Thursday, May 26, 2011
Guatemala is loud. Really loud. As we landed in the airport torrential rain and eventually hail pounded on both the plane and the tin roof (lámina). Volume comparison: Imagine a 5 year old banging haphazardly on symbols and you have about 1/3 of the decibels in that tiny airport. Since our plane landed in Guatemala city we had to take a small bus 30 miles west to our hotel in central Antigua, and that ride wasn't quiet either. The mechanical sounds of horns, grinding gears, and break pedals blended with the shouts, curses and music blasting from every car bus and truck on the road. Volume comparison: 10 rows back at a terrible dub step concert. Finally we arrived at our hotel "Internacional Mochilero Guesthouse" a cute establishment on calle seis in the heart of Antigua. The rest of the day was spent exploring the city, exchanging money at the bank (we were advised against the local ATMs) and buying a duffel bag (while in the airport i managed to execute a three-stooges like tumble when the weight of my backpack exceeded my strength to stand upright... Figured I'd transfer some weight to avoid future embarrassment). Antigua is noisy too: street vendors, firecrackers, local music, and voices filled the hotel and the streets. Volume comparison: a pre-tailgate C-1. We hit up a few local bars and cafès after dinner at "La Hamburguesa Gigante" (ironically the best dish at this locale was the veggie burger with guacamole) and ended up at a discoteca called "estudio 35" that featured 3 dollar cerveza and a remix on karaoke (everyone but us knew the words). Overall a great first day...ear plugs optional.