Sunday, December 28, 2014

Guatamala...a day in Antigua

 Guatamala...this tour began with a ride about 45 mins to Antigua which we stayed 4 hours.
We saw fields of sugar cane and some beautiful volcano's. Antigua is known as one of the best preserved Spanish Colonial towns in Central America.

some active.

Thick jungles are here also. I can't imagine what it takes to clear away these areas.
Dennis Hadley of Taylor had come here 50 years ago on his mission, that is when costa rica
was included. He said it had not changed a bit. 
Here too, its rainy 6 months and not rainy the other.

 Antigua...which use to be the capital of Guatamala.
Because of the many large earthquakes they had to change it.
 This magnificent church has been restored...not many can be and it takes forever.

Inside see the colorful orange fake florals.

 This is a celebration of turning 15. The people behind this are carrying the decorations with them.
That was a bit entertaining and efficient.

Usually there are alot of small motorcycles to get them places.

 all this is seen walking around.

 handmaking corn tortillas on a side street

 Decayed buildings, very very old but no money to fix.
 Parts of buildings destroyed from earthquakes and cannot be resored.

 Wares are sold in masses by the street vendors you have to walk around them.

 Nice patina wall at the jade jewelry shop.

Jade is big industry, jewelry is made and sold here. The lands are rich in gems.

 Shine your shoes, cute! Even if you had tennis shoes on!

 Picture of my dollar
 Selling cotton candy...and stuff on the streets. Off to the right is a little park to sit down. You are
a target for the vendor...its like swarms... is the only way to think of it. After awhile you have to pretend your sleeping. Probably the most annoying time on the whole trip.

 someones always balancing something on their heads to sell you. Sometimes its baskets of fruit.

 Always being followed...this is the sidewalks.
I dont know how the women carry the stuff so heavy all day everyday and walk on the streets.

 typical street. The cars bouncy bounce along the rugged stone streets.

 School children...I believe this is a private school for girls. All these countries it is a must to go to school.
the parents go to jail even prison if their child doesn't go to school.

Cacao chocolate is big industry here

Tiny choco shop they make their own bars and goods here to sell.
loved it!

 chocolate shop, remember these are tiny shops.
shows how the cacao bean is rolled

store close by smelling so good
fresh breads and I loaded up on my diet coke.
Just a tip..the cruise boat wants 20.00 a day for all the coke you can drink...
I say give me a break, not going to do it!
You could buy a 20 oz.  for 1.00 or 1.50

 Here buying fresh made banana bread, had to buy a loaf or a half, not a slice!

 ah ha!  An electronics store...can you imagine internet a link to the world.
I'm guessing most of the products I saw on the streets are made in china.

 Patina walks...years of corosion.
 typical buildings

a friendly vendor who followed us to the bus...very determined
it paid off, some jumped off the bus to buy!

 Spending 4 hours on a walking tour in this area was hard work on our legs and feet.

 It was 2 hours too long, would have enjoyed more but the people became so annoying, unlike the other
countries on the trip. would also have loved to go traveling around the many volcano's and to have seen more of the crops and the capital.
 town square where families sell with their children.
 Down one of the streets as we came into a town...a boy and his dog.

 A typical street...this is probably 500 years old, lived through many huge earthquakes.
Because so many still can't read, they buy up N.American school buses and paint them certain colors so they know which bus to catch by the color. This is true in the other countries as well.

the ONLY way we knew it was Christmas coming soon. There was no christmas anywhere else.
This is probably a very big deal to have santa on his sleigh.

Costa Rica my our dining friends from utah

Dining friends, each night 5:00  Ocean view, usually on our way to the next destination. Always chatting about the days activities, what we learned, the nights entertainment. I love them and can't imagine this trip without them. AND... Because Bud GOT INTO THE HOT TUB with his I PHONE IN HIS POCKET  I had to help be the historian for this trip...Sorry Bud for your loss.

This is Bud and Jane from Draper, raised in Millcreek and raised their family there as well. Bud is 83, could
very well have been the oldest in our group. He was entertaining, always had a new joke. Jane, she is as fiesty as it gets & delightful... I want to be like them if I reach their age.She was always getting after Bud to talk louder/put your hearing aid in...our waitress loved teasing Bud. I was amazed at their energy. Jane had been in the hospital for many months this year, this was a test of her endurance.

This is Joanne and Elaine they live in Salt lake...they are two of BUDS SISTERS. They too were inspiring... Joanne so warm spirited, fun and interested in everything going on. Elaine Harris accomplished in so many ways, mother of 8, grandmother of 48 and great grandmother of 48 and quite the traveler who is in NO WAY going to slow it down now. Her husband passed away a year ago and she has chosen to live and do. 
 They were all so good to each other. 
THESE TWO chose to do the ZIPLINE over the jungle in Costa should have seen my face when they told me that! 
They loved it!

The rest of us chose the Jungle walk here:

tour guide went ahead of never know what's in the jungle, for real!

a sloth in a tree. we saw 5 monkeys in a tree on our way to the jungle.

climbing down into and then going back up and out about 1 1/2 mi. =  45 mins.

Industrious ants...EVERYWHERE, each little green thing you see is an ant carrying a piece of leaf. Most entertaining and you tried not to step on them
 In the thick of the forest there would be openings such as this one. This side of costa rica is the drier side.
The carribean side gets much more rain, greener and more tourists.Their rainy season is june-nov. All roads
in these countries are narrow and its like going through a thick heavy forest.

 Most adorable tour guide of the whole trip. She taught us so much.

Poisonous prickly tree

 several swinging sky walks for us to go over the top of the jungle.

 a motel area by the crocodile Tarcoles River.

 Can you see how carl handles heat and humidity...sweaty. I loved it and could live there!

 We were treated to all the pineapple, watermelon and papaya we could eat.
 Best pineapple ever. The people buy it 2 for 3.00
Costa rica is #1 in pineapple growing and one buyer purchases over 90%...I have noticed costco sells it.

 On a hot humid day...the best! Do they know how blessed they are? They do love their country.

 This is a boat ride in the Tarcoles River which is home to one of the worlds largest crocodile populations in the wild. They figure over 2,000 live in it.
 brave guy feeding croc.
 natural habitat for wildlife.
 Favorite of the people Lizano salsa, its not thick, but it is so good, would love to have brought some home. If anyone sees it here in utah PLEASES let me know! Cruise boats do not like you taking food off or bringing food on.

 They live on rice and beans...we tried them, so good. This is only one of two places we ate off the boat. They say their food is good, but our bodies aren't use to their spices etc so they suggested not to eat anything sold by the roadsides or beaches. They live MUCH differently than we do.

 Always a place for us to drop some $$$ into their economy. They only have 6 months to make the money.
You can live like a king for 3,000 in costa rica with a live in maid...what a temptation!
If your visiting she warned not to use large bills like 50-100.00 as people there are watching us and it might not be safe...remember, use small bills. I never carried a purse at all on this trip.

This is one country that I wouldn't mind going back too...maybe an all inclusive resort on the caribbean side?