Our 13th travelogue marks our last week in Antigua. And our last week in Guatemala. And also our last week in Central America. But what a week it was! A week full of coffee, chocolate, Jacon, Lenten processions, and lava rocks.
WE SPENT TIME NOMADING ABOUT …
This past week we were nomading about the streets, cafes, and volcanoes of Antiqua.
We started the week with a short, thigh-burning walk, with most of the population of Antiqua, to Cerro de la Cruz (Hill of the Cross).
This well-maintained walkway just a few blocks from the Plaza takes you to a vista overlooking the city. You can take in the entire city backdropped by the impressive, picture perfect Volcano de Agua.
Just above the overlook is the stone cross from which the hill takes its name. The original cross was constructed of wood. The ‘new’ stone cross was erected in 1930.
A little further up is a statue of Pedro de Alvarado who slaughtered the people living here in the early 1500s. This is also the hill where American helicopters landed relief supplies after the massive 1976 earthquake.
From here we were able to see the sawdust carpets (tapetes de aserrín), smoke from the Lental Procession thuribles and the procession floats.
Antigua is, of course, world-famous for its sawdust carpets and Lenten Processions. The city swells with an additional one million visitors from every corner of the world on the weekends of the Lenten season to witness the Processions.
Every church in Antigua has a procession that involves hundreds of people. People in costumes dressed as Roman soldiers, church members bearing banners, 50+ people supporting the float, a full brass band, and many, many men and women, and boys and girls in traditional Catholic garb marching alongside.
It was quite a sight.
The processions start early in the morning, some at 5:00 AM, and SLOWLY march through the streets until midnight. We were so impressed that we have planned a return visit next year.
We filmed three videos:
- Random Snacks of Antigua
- Walking About Antigua
- Antigua’s Ruins
This a city of ruins having been rocked consistently by major earthquakes through the centuries. Antigua sits squarely on the border of the Cocos and Caribbean plate boundary.
The Cocos plate is young and active and rapidly moving under the Caribbean plate. This is why Guatemala has so many volcanoes, the second most in South and Central America after Chile, and earthquakes.
If you like sugar, Antigua is for you. The snacks were sickeningly sweet. We threw most of them away after the first few bites.
The culmination of our trip was our last day.
We hiked Pacaya Volcano. Pacaya is an active volcano on the plate boundary. I’ve been to active volcanos before but never so close to the oozing lava; close enough to roast marshmallows, which we did.
This flow is high and slow, inching forward and outward. It’s best not to turn your back on it as hot glowing, newly formed rock are constantly tumbling down as the flow moves.
Here is a sneak peek from our last daily vlog for a bit.
The last night in Antigua we hopped around the town’s cafes. We started with coffee, then moved to sangria, then on to appetizers, and finished at our favorite restaurant.
We had become friends with the bartender and he suggested we try Jacon, a traditional Mayan dish. Only the restaurant did not make it. So he called another restaurant and had it delivered! That’s the hospitality of Guatemala.
WE WILL BE NOMADING ABOUT …
This week we find ourselves back in the US. We are housesitting for my mother and then will be helping our boy move out of his dorm for the summer. Specifically this week, we will be in Descanso, CA – just outside of San Diego.
We will be focusing on editing and posting videos so we will not be posting our daily blogs, because who wants to watch us editing? I don’t even want to be there. We are planning on filming a few videos while we are here and we are looking forward to that.
I can say that our first few minutes back in the US has already come with some serious sticker shock. So we will be getting used to that and getting strict with our budget.
We’ll see you back here next week. Until then, adventure on, friends. Way and (Kim)
OUR LATEST VIDEO
We posted our tour of Isla de Munecus – Island of the Dolls. It is a creepy little island on the last Aztec canals just outside of Mexico City. Enjoy.