Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What an incredible experience....

It is hard to sum up 2 weeks in an amazing couple of places...
I wish that I had the talent with words to describe my thoughts and experiences properly, but..... I don't think I can really express the way I feel about our trip and the experiences that we had in both Guatemala and Honduras!
Here goes....
I will start with a few photos from our first night in Guatemala~
These are a few shots from our cool hotel, our giant key, the hammock outside our room, the beautiful flowers etc....
We started our trip in Antigua, Guatemala and stayed here for one night~

Early the next morning we headed out to Chichicastenango, where they have a big market every Thursday and Sunday. We met up with our guide, Andre in Chichi and went through the market and through a few churches and to the cemetery there. What a beautiful place as well...

I have to admit that when I first knew of this place, I thought it would be awesome for color enhancing some photos, but when it comes down to it, I like the way it was captured and I tried to color enhance a few and it did not have the feel I was hoping for... :)

Next we headed to Lake Atitlan~ We stayed one night here.

And then headed across the lake by small boat to 2 very small towns.

The first town was my favorite~ San Juan la Laguna.

I love local art galleries~ It is great to see this in a place that is so small~

We went to 2 separate places where they make things. This place had these machines that are used to make fabric. They are powered by someones legs!!

The second place that we went was much smaller. They grow their own cotton and make their own thread.
This place really touched my heart~ I loved these ladies!!
This first lady was so excited to share with us the process and the way it all works. (Jed had to translate, since I don't speak much Spanish)...

This cute lady in red was so sweet and made one of my favorite memories. She was just staring at me the whole time we were there, she was smiling at me so big and genuine and she kept touching my arm and smiling~ When we left she gave us hugs and a kiss on the cheek. What an incredible experience for me.

This is a tuktuk, pronounced took took~ They were so fun to ride around in. A little further below is a slideshow of one of our rides on the tuk tuk while I took pictures out the side with my camera in my lap~ (So inconspicuous).

We met a man there out in the coffee fields working with a machete to clear out some of the overgrown areas by power lines. He was 76 years old and was such a sweet man.

We got back on the boat and headed over to Santiago Atitlan for some lunch~ We met a very sweet dog there who may very well have ended up with more of our lunch than we did ~ (my husband has a soft spot and fed him a bunch~ I loved that).


That afternoon we went back to Antigua for 2 more nights. The next morning we went on a walking tour of Antigua with a woman named Jane.
She showed us a bunch of historic places. And, of course, some old churches. It is a very cool little town with cobble stone streets and old buildings.

In the center of the town there is a public place that you can do your washing. Those are was bins and there is a big section in front that is full of water. This lady then bundled up the wet, heavy clothes and put it on top of her head to carry it home. The people are amazing!

It is hard to describe the facade of every build, basically the entire block is one solid building from the look of the front, but then it is separated somehow inside. Check out the photo below to see more of what I mean :) (photos speak louder than words) :)

Early on Wednesday morning we were picked up and taken to the airport for our flight to Flores for our tour and nights stay in Tikal~
WOW!!! What an incredible experience :) I know I have said that a bunch of times but it is true.
When we arrived at our hotel we were met by our guide, Pablo and started our tour of the ruins.

It is very cool to see ruins in the midst of an amazing jungle. We stopped because we saw a beautiful bird in a tree along the path and when we were looking at him I noticed some Monkeys and we walked over to see them playing in the trees. It was a bunch of Howler monkeys and we were lucky enough to even see a few Spider monkeys come swinging by. I took photos but most of them don't look like much of anything beside black dots amidst a bunch of jungle plants~ It was so amazing.

We walked to a few of the different Temples and such, and ran into one more family of Howlers. There were babies this time, ohhhhh I think it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. They came down pretty low and close to us. The father did not like it very much and actually tried to poop on us. And pee on us~

So after about 15 minutes we wondered around somemore.

It was pretty hot there, but luckily the hotel we stayed at was right outside of the entrance to Tikal and had a pool. I loved this place. It is funny because there is no power during the day, only for a few hours in the evening and a few hours in the morning. But who needs power with a pool in the middle of the jungle!

We toured Tikal one more time the following day and got to see and hear somemore Monkeys. We went to a few different ruins in the park this time.

And climbed up the steepest ladder to one of the tops of the ruins. I was scared....But it was so worth it. The view was awesome!!

This post does not do this trip justice...I cannot tell you enough just how much we loved Guatemala~
If you ever get the chance to go there~ You MUST!!
Thanks for letting me share this!
Honduras photos to come...Most of those are underwater! :)