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Day 326 – 30th October 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on October 30, 2009

Friday – Antigua, Guatemala

Schools Out For Ever, right on Alice 🙂

After breakfast I headed to my usual internet loco and happened to bump into Juan and the family as they headed to town on the step through 🙂 This is about a normal load, plus whatever they can carry back, in the background are Juan’s parents and uncle, they are the people I stayed with on Sunday night. On the bike is Juan Carlos, his daughter Jasmine and wife Olga, they do this nearly every day to get fresh food.

The normal picture of old smoky, the real name for this volcano is El Fuego and then on past the old church where there seemed to be a graduation ceremony happening.

And the reason for the walk to town today was the fact it was a nice clear day and this meant some great pictures of the signature scene in Antigua and it was well worth the extra walk.

Now, have a look at this picture, I have seen a lot of bikers wearing these jackets and never worked out what they are for.

I have since found out it is a requirement to stop daylight robbery. Apparently, the number is the bikes rego number, so if there is a drive by shooting or handbag snatch, it is supposed to be easier to identify the rider. Not a bad idea and I guess it is more of a deterrent that anything. The other thing I learnt was that in Columbia, ALL bikers have to wear them, even tourists, we shall see about that 🙂 I spotted a Vstrom 1000 outside the school, so he could be a student maybe at one of the schools, whoever he is he is from Texas judging by the plates.

The next stop was the Mercado Centro, or the central market, this is a massive area, most under cover some not and just about anything you want can be bought here. It was quite interesting seeing all the fruit and vegies, fish, lots of clothes and other assorted items 🙂

I ended up buying a t-shirt, when I was in Tikal the other day I did not have any money and could not buy one, so I found one here in my size with a design I liked of Tikal and paid the cheap price of Q35, or about $4, I am slowly building up a wardrobe for myself 🙂 On the way back I tried to get some more cable ties, but I had no idea what they are called here. After a number of shops I eventually, with much arm waving and drawing pictures, managed to get the idea across, and found out they are named Pita Plastica or Cincho Plastica. They did have some but no black ones and so I will have to find them somewhere else, at least the hard yards have been done now and I have a name 🙂 I went looking for the shop where I had left my boots to be repaired and passed a scene that was different, I have heard of a cat on a hot tin roof, but a dog on a tiled roof 😕

He looked happy, so there must be a way up and down! Eventually, after some minor misdirection’s, I found the cobbler place and great news, my boots were ready 🙂 Grandad was not there, but the son and grandson were and they happily posed for a photo, nice job chaps and as you may or may not see, they added a bit of extra height for me, 10mm to be exact, I can use all I can get 🙂

After lunch we headed to school and found the way was blocked by a group of kids in Halloween costume, they were having a fiesta and dance session in the street for some reason, a few day’s early in my books!

We found out later they were practicing for a street dance during the weekend to raise money and food for the needy, maybe by donation, I am unsure, but a nice thought anyway. The day at school was a lot better, most of it spent in conversation of sorts, a lot of questions and answers and then I learnt some new stuff just to cap it off 🙂 My two teachers Cheny and Silvia were very good and I liked the school overall, I guess I could have spent a few more weeks here, but I just needed a basic start, I am not here to learn Spanish, I am here to travel and I think the base I got should help me a lot. I took everything back home afterwards and after dinner headed back for a drink and a chat with Vincent. After a few beers in the MonoLoco place we went up to the Salsa bar place and here I tried some rum I had heard about. This particular rum is supposed to have won the 1st place in the world for many years so of course I had to try it 🙂 It is called Zacapa and the word RON is actually RUM.

It is a shocking photo, but the rum did taste nice although it was 4 times more expensive than the local house rum, which I did not try. At Q40 a pop, I only had 3 before returning to beer 🙂 I was planning on an excursion tomorrow to the volcano Pacaya, this is a 4km hike uphill to go play on some fresh red hot lava, so I did not need a rum head! While here in the bar we met up with a couple of German sheilas from Hamburg and we spent until closing chatting them up 🙂 This is Vincent, Dorthe, Anne and me 🙂

The band was great, they played reggae, blues and funky stuff, I must be getting old though because it was a tad loud, but it was a very enjoyable evening. Nice to meet you girls and I may see you down south maybe 🙂

I was a bit pissed by the time we left, around the 1am or so mark and by the time I got back, had a shower and hit the sack it was gone 2am 😉 Tomorrow should be interesting, all I have to do is go down early and buy a ticket, and some throat lozenges as I was being affected by some sort of wog 🙂

Day – 0 miles and 0 km
Trip – 41,938 miles and 67,493 km



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