We arrived in Antigua, Guatemala after a 7 1/2 hour van ride which was pretty gruelling. For the final leg we sat in traffic in Guatemala City (at rush hour) after already sitting for 6 hours (much of which both Sean and I felt car sick as a result of the winding mountain roads). Sean and Liam were amazing - no complaints, no worries... they just accepted that that was what we were doing for the day. I think back when we were planning our trip and worried how they would manage driving across Canada and here they are managing long treks on public transportation in Central America! We are proud of their emerging travelling skills. (now if they could be that relaxed about the food!)
We get a lot of looks, we stick out as a family backpacking (we haven't come across any other family travellers lately) as most of the travellers tend to be youngish backpackers. Eric and I are reminded of earlier times when we traveled though this territory, about 18 years ago! Every time I say that I baulk a bit... was it really that long ago? I try to imagine what we look like to the other backpackers. I think mostly people think it's kind kind of cool that we are travelling with the kids and we do get some comments along that line, but mostly it feels like we are the oddity. And though it feels isolating sometimes to be the odd ones out on the travel circuit... it is also kinda cozy with our little nucleus family, always sharing the experience, the space, the time together. (though sometimes it's a bit too cozy!)
We are slowly (slowly) giving up comparing things to when we were here last time. Our vision of sharing a trip like last time with Sean and Liam is gradually being redefined and a new vision of slower easier travel, with lots of time together as a family, is emerging. The desire to "see it all, soak it all up, get off the beaten track" does not seem as critical. Instead a 1st gear approach where we can all cruise comfortably and just let being here envelope us is emerging. And... I'm liking it! There are little travel agencies on every street enticing Volcano tours, Lago Atitlan tours, coffee tours etc... etc... things to do and see but we just walk past. We've been in Antigua for about a week and we just got around to visiting the main Cathedral two days ago.
When we first arrived we stayed in this great hostel - with friendly travellers and an owner who was so sweet and helpful we really didn't want to leave. But we couldn't keep the boys energy level contained for too long in a communal living environment so we hunted around for our own space and Ceci, the owner of the hostel, found us this amazing Apartmento in a primo part of Antigua - and it was available! What luck (Liam says our Bald Eagle is still with us!). So, we are "hanging" here in Antigua in 1st gear (perhaps even neutral?) for the next 3 weeks.
Here are pics from when we left Copan, Honduras and a few glimpses in to our experience in Antigua. More to follow soon.
|Copan... Lugging our stuff.. didn't have too far to go... so it was okay.|
|Honduran-Guatemala border crossing|
|Too tired to eat (we arrived about 7:30pm) so we just went to a local panaderia and |
got some yummy banana bread for dinner.
|Roof top lounging... loved it!|
|Agua Volcan in the distance|
|Cobbled streets and colonial Spanish architecture...|
|Mayan ladies with their bundles of crafts to sell|
Well, homeschooling was a success today.. no major revolts.. the sky is clear.. sun is out.. off to La Bodegona for a few more groceries.