To everyone that helped me get to Guatemala, I thank you. To the ones who financially supported me, offered words of excitement, have encouraged me in the past and the present, arranged our stay and building excursions, helped out when I was sick, got me a sweet travel bag to help get along, taught me necessary Spanish words, invites me on the trip, hiked a volcano with me, had wonderful conversations with me, and enjoyed a meal with me, I thank you.
There wasn’t much time for post cards or finding a post office, but I’m publicly thanking you now. I hope you’ve had a chance to read the previous blogs and I hope your support was worth your while. If you have more questions about my trip, shoot me a message or talk to me in person. I’m always willing to talk about my experiences
So I hiked the Picaya! Well let’s see, I hiked the first half up the mountain and then gave in to the peer pressure of the horse and his merchant following my every move; asking “want a horse ride, much easier way up”… I have in. It was with throw up (probably from all the pre-medicating I did the day before to not get sick again) or pay 100 Quetzales (I totally spelled that wrong in my last post) and take the horse the rest if the way up. It was worth it. And now I can say I hiked and rode a horse up a volcano. When we got to the top, there was the “lava shop”, a very tranquil jewelry hut selling jewelry to represent the volcanoes of Guatemala. The merchant was playing an extremely Muzak-esque version of “My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic… (On the way down our tour guide was playing music like “love shack” and the sorts on his phone). When we were at the top, our guide pulled out a bag of flavored marshmallows and skewers so we could toast them at the “picnic spot” (a hole of hot, hot rocks). Our guide also took a moment to dig out some of those said hot, hot rocks and let us hold them. That didn’t last long. From marshmallow land we went up just a bit more to a plateau where we could see all surrounding cities and some loco wild horses! From there we headed down and around, passing through trees for avocados, kumquats, lemon, peaches, and the specific trees that marimbas are made from. We smelled, touched, and tasted many things and we saw some incredible views! We (as in Kelly and I) also met some very nice people visiting from Germany, Australia, the US, and Spain on the hike. And now I get to check that off my bucket list
Last night we ate at a restaurant called Fork on the Hill (en español of course). You literally take a shuttle up the hill to get there. It’s associated with the Santa Domingo Hotel/museum/ruins/possible future wedding destination… I mean, it was a serious amount of beautiful. Lots of archeological finds, uncovered ruins, fountains, and parrots! I had a refreshing glass of Sauvignon Blanc with a great margarita pizza while we watched the sun set behind the volcano. Before we went back to the hotel, Kelly, Nicki, and I stopped at a nice restaurant in Antigua for some Chocolate mousse and aqua pura, accompanied by some live music. What a great, peaceful, relaxing last night to an incredible week.
Today is airport day número two. Wake up 3:45am. 45 min. car ride to Guatemala City airport. GUA. LAX. SLC. MSO. Then home!! I am writing this from the LAX-SLC flight and was very excited to land back in the states. I finally watched the movie Frozen on my first flight. It was definitely a kids Disney movie (fast moving, colorful, unbelievable becoming believe able, ya know), but I really did like it. I’d for sure love to get the sheet music for a few of the songs. But what was good about it was that it brought me back to the states in a mind freeing kinda way. Not necessarily because I’m on my way back to the winter tundra of Missoula (although that also makes sense), but because watching a fairy tale movie is not something that would happen while in Guatemala. It was good to get my mind back in US mode through Disney… maybe.
Anyway, I’m back in the states and ready for the next step. Spanish and H4H Global Village Team leader investigating and training. Hold me to it, okay?!
Thank you again, a million times over, for supporting me on this trip.
Until next time.