Tikal, Flores, Guatemala City and Bye Bye

On Sunday, we left Lake Atitlan with Walter at the wheel. Walter will be forever in our hearts for leading us in several rounds of “Sweet Caroline.” After saying adios to Walter for the last time, we flew from the Guatemala City airport 350 miles north to Flores, a tiny town on an island in the Guatemalan jungle.

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Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

A fruit stand and women in traditional dress in front of one of many dozen murals in San Pedro.

If you know me, you know I wouldn’t have come to San Pedro La Laguna if someone had told me about the road. The drive from Antigua involved 13 hairpin turns on a steep two-lane road thousands of feet above anything that wasn’t air. Luis drove skillfully and carefully but my mind doesn’t respond to skill and care or any kind of logic in such situations. At last, Suzen gave the all-clear and I opened my eyes right before we dodged a landslide coming out of hairpin turn #12. But I survived! The excitement continued the next day when an earthquake shook our hillside casita. It was Suzen’s first earthquake!

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Antigua, Guatemala, Then and Now

A bunch of Guatemalan icons in the mural at the local Starbucks: coffee, textiles, quetzals, volcanoes, and hummingbirds.

This week, I’ve been in Antigua, Guatemala with my San Miguel BFF, Suzen. Antigua is one of those magical places that makes you wonder whether this is where you should be living (but I won’t be leaving my San Miguel!). Surrounded by volcanoes, Antigua is green and easy and full of young people. The city’s hill-free flat grid and architecture remind me of Patzcuaro and Oaxaca in Mexico, with single story colonial style buildings in soft colors. Like San Miguel, Antigua has cobblestone streets, a tree-filled plaza full of music, and random fireworks.

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The Caravan from Honduras — Tapachula, Mexico

Yesterday, my San Francisco friend Diane and I arrived in the unassuming, humid and hot city of Tapachula, in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. It’s definitely a weird choice for a  visit — unless you want to support the people of the Caminata de Migrantes, referred to in the English language press as “The Caravan.”

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