Tag Archives: antigua

Journey Through Latin America (Part 4)

 

I left Xela around 8AM, taking a taxi to the Alamo bus terminal and ,putting my guitar and backpack below, I had a nice trip to Chimaltenango, where I had to step off, as the bus was going on to Guatemala City and I was going to Antigua.  I was hungry and tired so I found a comedor quite near the turnoff, and had a thin piece of steak and tortillas, beans etc.  A couple of young men, already drunk, sat down nearby and started talking to me about where I´m from etc.  After my meal they convinced me to play a couple of songs, and I have to say I´ve never had  a more enthusiastic response, singing along offkey and everything. “You´re Fantastic! Uno mas por favor!”  I didn´t think they would be happy with one more, so I slid out as quickly as I could and heaved my luggage a block to where a “chicken bus” was waiting. They heaved my backpack on the roof, hopefully secured it in place, and I climbed in the back door with my guitar in front of my seat.  It was a not unpleasant bumpy, half hour or so to Antigua, where I descended into one of the most busiest chicken bus centrals I´ve seen.

 

I struggled with my luggage to the address of Jungle Party Hostel, recommended my Lonely Planet, and it was everything they said it would be.  It would have been a perfect place for me twenty years ago, but I felt too old to hang with the crowd, who enjoyed a great happy hour listening to reggae music and cool rap until late in the evening, long after I was asleep.  I shared a dorm room with some Australian surfers who were heading to El Salvador for what is reputed to be the best waves in Central America.  I wasn´t thrilled with my lodgings, even though it was only around $6 a nite including a decent breakfast, so I was happy to meet Lhena through Couchsurfing, who offered me a place to stay at her home.

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately Lhena lives a long uphill twenty-minute walk from the center of town, so it wasn´t the best arrangement.  Her house is located near a beautiful park where I enjoyed my morning Qi Gong exercises under the pines, just a few yards away from these beautiful Spanish ruins:

 

 

I hit all the restaurants I had a line on that I could find, and I got a gig Saturday night at Rainbow Cafe, which coincidentally happened to be the same restaurant I had visited 15 years ago, and which I had been thinking about playing at for several years now.  Sometimes things are very interesting in that way.  Had a good show, got paid, and got a very good plate of food to boot.  Might be playing there again when I return in February next year.  Late at night I had to take a taxi back to Lhena´s, so that cost a bit.  Next day I moved to a new hostel just a block from the Plaza, and though it is a dorm, so far I don´t have to share it.  Got a great weekly rate, around $4 a nite, so I´ll be in Antigua until next Sunday.

 

 

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