Now that my time on the coffee farm is up, what do I talk about on these blogs now? Well, after my time on the farm I stayed in Antigua for a couple days to explore more of the city and went to the coast to go fishing.
After leaving the farmers home, I took a chicken bus (I’ll attach a picture below, a very colorful school bus) to the city center of Antigua. Walked about 5 blocks to the hostel and was directed to my bed. It was a bunk room, with beds three high and of course I had the top one. I felt like I was looking down a couple story building once up in the bed. Got situated then out to explore the city.
The downtown area of Antigua was a fun spot to explore many coffee shops, tourist traps, a market and restaurant/bars. Pretty much what you would expect from a city. However, the Central American architecture and stories make this unique. I had a friend come down to Guatemala a couple years prior and gave me a list of places worth checking out. Stop one – a bar. It was past noon, I thought it would be socially acceptable to have a beer. Stopped into an Irish pub about the size of a closet, no joke, it could probably fit a dozen people at max capacity but never the less, a cool spot. With it being so small, it’s a great way to talk to the other people. The general conversation starter of “Where are you from?” seems to be the best way to strike up a conversation when you’re far from home.
For the next day and a half, I bounced around to different coffee shops, bars, restaurants, historical buildings, a hobbit village and the local markets. *If you are ever in Antigua, check out the coffee shop called Fat Cat. Delicious coffee and very cool little shop.
My second night in Antigua was something special, it was a local festival called the burning of the devil. This was a big deal, the whole city and surrounding areas come to see this. This was focused down one street. For a couple blocks, food and drink vendors lined the sidewalks. A stage was set up for a band and an area roped off for dancing. Lastly, a designated area for this devil to be burned. It is a symbolic devil filled with fire crackers. This devil is burned to symbolize the burning away of your bad from the previous year. In the past, each home would create a small pile to be burned representing their devils from the previous year. I guess this got a little out of control, so the city turned it into one big party.
Another interesting thing I explored was a hobbit village called Hobbietenango. It was a 15/20 miute truck ride up the other side of the mountain from Antigua. Sitting in the truck while zipping up switchbacks while overlooking how you could fall down the cliff was terrifying, haha. Once we got to the top, there were some amazing views overlooking Antigua. Several trails that took you all over the property, as well as a restaurant and a bar.
Following my time in Antigua, I went to the coast city of Iztapa. Here is where I had the opportunity to go fishing out in the ocean, specifically for sailfish. It was an amazing experience. I really enjoy ocean fishing, its hard to explain but the feeling of being in the middle of nowhere gives me gives me a bit of a rush. This day we were fishing between 40-50 miles off shore! I could talk about the fishing part all day, so shoot me an email if you want to talk fishing!
The most interesting part was learning about the conservation efforts Guatemala has put into practice. All billfish must be released. After I landed one, it was quickly lifted for a picture and immediately put down into the water. After a couple seconds it kicked away and swam off. This is a great way a country can maintain a healthy fishery that will be sustained for years to come.
Burning of the Devil