So now I'm WAY behind. The hotel wi-fi in Antigua was not working for me so couldn't get much done on my computer....that's my excuse and I'm sticking with it. Sat. morning we were all packed up and ready for travel. Sharon and Dwight met us at the hotel to show us the video of our trip. It always amazes me that they can gather all our activities together and get a DVD made before we leave. We loaded up the van and off to Antigua we headed. Once checked in to Hotel Bucaros it was time for lunch. A favorite spot is Frieda's for margaritas and yummy Mexican food.
Still a few touchy tummy's but all managed to eat lunch. Then we did a little tour of the village which is a UNISCO world heritage site and the original capital of the Spanish empire. It is a colonial village with beautifully colored exteriors and lovely hidden gardens behind the stucco walls.
Antigua is a cruise ship excursion since it's only a couple hrs. from the Pacific, so many have seen Antigua w/o seeing the rest of Guatemala. So many wonderful things to see in Guatemala that you really should put it on your list of places to visit. I'd be happy to have you on one of our Grace of Guatemala Voluntourism trips or just help you with your travel arrangements to do a trip on your own. Then it was time for a siesta and to start to indulge in the chocolate we bought at Chocolalala. A Frenchman who knows how to do the most wonderful things with Guate. chocolate. Of course a little more shopping happened along the way too. I called my friend Susie who is now living in Antigua and invited her to join us for dinner as she knew several of the group from previous trips. We had dinner at another favorite place ..La Fonda...where they make the most amazing chicken rice soup. I can't go to Antigua w/o having it. During dinner there was a procession on the street in front of the restaurant similar to the one last yr.
Not sure what the event was but the float carrying the body of Christ in a glass coffin was carried on shoulders not driven. I have no idea how many people it took to carry it but it was such a long float I couldn't get it all in one shot. After dinner we were 8 tuckered out peeps so off to bed early especially since six have to catch a 5:30 AM shuttle to the airport.
I'm a little behind as I usually am towards the end of the trip. I'm pooped..what can I say. On friday we went to the kite festival in Sumpango which is part of the celebration of Day of the Dead.
It is so amazing to see the kites up close. They are very intricate and colorful and made totally of colored tissues paper. The paper is then mounted on bamboo poles.
My guess would be that there were a couple thousand people there before it was all over with. They always start flying the kites later in the day so we can't stay for all of it but we got to see several kites flown of the smaller size. I would say about 5-6 ft. across. Actually the first kite they flew earlier was a political statement..anti abortion. You know you have been coming to Guatemala for a while when you just walk in the gate and see 4 different people you know. The world is getting smaller all the time. I was glad I got a picture of the Peacock kite before the wind started to tear it form it's poles.
I have no idea how many meters some of them are but you can see from the pictures the comparison of the size of the people and the size of the kites.
We were able to see some of them being unfolded and mounted to the poles then lifted up into place. It was like a finely orchestrated dance. Since it is a 2 hr. drive each way, by the time we got back to Pana, everyone was pretty tired out. We have had a few sick and it seems as if they got a bug and just passed it around. It doesn't seem to last too long just a bit miserable for about 24 hrs. so Sandy decided to stay at the hotel and relax and the boys stayed behind to get caught up on there company business. The kite festival is certainly amazing and an event to take in if you have the opportunity but I have now seen it twice so I think I am good for another 20 yrs.
There are no pictures for day 5 since it is a free day so everyone got to do their own thing. Amanda and Angela went zip lining, Jay sat by the pool and did work stuff, Dave and Mike went to visit more of Dave's families and Sandy and Melissa were having some tummy issues so they kept a low profile. Sandy and Melissa were able to come to my place to help eat left overs and then back to the hotel to rest. I rested and picked up some jewelry I had made that was ready. Not very much excitement but much needed rest was had. Day 6 will be Dia De Los Muertes...day of the dead...kite festival.