Zone. eek. about 5 days there, went riding around the mountains on horses one day, a phenomenal amount of pain resulted the next day...also went to a canyon river thing 1km deep with some israeli people i met...on the weekend my plans to travel to guatemala by nightbus, since its 8 hours or so, got shot down since theysaid id get murdered, raped, killed, slaughtered, or massacred at night...hmm, maybe not then. Decided to hold off going to ghettoland for afew days, backtracked to go to some incredible waterfalls and ruins in the jungle at palenque. eventually had to go though, and found upon entering guats that it was pretty much the same as mexico, even more authentic and unspoiled though. i saw a cool sign on the way, with two arrows, on the first was written La Democracia, pointing north, and the other said Guatemala, pointing south. Some accidental yet ironic political commentary for you there. i eventually arrived at my town called panajachel, on the Lake Atitlan, a 8 by 18km lake formed in a huge crater of a former volcano,and itself surrounded by four other volcanoes. It was an unbelievable sight. I spent a few days there, taking little boats to the villages scattered around its banks, as well as a very cool bike ride from the very top of a mountain always descending on a winding road to the very bottom. Then i wentto the busiest market in central america, at Chichicastenango, for half aday, where i was attacked by a barrage of the classic shouts to come in, myfriend, good price, just for you, you like? etc etc and smells of all kinds of crazy fodder. then i moved on to Antigua, where i met up with nick budd, robbie, and a bunch of their compadres from doing the raleigh trip. basically have been doing nothing here, cotching in cafes by day and in bars by night. hoping to get rather wasted tonight, being my last here, before a, most likely rather hungover, trip up active volcano Pacaya at 7am tomorrow,and then im off to Guatemala City to begin my volunteering in the Aurora Zoological park, it seems, where im stuck for two weeks. apparently someone fell down into the crater, where you can actually see the bubbling lava pretty close up, a few months ago. sounds like fun, no? i might try it.
well, ill try to put up some more photos on webshots shortly...the computers have so far been pretty schisse and have refused to load the program letting me do so. grrr. having a heavy time, this email cant describe to even a small degree how cool it all is, although i now feel 3 months in nowhere near enough to see all there is to see here...
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