Made it to Antigua, Guatemala

16 Mar
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Guatemala - coming in to land

So, we finally touched down in Guatemala City airport at 6:45pm – only two and a half hours later than planned.

Someone on the plane had only given me half of the customs forms, so I had to get my bags xrayed and fill out another form. It’s confusing when you don’t know what they want the information for!

The Spaniard, Teresa, that I was sitting next to on the plane, had similarly not been given the form, so we both ended up reunited briefly again, and also whilst waiting for our luggage to arrive.

The crew seemed to get special attention, and there was a man employed to line up their bags ready for them to collect them – how upper class can you get? (Not Jealous at all).

Tried to ask an airport worker if there was another currency exchange after exiting the baggage hall. His English badly let down this conversation – my Spanish was perfect of course.

Also only the second time ever that I’ve been asked to see the baggage checks and had them compared to the luggage before I was allowed to leave the baggage reclaim area. The other time was in Ougadougou, and that was a farce! This time it was far more organised, although the Spanish really don’t understand the idea behind queuing.

Still not really had the big camera out at all, which is why you are seeing some pics in this blog – easy to use the phone to do it!

Anyway, our tour leader, Lou (female) met us after arrivals and all 18 of us transfered to a private bus. The cases were loaded onto the roof and covered by Arnaldo, our driver for Guatemala.

On the way to Antigua, Lou promised not to tell us too many important things as she knew we were all tired, but them proceeded to anyway. Hopefully the summary was that we were left to our own devices for breakfast and then meeting at 9am. She was quite insistent on pointing out the sources of coffee.

Arriving at the hotel, I got my room key and then took about half an hour trying to find the room. Even finding how to get upstairs was a problem. My room was not at all well signposted. I had given up trying to remember any names of my co-travellers, but Suzanne (no not the duchess) – looks like a little old Italian woman with ginger hair (going grey) – announced to the world that she would prefer to share a room with me rather than her assigned room mate. Not bad for an opener, but I’m not that drunk/stupid/crazy dear.

Room was basic but clean – fancied just lying on one of the two double beds and waiting for morning, but the need for the internet was greater and I dragged myself downstairs to get the wifi password from reception. Only works in the lobby, so I drank some water and several group members passed by. Tim looked a bit lonely, so I offered to wander around the main park with him and we chatted over a beer in a local bar. My grasp of Spanish was good – comida o bebida (food or drink) resulted in us being pointed to the correct place. $7 for two drinks – not bad. When I get local currency, I think that will improve!

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First day notes from Lou

Read Lou’s extensive notes that she had pinned to the hotel noticeboard before heading back to the room.

Now back in bed, after a relaxing shower – having waited the required 10 minutes for the water to get hot.

Hotel buffet breakfast in the morning out of laziness I guess. Bar was offering desayuno for Q15 (about £2) – perhaps tomorrow.

Buenos noches (Good night)

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