A Travellerspoint blog


semi-overcast 70 °F

We spent our last night where we spent many of our afternoon studying, Cafe Rainbow, where we met up with Jeremy and friends for one last evening of laughs. Below is documented proof of our new best friend status with Jeremy.

I think traveling must be a lot like doing crack. The more I do it, the more I want to do it. I'm so sad that this trip is over and I'm bummed that I don't have another one planned yet for the future. I think Heidi put it best when she said, “It just sucks that this is our most favorite thing to do and we only get to do it once a year.” Maybe that'll change someday. Until then, I'll keep practicing my Spanish and dreaming of my next big adventure. Adios amigos!

Posted by AnzelcL 21:54 Archived in Guatemala Comments (0)

El Salvador

We had one last memorable weekend in Central America before heading back to Antigua for our last night. After much debate and advice from locals and travelers alike, Heidi and I decide to spend our last weekend on the beach in El Salvador. We heard that El Tunco, which was five hours by shuttle, was one of the best beaches in the area. We left early Saturday morning, had a strangely uneventful bus ride and border crossing and reached the tiny surf town by just after noon. Heidi and I dropped our bags at Hostel Papaya and headed to the beach.

The beach here, partially black sand and partially rocks, is gorgeous. I've never seen waves like the ones at El Tunco. The power of the water rushing back into the ocean creates a sounds similar to thunder and the waves coming in often crash into the wave retreating creating a stunning spray of whitewater. While this is definitely a tourist town, most of the tourist seemed to be from El Salvador and the neighboring countries. We were told throughout the weekend that this was one of the best places in Central America to surf. At any given time there were a couple dozed surfers catching waves and usually a professional photographer or two hoping to get a good shot. Heidi and I laid out, swam and debated taking surf lessons for a few hours before heading back to our hostel, getting cleaned up and following a fellow backpacker's recommendation for a local pizza place (great recommendation, Denmark!)

After dinner we returned to our hostel and ended up hanging out in the common area (a deck over a small bay with hammocks, picnic tables and an excessive amount of beer) with a hilarious group of guys from England, Canada and Scotland. We hung out for a couple hours, mostly learning provocative new drinking games and trying to not to stare too long at Hot Tom.

Just after it started pouring rain, we decided to head to a nearby club. We took the beach route which meant that we were completely drenched (and laughing hysterically) by the time we arrived. Somehow everyone else seemed to have remained dry despite the storm and we were the subject of more than a few sideways glances. Heidi and I made our way upstairs where we watched the most amazing lightening storm I've ever seen with Bad Tom (his name, not mine) and Canada (who will from now on be referred to as Turquoise - names are hard). Bad Tom didn't take it well when Heidi was asked to dance by a couple of surfers who we had chatted with earlier in the evening and couldn't be older than 19. A couple of minutes worth of talking shit, a few threats and the boys wandered off defeated.

We woke up the next morning and went directly to the beach with Bad Tom where we were thrown around by the incredibly strong waves for a couple minutes before heading back to the hostel's pool. Bad Tom, who was born in Scotland but is half American and half British, is a photographer who frequently works in Central America. He invited us to go with him to La Libertad, a neighboring beach town, to check out the fish market. Bad Tom insisted that the best way to get to La Libertad was to hitchhike because the chicken buses are slow. It didn't take much convincing before Heidi and I were on the side of the road, thumbs out. Within a couple minutes we were standing up in the back of a pickup truck flying down the road. I have to agree with Bad Tom that this certainly is the way to see El Salvador. (Again, sorry mom.)

We headed straight to the crowded fish market once we arrived in La Libertad where we watched as boats were lifted from the ocean and fisherman sold directly to the locals. The remaining fish were carted a fifty feet or so down to the market where it is then sold by dozens of vendors. Less than a block away, there are nearly 20 restaurants crammed together targeting locals on vacation and selling various seafood plates, including some of the most amazing ceviche I've ever had.

We hitchhiked back to the hostel for another night of hanging out with the guys who had apparently decided that they were really going to let it all out. After another round of drinking games led us to dinner at a local barbeque (where we were when the power briefly went out to the whole town). These guys had no shame and were very vocal about their beliefs about most American women (“They're all easy!”) and their disappointment with us for not living up to the reputation (“You're not easy?!”). We went out for one last drink at the nearby club, celebrated Turquoise' birthday with a (beyond creepy looking) cake and ended the night trying not to notice that there was a couple getting' busy in a car parked 15 feet away from us.

Our last day in El Tunco was more of the same; beach, pool, fish tacos. While eating lunch before we caught our ride back to Antigua, Heidi and I were literally left speechless by the ridiculous amount of gorgeous surfers surrounding us. American, Brazilian and El Salvadorian. Tanned, shirtless and with accents. I love this place.

(I'm well aware of how boy crazy this blog entry make me sound. Trust me, you'd be boy crazy here too.)

Posted by AnzelcL 21:51 Archived in Guatemala Comments (0)

Mas Sexy!

sunny 75 °F

At school on Thursday I had a major upgrade – I moved from the indoor patio I've been studying in to the (sometimes) sunny roof deck with views Volcan Fuego and Volcan Agua. I've been learning some interesting new words, including “guerra” (war). After I heard canons going off Helen swore to me that there was a war in the next town over. I think my face went a little white before I realized that Helen was not being her honest self. (You, Helen, are a little tramposa - I won't fall for that again!)

Heidi went to a dance class this afternoon while I had cafe con leche at Cafe Condesa. Heidi came back exhausted. She said she spent the hour dancing with Flor, a little firecracker who also teaches Spanish at Ixchell. She said that Flor kept shouting at her, “Mas sexy!” Heidi's still not sure whether this was a direction or a compliment.

That evening, based on the recommendation of Angelica, we headed to Saberico to try out the wine licuado. As it turns out, wine licuados are pretty much the greatest thing ever. However, I would recommend against ordering the grande, as it is indeed, muy grande. Heidi and I, along with Jeremy and Dawn (our new roommate from Texas), made a brief stop at the Irish pub across the street after Saberico. When we got there, we did our best not to give dirty looks to the girls from our dorm last weekend who happened to be sitting outside. Just ask Heidi or Jeremy, I am still not over this.

The Irish pub was loud and crowded, but we found a few seats at the bar where we could take it all in. The place had a fun vibe, influenced by a mix of locals and travelers – I love being in a room with so many people from all over the world.

Friday was our last day of school so we decided to take a field trip to a fancy restaurant which overlooks Antigua with Helen and Angelica. This was maybe the most fun field trip I've ever been one, between the views, the absolutely dirt cheap four star restaurant and the constant laughs I couldn't really ask for more!

I'm really going to miss Helen and Angelica. Helen offered to come back to the United States with me. However, her idea was to act as my mochilla by hanging on the my back motionless. I'm not sure that this would be the best laid plan. If I'm ever back in Antigua, I will definitely be looking these girls up!

Posted by AnzelcL 21:27 Archived in Guatemala Comments (0)


sunny 75 °F

Just like the rest of this trip so far, the last couple of days have flown by. I can't believe that it has already been more than a week – I know I wont be ready to go home when the time comes.

Heidi and I are learning a lot of Spanish. Some of our favorite new words are obvio, fluido (which we almost are, obvio) and Guat's up. Our teachers are so much fun, which makes class even better! Heidi had some extra hours to make up one day after class to we headed to a cafe with Angelica, her teacher. We sat and chatted for a couple hours (in Spanish of course) and learned that Angelica is studying to be a lawyer, that she has a lot in common with Heidi and that she is absolutely hilarious. I wish there was a way we could bring these girls back with us!

We had our first sunny day in a while today and Heidi and I took to the streets to explore the local market full of everything you could imagine from DVDs to fruit to hardware supplies. We spent most of the time near the handcrafts searching out the perfect friendship bracelets (get excited, Jeremy). We found one, then found a couple more. Some of you lucky readers may even have one coming your way.

We were able to get in a couple of hours of exploring and studying our verbs on various patios is in the sunshine before the skies covered in clouds and we got caught in some of the heaviest rain I've seen since I arrived.

Due to popular demand, I've included some pictures of mi casa. Hope you enjoy them, Leigha! mi_escritorio.jpg

Posted by AnzelcL 15:34 Archived in Guatemala Comments (0)


overcast 70 °F

I don’t typically look forward to Mondays. However, this week Monday means I’m back in my clean, bug free, single room, hanging out with a Guatemalan family and the only “work” I have to do is learn some Spanish. I can’t complain about that.

And today was not just Monday, but also 4th of July. During class this morning we were informed that we wouldn’t be offered dinner with our host family again tonight because of the holiday. I’m not really sure how our independence day translates to a holiday in Guatemala but Heidi and I decided not to fight it and signed up for the celebratory barbeque at the school that evening.

We arrived shortly after the fiesta had started. Dinner, while not a typical American barbeque, was amazing! We enjoyed it with mojitos and great conversation with other students, our teachers and our new best friend Jeremy (although it’s not technically official yet - the bracelet is coming
Jeremy, we promise). After dinner came the tequila shots, the dancing and the general craziness.

We stayed at the school until a little after 9pm when we headed out to Mono Loco – we had heard that this was the place to be if we wanted to celebrate the Fourth. It was an interesting representation of America: overalls and blacked out teeth, Budweiser and a hot dog eating contest, every patriotic country song you can imagine. We had a blast chatting with other travelers, including the cute boys (named John) from the van yesterday, other Ixchell students and a guy from Chicago, John, who insisted that he intended to celebrate by riding around town on his motorcycle at 3am shooting off firecrackers in hopes of waking everyone up (note: Heidi and I have not seen John since he said this. We’re not sure if he was successful and/or has been arrested).

Heidi and I discussed wearing American flags tonight in order to show our patriotism. We even briefly considered the possibility of painting ourselves green and dressing up as the Statue of Liberty. Probably a good way to make friends with locals and travelers alike…

Posted by AnzelcL 16:47 Archived in Guatemala Comments (0)

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