I arrived in Guatemala City in the evening on June 9, and got a bus to Antigua.  I would spend two nights there before heading to San Pedro La Laguna.


I got up early and walked around town for a while before making my way up to the Cerro de la Cruz, which overlooks Antigua.  I was wearing a green t-shirt.  I don’t really understand what happened after that.

View from Cerro de la Cruz

On my way down, I bumped into a very worried-looking Guatemalan girl.  She didn’t speak any English, and I hadn’t spoken a word of Spanish since my last high school class nine years earlier.  As far as I could tell, she was looking for a guy in a green t-shirt, and couldn’t find him.  She ran off to talk to a police officer, and I continued down the hill.

When I reached the bottom of the hill, I saw here coming down behind me.  I stopped and waited for her, and when she got to me, we had the following conversation:

Me:  ¿Está bien?
Her:  Sí. [Lot’s more Spanish I didn’t understand]
Me:  Ok.

We started walking back into town.  I made use of what little Spanish I could remember, and was able to communicate things like:  “Soy de los Estados Unidos,” “Tengo un hermano y una hermana,” and “Tengo 26 años.  Hoy.”  She did a lot of talking and I sort of understood some of it.

We wandered around the city for a couple hours, until she said she had to go to work.  We walked back to my hostel, and she said she was going out with some friends that evening and would come get me later.  She left and I went to my room.

I thought about everything I had wanted to say but had been unable to communicate.  I took out a notebook and started to look up definitions.  Here’s my complete list from that afternoon:

maybe, to return, England, Scotland, I lived, coach, I had, wheat, to know, Hebrew, rain, to leave, to arrive, I was, spicy, bottle, list, translation, I made, I remember, I played, high school, yesterday, I slept for, I wanted.

She eventually came back.  We got something to eat then went to a couple bars.  I made use of my vastly expanded vocabulary.

Early morning in Antigua and el Volcán de Agua


My bus didn’t leave until the afternoon, so I decided to climb a volcano in the morning.  At 6am, I got on a minibus for el Volcán de Pacaya.  When we got the entrance, a guy approached our bus, selling marshmallows.  Our group bought a bag, and we got out and started the climb.

Roasting marshmallows

The hike wasn’t very difficult or exciting, but I did meet a cool group of people.  When we got about 15 minutes from the top, the guide told us that we had run out of time and couldn’t go any farther.  We did find a couple of vents to roast our marshmallows.

We made our way down the volcano and got on the bus.  In Antigua, I got off the bus from Pacaya, and right onto the bus to San Pedro La Laguna.

All my photos from Antigua and Pacaya are here.


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