Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Guatemala Day 1

We arrived in Guatemala City around 6 in the morning. Red eye flights are never fun. Especially since we have stuff planned for the whole day. Thursday's are market days in Chichicastenango. So that is where we were headed first. When we arrived we went to a hotel/museum. This is where we saw these awesome parrots. They were the first birds to greet us in Spanish "Hola!"

We went to a couple different places in Chichi. This lady is part of a co-op. This is where we first saw how they did their weaving which had been passed down from generation to generation.

She asked for a male volunteer. I talked Chad into going up to get dressed in the traditional clothing of the Maya people.

All of the buildings we saw were located inside the market of Chichi. There were mobs of people trying to sell us stuff. They would never go inside which I found interesting. However, they always waited outside.

We were exhausted by the time we finally made it to our hotel. Hotel Atitlan, located on Lake Atitlan. The grounds were so awesome. The last of the pictures are our hotel.

Day 2

We took a ferry across Lake Atitlan today to see some of the surrounding villages. We couldn't resist the "titanic picture"

We were loaded into the back of some pickup trucks. To go from San Lucas to San Juan.

In San Juan we were transferred into tuk tuks. These vehicles were so fun!

We went to a coffee plantation to learn how coffee is made. These are the different stages of the coffee bean.

We went to a public school. The children loved us. They wanted to see more "whiteys"!

Then we were able to see how they make their own yarn from a cotton tree. How they then use different plants to dye the cotton.

These cute ladies sold Chad a shirt as we were walking back to the ferry.

From there Chad and I went to the Nature Preserve. We went zip lining. The first thing we saw were some spider monkeys.

All ready to go!!

Go Chad. When the guy at the end would signal we would have to reach behind us with our gloved hand and push down on the cable to slow ourselves down. If we didn't slow ourselves we were then yanked to a stop by a rope so we wouldn't slam into a rock wall. It was fun but a little scary at first while testing out the stopping methods!

Day 3

I was excited for today. We went kayaking from Santa Cruz to San Marcos. We then hiked back to Santa Cruz. The kayaking was fun. The water was just the right temperature.

Look at that view. There were 3 volcanoes surrounding Lake Atitlan.

This is the group of us that hiked back.

We thought it was going to be an easy trail to hike. I wore flip flops to kayak in because I didn't want my shoes wet and I also didn't want blisters from hiking in wet shoes.

We soon found out that an "easy hike" was not going to be so easy.

Try climbing down that in sandals.

We don't look too worse for the wear though. Lunch at this hotel was the best food we had had thus far on the trip.

Day 4

We visited the site of Iximche on our way to the airport today. The ruins are really crumbled here. They had to leave the trees in the top of the buildings to help hold them together.

We then hoped in these "puddle jumpers" to fly to Flores, Peten. We basically traveled today!

Day 5

Today we are in Tikal, Peten, Guatemala. We were able to explore the ruins at the site of Tikal. The first thing we saw was a crocodile. I had some pretzels in my purse. I threw them into the water and the little fishes would nibble on them. The crocodile would then come up and eat the fish. It was really cool to see.

This tree was humungous!! It reminded Chad of the tree of life!

This is Chad at the base of the same tree.

The first ruins we saw where of Temple 1 and Temple 2. We were not allowed on Temple 1 at all but we had fun climbing on the surrounding ruins.

Temple 2.

There was a guide who was calling these howler monkeys.

This is a site where they sift through the dirt as they are excavating the different ruins.

Chad and I are on top of Temple 4 in this picture. This is where Star Wars filmed that scene. You can see Temples 1 and 2 in the background. Temple 4 is the tallest pryamid on the Tikal site.

We were told on our drive that these "white rats" are very good to eat.

That evening we enjoyed the beautiful sunset.