Trip Start Apr 19, 2014
Trip End May 19, 2014

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Flag of Guatemala  , Sacatepequez,
Sunday, April 20, 2014

After a good night sleep at the hotel in Washington (way better than sleeping in the terminal), we were up and ready to continue our journey. With our big bags already checked and boarding passes in hand from the previous day, it was a breeze getting through security and to the gate. There wasn't much choice for breakfast so we settled for a small restaurant near our gate with ok food. We boarded our final flight only to have to deplane shortly there after. Apparently the honey wagon used to pump out the lavatories struck the plane resulting in a dent. Maintenance was called to have a look and clearance was required before we could get back on. The delay was about an hour and a half. Clearance was finally given that the dent would not be a safety risk and we took off. The flight lasted about 4 hours. This plane had movies and TV so Gina watched movies and I watched a guy trying to catch monster catfish until the TV signal was lost over the Gulf of Mexico. The flight was fine a few rough spots but nothing major.

On the ground in Guatemala we cleared immigration and customs then packed our jackets away. It was a pleasant 23C with partial clouds and the humidity was not as bad as expected. It will get hotter and more humid the further south we travel. We arranged for a shuttle bus to take us to Antigua which is about an hour out of Guatemala City. The road was interesting as it took us over a mountain pass and down into a valley. As we got to the top of the pass we had a good view of the city but didn't stop for pictures.

Antigua is a picturesque colonial town with cobble stone streets. We were delayed on our way to the hotel by an Easter procession going through the streets. Easter is the big holiday here and we are extremely lucky to have arrived today as the whole town is in festival mode. We finally got to the hotel, checked in and were able to change out of our transit clothes. It was then off to explore town and find some food since it was about 8 hours since breakfast. One of the cool things they do for the Easter procession here is make large mosaics in the street using dried grasses, flowers, fruit etc... I had seen it on a show once so it was neat to see it in person. We ended up coming across the procession again while walking so we stood on the side of the road as the parade went by. Every so often someone would shoot off fireworks which would exploded with a loud bang and scare the crap out of you if you weren't expecting it. After hitting up an ATM in the town square we found a small restaurant for lunch that served local food. I had the chile rellenos while Gina has chicken soup and guacamole. It was excellent, very fresh and very filling. The flavours are the same as authentic Mexican food (not a huge surprise) which is awesome. If the food for the rest of the trip is going to be like that I am very excited. After lunch we wondered through a local artisan co-op and had a look at some of the local products for sale. There was some nice stuff for cheap but 3 hours after arriving probably isn't the optimal time to buy stuff that you will have to haul around with you for the next month.

After a pit stop at the small shop around the corner to buy some water we headed back to our hotel for our group meeting. Our new group has been travelling for the most part together since Playa del Carmen, for the last 10 days so we are the newbies to the group. Our tour leader is originally from Toronto but she has been in Central America for the past 2.5 years. The group seems really good and like they are having lots of fun. We are the only Canadians. After going through all of the introductory stuff, we headed off to a nearby restaurant for a group dinner. I had black beans and rice, which was exactly as advertised while Gina had the chicken quesadilla. Both were pretty good with our sampling of the local beer. Afterwards we headed to a bar across town which specializes in Mezcal, the parent drink of tequila (tequila is a type of Mezcal similar to how scotch is a type of whiskey). We each ordered a shot with a beer, the special... Mezcal is much smoother than tequila and has a much smokier flavour but not bad. We took the time at the bar to get to know some of the people in out group. After a few more beer we called it a night and walked across town to our hotel as a group. There was a party going on in the room next to ours when we got back making a lot of noise. As we were getting ready for bed one of the other hotel patrons was hammering on their door with a few choice words telling them to turn down the volume. We thought a fight was going to break out.

Tomorrow we have some time in the morning to continue exploring town. After that we leave at. 10:00 for Copan ruins about 6 hours away in Honduras.
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Daaaddy on

It seems like your trip is going smoothly so far. We hope that the rest of it goes the same. Now that the snow is gone, Ace is finding more squirrels. Mom and I are cleaning up the yard as well as cutting and burning the dead-fall. Ace really enjoys the sound of a chain saw. Andre should get one.

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