Tour through the mangrovesOctober 10 in Guatemala ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C
Enjoy the pictures of our 5 a.m. tour through the mangroves of Monterrico.
Rainy season might not be a good time for many activities here in Guatemala, but it is the season for turtle breading. Today about 50 little sea turtles have found there way out of their eggs and to the beach surface. The eggs had been collected by a sanctuary to protect them being eaten or damaged. Once the baby turtles hatch they're liberated back into the sea. We have the privilege to take part in this beautiful experience.
The turtles are normally put on the beach, so they can walk towards the sea and this way remember the place they are born and come back to lay their own eggs when they're adults. There is, however, one turtle that is too weak to walk all the way by itself, so I am allowed to carry it to the water.Read more
After the early start this morning at the finca, we still manage to make a lot of the day. First we visit Hobbitenango, far up on 2400 meters. Even though we go there by shuttle, even the small distances within this “village“ are rather challenging for my battered knee for the steepness of the hill it is on. The view from up here is fantastic!
In the afternoon we still walk a little through town (if you would like to know what it looks like, check out my post from 02.03.2016), have a nice cup of coffee and shop a little at the central market.Read more
We get to visit the coffee farm owned by Mariano's extended family, close to the city of Antigua. We leave on sunday afternoon, together with Mariano's mum and brother, and stay until lunch on monday.
The place is just beautiful! It's 25 km^2 of coffee pants, macadamia trees and cows with a close look on the volcanos Agua, Fuego and Acatenango. We explore the area on foot and horse. Being here also gives us the opportunity to spend some time with Mariano's family away from their demanding daily routine.
As we don't manage to get up early on monday morning, Mariano and I even come back from Antigua one day later (at 4.30 a.m.) to try and see Fuego erupting. There are only some small occasional spits of lava, but already for the sunrise from up at the view point it is definitely worth the effort.
Again we receive a full service: a security guard accompanies us on the short hike to the view point, back at the farm house we are offered coffee and afterwards a pick-up takes us to the bus stop.Read more
Before the actual graduation party, the catholic pupils of the German college attend a mass that gives them the chance to express their grace for having mastered this important step in their lives. The priest also uses the opportunity to honor their accomplishment and to give them spiritual orientation for their future. Here are some pictures of Ricardo's graduation mass.Read more
Tonight we're visiting friends from Mariano's acting days and watch their play, which actually consists of 5 microplays. The theater is a normal house, each of the microplays takes place in a different room. This kind of theater allows to get a really close view on the actors and the director, not only because in the small rooms you basically sit right next to them, but also because at the end there is wine and cheese, to offer the chance to talk to them.
If you ever come to Guatemala City and want to take in some culture it is highly recommended (https://instagram.com/fes.teatro?igshid=175c8ufje1146).Read more
Takalik Abaj is an archeological site that was first used by the Olmecs (~800 a.C.), then by the Maya (~400 a.C.). Although only a small part of it has been excavated and the work is going on, it is one of the largest archeological sites I've seen so far (following Chichen Itzá and Palenque in Mexico, and Tikal in Guatemala).
Rain comes early today, so we need to hide in Palapas in the middle and at the end of the tour. A group of policemen and women are there as well, showing some local children around. The police in Reu started a project two years ago in which they try to connect more with the local community and to ease their distrust. We see that they came in a pick-up, so without much hope of them saying yes, we ask them if they would give us a ride to El Asintal.
Not only are they happy to do so, they even try to organize us another unit to take us from there to Reu. While we wait for part of the policemen to take the children home and come back to pick us up (we felt a little bad for causing them so much trouble, but they insisted), we had the chance to ask one of the guys about the different specialties within the Guatemalan police and about police academy. It was super interesting to get all that background information!
In the end the police can only take us to El Asintal, since the other unit is called to an emergency. However, "our" unit wants to give us the full service: they stop a public bus which we can take, we even get a discount. I just hope we didn't scare the poor bus driver too much...Read more
Yesterday we arrived at the coffee farm Finca Santa Elena in the departamento of Retalhuleu (Reu). We are staying in this farm for two nights. As a lodge there are probably much better ones, as here everything is rather old and worn out; only one of the bathrooms has warm water. But the ambience is just beautiful, staying in this farm house circled by coffee, coconut and banana plants (just to name the most important ones). Even more so as we were the only people around all evening.
Today, one of the owners (René) and his life partner (Beatrice) arrived in the afternoon, so we have the chance to have a nice, chill evening with them on the terrace, drinking fresh Guanabana juice. Beatrice gives us several recipes for homemade flu medication (Mariano has now gotten sick too).Read more
Traveling in the rainy season has given me a pretty nasty cold by now. I'm surviving in long afternoon naps and a tea made of fig leaves. This makes a perfect excuse for visiting the hot springs just outside Xela. There's no pictures of the hot springs themselves, but the ones you can see basically represent the view you have while chilling in the hot water.Read more