Antigua… living in a hostel… celebrating Christmas!

Saturday, my first day in Antigua – the central park

The Central fountain

We were trying to analyze this… either the central fountain can be regarded as a naughty improper sculpture or it can be seen as the “nourishing centre” of the town.

 The Catholic Church in Antigua… or one of them…

In the evening, cuddled around a bonfire at the hostel after watching Memento; Raz, one of the Israelis, leads us in a primary/high school group bonding activity with cards and straws:)

it fell

ooops

When the bar at the hostel closed, we went out…

Strangely… the game continued…

Smiling on pictures was suddenly outdates, given all the new cool facial expressions we had just discovered… I worried I would never get a proper picture of any of those people:)

Sunday excursion to Guatemala City with the Icelandics I met in Antigua completely at random. The public busses are old school busses from Florida, US, painted in crazy colors, Guatemala style.

Vala eating McDonalds ketchup with salt… or salt with ketchup, not quite sure… after the movie “La Capsula Dorada” we went with some Guatemala guys to Pizza Hut. It’s good I’m not living with them because I would not survive this sort of a diet – in only a day they at the American Bagle place in Antigua, McDonalds, a bakery, popcorn in the cinema and then Pizza Hut! Well…  I did eat at all these places too except McDonalds as it makes me sick.

—————-CHRISTMAS EVE—————–

Sunday: Everyone at the hostel decided to come together to cook the Christmas Dinner… of course I was a big advocate for this – talking about how Christmas Eve is special, at least in Iceland, it’s a family celebration – we should come together like a family and celebrate.  

The Israelis took charge of most of the cooking, the Canadians took care of the grill, and the rest was left with the shopping, side dishes, drinks and set-up. The food was absolutely delicious!

 The Canadians

And the Israelis brought the drinking out of control while people were still eating by bringing out the shot glasses and insisting that rum and tequila were just as classy as wines at the Christmas dinner table… I don’t think they see Christmas the same way I do… uh ehm… maybe because they don’t celebrate Christmas?

Dave washing dishes in the garden sink

I don’t know how the same guys that did most of the cooking ended up doing the dishes too… a little coordination problem… the people supposed to do the cleaning said they were too drunk to do it. Other drunk people therefore decided to do it. The next morning, the kitchen staff decided everything had to be rewashed:) 

Our perfect impeccable adorable British backpackers

 Fireworks in the streets… made sense to some who thought fireworks were worth stopping traffic and scaring pedestrians skitless… others wondered why guys, all ages it seems, like to fill fish and cute teddy bears with explosives and blow them into pieces.

The British getting a little tipsy:)

The Israelis… briefing me on the poor status of the alcohol supplies – not quite sure what happened to the insane amount of liquor we bought and suggesting the only solution is to go out… ON CHRISTMAS EVE!

 of course, the Israeli girls were very supportive of their idea…

I still don’t get this picture, I don’t think I was making his donkey ears… I might have been though… but then he probably deserved it… right?

 April hitting on Santa Claus…

The park at night… the guys take lead to check for safety…

Safe they say… Dave playing rough with the streetkids… they take him down…

then say they’re sorry as they laugh their heads off… it was actually really funny… maybe  you had to be there, be intoxicated, or both, to see the humor of it.

 Dave quickly recovered and joined us for a group picture… then figured the street children had robbed him in the middle of their “fun-play-fight”…

What funny Christmas!

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Pacaya, the active vulcano, Guatemala

Horses for the lazzzzy

Watching the sunset

Pacaya, our desired destination

It was dark already when we got up there

The first glimpse of lava

One of the guides

Mezmerized…

The Marshmallow roasting volunteer…

It’s not as easy as it looks… it’s hot hot hot hot!

Adrenaline junkies jumping over the lava

US April, my fellow hiker

It was completely dark when we headed down the vulcano – six of us with two flashlights

Flores and Santa Elena, Guatemala

My hostel in Flores – Los Amigos

 Inside Los Amigos – it was packed with tourists, hammocks, plants, candlelights and great food and drinks

The French from Montreal

Somehow the gave me enough food to feed a whole family!

 The streets of Flores

Crossing from Flores over to Santa Elena

 Looking back to the little island of Flores… Flores is located in the middle of a small lake and consists solely of hotels, restaurants and tourist shops. There’s not a single supermarket, the only food shop sells snacks only.

The market in Santa Elena. Someone cooking soup! There were actually carrots in the water in that thing… I stood there for a while but noone came to sell me soup… 

I got a cowboy hat in the market in Santa Elena…

… and one of the bargaining tourist shop guys in Flores tried to buy it from me:)

Panama

The Deutsch, German, Swiss and Icelandic

Shisha… I want one!

I’ve lost three cameras into the ocean… still I couldn’t stand the temptation of photographing the fish…

Coconot juice…

Opening coconuts with machetes

At first the beach looked isolated

but it didn’t last

The endangered red and deadly frog…

The bridge back to Costa Rica… I accidentally missed immigration and had to go back looking for it for my visa stamp – there was no border security visible!