[12/03/15~19 (D+201), Guatemala] Leaving Mayan

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I take a bus again from Atitlan Lake to Antigua. It takes 4 hours and it costs 30 Quetzal (USD 4.2$). When I see lots of up hills and curves, I can’t imagine riding a bike at here. I have to transfer one time, but it is very short distance. So I don’t transfer but I ride a bike to Antigua. I take the picture of the church on my way.

 

I got a new habit that I ask same question to people over three times to make sure. Because sometimes people say wrong way, then I waste my time and energy. At that time a person tells me wrong way. Thanks to my new habit, I go to wrong way just for 5 minutes.

 

There are a yellow building and volcano covered cloud.

 

It doesn’t look cloud. So, I ask to people and he says that it’s not cloud but volcano’s erupt.

 

I am supposed to stay with Couch Surfing host for three days. My host’s name is Greg and he is from the US. He is inspired me so much. He rode a bike over 4,000 mi (6,400 km) for two months to raise money for Guatemala hospital. He made over 2,500$ and gave all money to Guatemala hospital. I think it is so amazing that I’ve heard.

Jeju Island in Korea had sad and complicated history that 40,000 normal people were killed. But I heard that 270,000 people were killed in Guatemala and most of people were Mayan. There was the US government on background about both of sad histories. I am shocked that Mayan who wear clothes of beautiful color were killed. It makes me so sad.

Greg who is from the US works for a society which punishes people who killed them long time ago. Because it was wrong that they killed people without any reason. I am very impressed what he is doing.

 

When I am going to hang out with Greg and his roommate, I see a beautiful fountain and church in the downtown.

 

My Mexican friend made a new rack for me when my front rack was broken. But the other one was also broken recently. When I am on my way, I find here. I ask to them a price and time. They say it costs 25 Quetzal (USD 3$) and it takes only 30 minutes.

 

I can feel their passion. I think it’s amazing that people make new things from nothing.

 

When my Mexican friends made it, it took quiet long. But this guy is so faster because he is used to making this one. But he didn’t paint like my Mexican friends. The most difference is that we don’t drink together after working. That’s the big difference. The left one is from Guatemala and the right one is from Mexico.

 

After then, I look around downtown.

 

There are too much tourists in Antigua and there are not many Mayan like San Pedro where is around Atitlan Lake.

 

Late afternoon, students are doing ceremony near the central park.

 

The next day, there is another ceremony. I think it’s Quince ano that Latin American celebrate 15th Girl’s Birthday. I see the children follow them to get candies.

 

I visit to a gift shop.

 

When I see Mayan at first time, I couldn’t feel their attraction. But the more I see them, the more I feel their beauty.

 

I am trying to buy local gifts to send to home. I will send it together before I go to South America because it costs a lot if I send every time. I want to buy it which is in the above the picture, but it’s bigger and I think it can be broken while sending to home. So I buy just a small one.

 

I am taking the rest in the park.

 

The left one is only 5 Quetzal (USD 0.6$) and the tight one is 15 Quetzal (USD 1.8$). The left one is more delicious, bigger and cheaper.

 

I am going to Volcano. It is one of my dreams that I see lava. It costs 80 Quetzal (USD 9.6 $) for a guide$car and 50 Quetzal (USD 6$) for entrance. I’ve heard that I couldn’t see lava because it doesn’t work anymore. But I expect that I will see any red stuff like the picture which I see on online. Children are trying to sell sticks.

 

It takes over one hour to reach the top. Local people follow tourists who are late. One of my groups who is elder takes taxi. It means riding a horse.

 

But seriously there is nothing. Seriously I can’t see lava. When I typed Pacaya where I visit on online, I could see the people who were near lave. But I am too late to see lava. I am so sad. To see lava means that to understand the earth for me. But I can’t..

 

I am so sad and wondering why it’s so expensive because it’s just climbing mount.

 

A local person is selling a gift around the top.

 

But I find that it’s not end. There is more to go. I am wondering again that I can see lava.

 

Sadly, I can’t see lava but I can feel steam from volcano.

 

I feel like it is sauna. People pass between steam and they feel what is volcano.

 

A few place blow up very hot steam. I think it’s a good place to camp for a night.

 

Why do I want to see lava? What magma erupts from the ground is the chance to see the earth which I can’t see before. The other thing is that I can understand the early earth and also it means I can understand the early universe.

 

I can see steam because of volcanic activity.

 

I can see many people at some place. So I go to there and I find that they are cooking marshmallow. Tour guide gives me marshmallow so I try to cook with steam of volcano. I think it’s the best way to eat marshmallow ever. Steam is so hot that I need a long stick.

 

It’s the best taste of marshmallow that I’ve ever eaten. Although I can’t see lava but I get a new experience that I cook marshmallow with steam of volcano. If I do believe something, then dream will come true. I do believe that I can see lave someday but it must be safe way. Haha.

 

I am going far from the sty, but I am close to the ground.

 

Also it’s time to far way from the cloud.

 

It is a good time to think about the earth.

 

Also it is a good time to think about us who are living around the sun..

 

It was hard to climb. But when I go down, I see the people are climbing with heavy things. I think they are camping on the top. They should sleep in a place where steam is.

 

The next day, I ride a bike. But it reminds of my child hood. When I was young, I used to play Star craft. My brother gave me some tip. If I type on screen that show me the money, then I can play very easily because I can get money without any work. Today it’s like that. I feel like I type that take me downhill. I ride over 30 km (18.75 mi) on down hill. I didn’t know I will ride a bike over 30 km (18.75 mi) to downhill.

 

I was so happy to be on the highland for a week because it was so cool. Now it is so HOT and HUMID again like when I was in the south of Mexico. When I take the rest in the gas station, staff gives me Mango. I learn from my friend how to eat mango easily. At the first, squeeze mango and the next bite a little bit on the top and suck it. But there are five different kind of mango. So some mango will not work with this way.

 

Today I can see many cyclists who have perfect gear with clothes and bike. Maybe because today is Sunday?

 

I am too exhausted because of hot and humid weather. But I find local people are going with heavy things on their foot. I am wondering how they can go like that?

 

I can see steel barred every where. So I have to tell what I want or I have to point. I got water from local people, but it was bitter. So I buy water, but fortunately it is frozen water.

 

BUT he doesn’t have food for lunch. So I eat hot noodle with frozen water.

 

The day before I leave Guatemala, I stay in a hotel again. It costs 60 Quetzal (USD 7.2$). Actually, I couldn’t find a hotel so police officers help me to find a hotel. But the hotel they find is too old. So after they leave, I find another hotel and it is better than that with same price.

 

I take the picture of money before I leave Guatemala.

Around 3 am, I could hear shooting. I’ve heard fire work sometimes. But it is not sound of fire work. It is different. But hotel closes shutters so I just keep to sleep. It’s too hot so I wake up at 4:30am to start early. But I can still hear shooting. I am too nervous to turn on lights. It is the most terrible time in my life. I do want to go home or I do want to go to Europe which can be plan “B”. When I am too nervous around 6 am, hotel staff opens shutters. But I can still hear shooing. After 7 am, I am ready to go out. I ask to hotel staff what was the sound. He says it’s not shooting but explosion. I am not sure what was that exactly. Anyway it is the most scary time in my life.

 

The sun light makes me calm down. I start with the sun. It is an unpaved load for 3 km (1.5 mi) to the El Salvador border.

 

I’ve tried to buy a bottle of 2L water from yesterday but I can’t find it. It’s funny that they sell 3L cola but they don’t sell 2L water. I buy plastic bag of water. It’s cheaper and USD 0.06$. Snack is also same price.

 

It’s too hot so I buy another plastic bag of water. Again I eat hot noodle for lunch.

 

They live behind the grocery. They looks weird.

 

Finally it’s time to cross the border. People have told me that Guatemala is more dangerous than Mexico. But thankfully I have a good time in Guatemala.

I loved San Pedro where is around Atitlan Lake. I love to be around Mayan more than Lake. Their traditional clothes is so beautiful but they have so sad story. I am gonna miss Mayan so much.

 

========================================================
Days in Guatemala = 12 days
Distances in Guatemala = 221.17km (138mi)
Flat tire = 0
Pay in Guatemala = 1,258 Quetzal (USD 150$)
Cities I stay = Xela, San Pedro(Atitlan Lake), Antigua, Chiquimulilla
(I didn’t go to Guatemala city. Because I’ve heard Guatemala city is the most dangerous city in the world and there is nothing to see.)

People who help me = Carmen(Xela), Greg&Jon(Antigua)

Route

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A little bit tip

Price is cheaper than mexico. So(?) I spend more money. Near coast is too hot and humid. But the highland is so cool. It is so easy to take a bus. It is similar to Mexico but also it’s a little bit different from Mexico.


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