Sunday, 24 May 2015

Antigua

I figured since it was the end of the tour, I could spend my "G Adventures recommended" 200 dollars emergency fund now. So I did!

I woke up this morning with no plan other than going down to Reception to get some help with planning the day. Antigua is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with beautiful buildings all over the town and I wanted to see them and explore Antigua as much as possible over the next couple of days. I'd dreamed about visiting this place for years.

I started my penultimate day in Central America with breakfast at Fernandos Kaffee down the street with Olivia. Then we walked (rushed) to the meeting point and waited for our Unimog vehicle to pick us up and drive us to the coffee plantations (luckily the driver was on "Central American time" so we were "early"). While we stood on the street corner waiting, the kids were heading into school and they stopped to interview us.

We'd picked Finca Filadelphia and chosen to hire a private guide for 25 dollars and do a 2 hour hike right to the very top of the plantation, learning about coffee as we walked. It was tough going but we got spectacular views from up there. Our guide, Axel, was very patient and helped us scramble up the sandy track after him. He too was slipping about, so I didn't feel that out of shape! Why do I keep doing this to myself hehe

Afterwards we walked back down and had a quick look around the plantation shop so I could pick up my Guatemalan memento and buy some coffee jelly to try. Well, when in Guatemala... It should taste good if the taste of the coffee bean and its shell is anything to go by - watermelon, fruity flavour. We'll see.

 
The cool Unimog vehicle dropped us back into town and it was a quick pitstop back at Fernandos for lunch and then we were off again on a 3 hour walking city tour with our guide, Christina. For 25 dollars, this private tour was also great value for money. We saw many of the gorgeous buildings, churches and ruins, a wedding being set up at the Santa Domingo hotel - which meant viewing a part of the ruins they mostly cover up to protect from sun damage - lucky us, market visit, Jade factory and museum where I bought my Mayan birthstone, a chocolate cafe, Arch Avenue, the Central Park and the Mayor's office. Lots of wonderful photo opportunities. Enjoy these. 

 
Olivia and I had no idea where to go for dinner, so again, we asked Reception and they were as helpful as ever suggesting a french style restaurant, Hectors. I was going mad with my remaining dollars and splashed out on a medium rare steak sarnie with fries and beer. Yum!

Since the trip was officially over, that meant I also got my own room for the next two nights. I paid 40 pounds per night with G Adventures prior to departure. The room was fine, but the bathroom was bizarre. Take a look at my pics and have a giggle alongside me...