Just spent a wonderfully lazy day in Lanquin thanks to the ceaseless rain. I’m kinda glad we had to cancel our trip to the K’anba caves because it gave me the chance to just spend a day without any agenda. I’ve never known the rain to be such a tease; everytime it looked like the clouds were done relieving themselves, there would be a fresh shuddering of rain again. In a distance, the cattle grazed, unperturbed, on the rolling hills, the house dogs chewed at my shoes and the hostel bar continued to showcase its inexhaustible range of music. I admired this from the comforts of my hammock and loved how the rain made the land so pregnant and verdant- it’s super refreshing and cleansing. (Nic disagrees that there’s an after-rain smell.) Now, sitting outside our cabin, this postcard-perfect view is what retirement villas boast of. Rush of river, calls of crickets, freshness of foliage. Life is sweet when there’s absolutely nothing to do but admire it.
Hola de Antigua !
The multi-colored walls, cobble-stoned streets, horse-drawn carriages and vine-adorned gates make Antigua the quintessential colonial city, yet the ruins of cathedrals presumably destroyed by volcanic eruptions adds a certain sense of realism to the otherwise postcard-perfect facade. Even though this is our second day here, I feel like I haven’t really explored the city even though I am beginning to fall in love with it. Not sure if it’s the sweet smell of lavender in the air, the gorgeous cafes with awesome live music, or the friendliness of the locals, but I could definitely see myself spending a couple of months here.
We also went on a hoax of a tour around these ‘villages’ today that were not indigenous in any sense. Ciudad Viejo, the first city in Guatemala that the Spanish conquistadors first settled in, had the shell of a cupuola which is now used as a school. The macadamia nut farm had the best white chocolates and ingeniously green farming methods, but they were set up by a Canadian man and his Guatemalan wife. The ‘Mayan’ village was really a market which sold ‘traditional’ clothes an handicrafts by the local women. And finally, we also went to this house which manufactured jade jewelry and ornaments. I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that I bought something from each of the places we visited except Ciudad Viejo because we didn’t visit any shops there.
Still despite the gimmicky gringo trail that we blazed, I had a gorgeous time taking in the sights of the city. Like Arequipa, it’s also flanked by three volcanoes- Fuego, Agua and Acatenango that are all active. There was a hilarious moment when our guide stopped by the roadside for us to take a postcard shot of the volcanoes as we stood amidst a pile of trash. In that sobering moment there was the realization that beauty exists around and in spite of crap.
Gonna hit up a real volcano with hopefully some legit lava tomorrow! Wish me luck!
Photos when I can upload them!