sorry its been a while, it's been a busy week! it all started a week last saturday when we came to Antigua. Due to delayed buses we didnt arrive until 9pm, and every hostel seemed to be full - it was thanksgiving weekend and lots of americans had come down for the week. eventually, when i was starting to feel like i was in a nativity play, being told there was no room at every inn (more like the donkey than mary tho, with the backpack getting heavier on my back by the second) one friendly hotel owner took pity on us and drove us up to his friend's hotel which had rooms available. it was on the outskirts and a little more than we wanted to pay but we were exhausted after 11 hours travel and just wanted to sleep so we gratefully accepted.
the next morning we found a little guest house/posada called Los Ecuentros, very nice little place for a good price, with free internet, drinking water, a kitchen to use and fantastic breakfasts (the best pancakes in town, hands down!) we also enrolled in a Spanish school, to start the next day at 8am, doing 4 hours each morning mon-fri. (academia antiguena).
so having sorted that out, we had some food, wandered around......and found there was an Irish pub called reillys which was running a pub quiz that night, so off we went.....thought it'd jsut be a bit of fun! there were 11 teams in total, our team being just ian and i until halfway thru round 2 when a bloke called steve from gloucester came over and asked if he could join us - we gladly accepted, and continued the quiz. on rounds 3 and 4 we got two clear rounds, which earned us free shots from the bar...we'd forgotten at this point that we were starting school at 8am the next day....finally after 5 rounds they read out the scores........yes, thats right, we won!!!! they offered us the choice of taking the jackpot or buying everyone a beer, and we reckoned the beer was probably the right thing to do, but even after that they still brought us over 400 quetzals change! we didnt realise how big the jackpot was!! obviously, we ended up raaaather drunk, and staggered home to bed. TIP: don't try to learn a new language with a hangover. it's not so much fun.
still, was a great night!
next day we started the spanish school with our lovely hangovers. luckily we had a very nice teacher with a good sense of humour, called Julia, who wasn't too hard on us. the spanish has been really quite hard, mainly cos we only had one week so we were bombarded with a lot of info very fast. still, i think im doing alright, just need lots of practice and revision and maybe some more lessons in a few weeks or so.
apart from the lessons, im not sure where the rest of the week went...we tended to be pretty tired from gettting up at 7am every day, so lots of naps....oh and ian went out to watch the football on weds night so he had another nice hangover to cope with on thurs. on weds afternoon we went up to the Cerro de la Cruz (hill of the cross, literally big hill with a cross on it), which gives amazing views over the city, and good exercise climbing the hill!
Friday was our 2 year anniversary, we went out for a little meal .- unfortunately the restaurant was not good, food was horrible, which was a shame ah well you live and learn. had to get to sleep early anyway, becayse we had to be up at 5am next morning to......
climb a volcano! Pacaya volcano is an active volcano, an hour and a half from Antigua. we got the bus with 6 others - 4 american girls, one french dude and Alan, our new Scottish friend we met at Spanish school this week. the climb was really tough, especially for me, being not very fit! after we finally reached the top, we began to climb across the solidified lava towards the glowing red lava. solidified lave is not fun to climb across - its's hard and jagged, and unstable in places - one of the girls fell and cut her shin open, and another got some grazes and scrapes. still, i got pretty close to the lava and the others went about 30 yards closer (i'd had enough by then, i am not a mountain goat). from what i could see from where i was and what they told me, it was pretty impressive, and very hot! was strange when i was sitting on my own waiting for them to come back - for a minute they were out of sight and i looked around, thinking it was like being in some armageddon-type film, or the matrix....everything just scorched and grey, but amazing to see. ian and alan toasted a banana and some bread on a stick, which was tasty!
everntually we climbed back down, and collapsed into the bus, back to Antigua for some more nap time well deserved, might i add. i was quite proud to not have too many pulled muscles the day after!
Sunday we just chilled out a bit, then on monday we went to Monterrico. i liked it there until sunset, when the most mosquitos i have ever seen descended upon us. In general i decided i wasnt keen on the place - it was too hot and humid, and the next morning the toilets, showers and sinks packed in ( no water) and they seemed in no rush to fix it, so we decided to come back to Antigua, and catch the bus from here in the morning to San Salvador. Shame to leave monterrico so soon, but i wasn't enjoying it, and there will be other beaches....i think maybe i made the decision too fast, should've given it more of a chance, but never mind we've done it now! so off to el salvador tomorrow.....bye bye guatemala! I've enjoyed it here but it's time to move on, lots more countries to see!
thats all for now folks, apologies for spelling mistakes im in a bit of a rush cos there was so much to write! will edit later perhaps...
bye for now,
love Erica and Ian xxx