“The capital of Guatemala is Guatemala”-- the only nugget of information I retained from the grade school South American countries and capitals song. Guatemala was quite an experience. We had two options when we pulled in: go to an all inclusive resort or get on a bus to Antigua. From what I understand, we arrived in the great country of Guatemala the same week of the year as the rest of the world’s vacationers, either that or Soleil Pacifica was having a killer deal because the entire resort was booked solid. Awesome.
I figured that Antigua would be something like a city in the states, just closer to the equator. My speculations were entirely incorrect. I was struck by how cinematic it was. Street vendors peddled ponchos and jade to wandering tourists, while women dressed in homespun clothing walked the streets balancing large baskets of fruit or fabric on their heads. The roads were narrow cobblestone and the whole place smelled faintly of cigarettes and rain. I felt out of season in my shorts, t-shirt, and flip flops. What I needed was a small machete, Indiana Jones hat, cargo shorts, mid-shin white socks, and some variation of hiking boots. Despite the undiscovered and old world feel 720 did manage to locate one concession to modern day demands—Reilly’s Irish bar. If my estimates are correct, nearly 97% of the crew made it this place in the course of a two day port call. It was fabulous and ridiculous, to be certain. We only had two days to catch up on sleep and relax, but I can safely say spirits and morale have lifted significantly. After all, we are in the home stretch--32% to go.
Thanksgiving is coming up and from what I gather there will be a highly competitive, artists only, hand-turkey competition in addition to the traditional holiday feast. Crayons to the ready!