United Kingdom, Guatemala · 26 Days · 30 Moments · February 2019

Guatemala 2019 🇬🇹


27 February 2019

Fuego, the beds & the altitude is not a combination for the best nights sleep...but we got up early to see another spectacular sunrise. Our descent was scheduled after brekkie at 7.30. Similarly to the skiing of yesterday much of the descent was braking through gravel & sliding through dust clouds. Buffs on, polls in hand & forced by our own momentum, we were down in a mere 2 hours! Once back, we returned our rented kit & said a fond farewell to our team mates - all eager to find a shower & a bed. We’d booked a night of luxury, just down the road. We checked in & took a long, well needed shower, the water running black - before finding the fabled McDonalds with the best view ever 🤣🍟 After a well earned nap, we headed out to celebrate our last night in Guatemala. We started at a wine bar with a trendy vibe. Next stop dinner, cheese fondue but our excitement was short lived. A bowl of melted cheese & what ensued to be a misunderstood, cheese overloaded dinner we were in hysterics.

26 February 2019

Part 3: With 20 mins to go & the group layering up (wind chill of -10 at the crater) it was becoming clear that Toby was not going to be able to summit ☹️ due to a poorly timed ‘funny tummy’. Decision made, Jen would summit alone. Kitted up & nerves just about under control, the group began the hour & a half climb to the crater. If we thought we’d seen near vertical, volcanic gravel paths before...we were wrong, they now confronted us. A long slog, but with amazing views as far as the eye could see (accompanied by the shadow of Acatenango) we finally reached the crater. The 360 panoramic views were unlike anything Jen had seen & as sun set, with Fuego puffing & no one else around, it was truly magical. Freezing cold, it was time to descend (in the dark), skiing through the ash, Jen took half the volcano with her in her boots. Back at camp & reunited, we took our place by the campfire for hot choc, dinner & to watch Fuego noisily spewing lava every 10-15 mins to the group’s cheers 🌋
Part 2: Like this post, the walk was never ending. The guides were exceptional, fun, upbeat, well paced & absolute iron men, sometimes 2pac even managed 3 packs from struggling members of the group. We strode (stumbled) into Part 3 of the walk, not quite sure what to expect, nevertheless a smile on our faces as we were high-fived by the guides on our way through. Part 3 (‘Guatemalan Flat’) is what we would describe as undulating, ups & downs in almost equal measures, apart from the somewhat unexpected, near vertical 15 min ascent on more volcanic gravel to base camp but despite our doubts...we had made it! Greeted with chairs & the most spectacular view of volcan Fuego, it had ALL been worth it. At base camp, we made ourselves comfy, grabbing two camp beds & then putting our feet up, legs in tatters & desperately trying to catch our breath. Firmly planted in our new found luxury (plastic chairs), we were informed that the ascent to the summit for sunset would leave in 40 mins...
Part 1: Today was the day, ready or not we were up at 6 to ready bags & by 7 were waiting outside the agency. ‘Safety briefed’ & kit hired we sat down for brekkie, after which we shuttled off to the start point at 2,200m, where we also met our 5 mountain guides. Part of the first group (there was 40 of us) we set off...5 minutes in & we already needed a breather - how were we going to manage 5 hours?! By Brandon (aka 2 pac), our young, enthusiastic guide, we were informed that the trek was broken into 3 sections. Part 1, the hardest, Part 2, tree shaded but still steep, Part 3 ‘Guatemalan Flat’. Part 1 WAS hard, an insane incline of volcanic gravel we took it slowly, breaking every 10 mins or so. When we hit the trees (Part 2) it was a welcome break from the sun, but not for the legs. This stage included steps 🥵🥵 Hard as we tried morale was low, it was just so tough, selfies kept us going. At this stage it became clear how 2pac got his name, he’d adopted the pack of a struggler! Insa

25 February 2019

Today we said a fond farewell to El Paredon & our beautiful bus (Toby almost couldn’t let go). After one last morning stroll along the beach; we packed our stuff & boarded the (thankfully air conditioned) bus. The journey back this time was cloud free, allowing a clear view of the 2 volcanoes & the devastation active Fuego had caused last June. Once back in Antigua, we ended up taking a ‘Kelsey walk’ to our accommodation (for those who don’t know, this means we wandered in the wrong direction for a long time!). This time volcano Acatenango loomed above us more ominously than ever...tomorrow we would be attempting to summit it & stay the night at base camp. Supplies for the trek picked up, endless amounts of water consumed & a ridiculously large dinner for both of us we were both crossing our fingers that we were fully prepared for tomorrow. With some pre-trek nerves palpably present we decided on an early night to rest for the trek, we’d heard there was little sleep next to Fuego...🌋

24 February 2019

Today started with another mangrove tour but this time we got to paddle & we headed straight into the labyrinth of mangrove roots. This time the array of wildlife included black crabs - crawling on the branches that we dodged between, shrimp, puffer fish & a giant caterpillar cocoon. 2 hours of paddling & acutely aware we were not wearing suncream we headed back to Buena Vista for some pancakes...we were going to need the energy, we’d booked ourselves a surf lesson at noon. Unfortunately (fortunately) there is no photo evidence of this, as we were both too busy ‘riding giants’! 🤣🏄🏻‍♂️🤙🏽 Catching waves is totally awesome... but also tiring work, so it was back to the bus for some well earned rest & a spot of book club. Just managing to get our hands on some monkfish tacos, before they closed...we then headed down to the beach for a dip & to watch our usual sunset surf crowd. To our disappointment the Soulfood Kitchen was closed, instead we feasted on shrimp tacos, mint limeade & G

23 February 2019

Heads slightly groggy, this morning was a lazy one. Book club on, today’s agenda involved sand, surf & not much else - Paredon style. Popping over the fence, we had tasty pancakes, Nutella & fruit for breakfast with a strong coffee. From there a thirty yard dawdle to the beach, we set up camp, sun creamed up & splashed into the sea whenever we were too hot. After we’d had our fill we decided to hike along the beach to see what there was further up. We’d been told you could walk for 4km without seeing a soul - not quite true but very close! Sufficiently sun drenched & ready for a break we headed back to the bus to hang out in the hammock & play Kalooki. It was then back down to the beach for sunset & to watch the surfers. Dinner was at Soulfood kitchen, somewhere we’d heard great things about...sat at the bar, the menu had us both salivating & we opted for the red Thai curry listed as medium heat. Moments into it & we were both sweating! But the flavours were unbeatable. 😤🥵😴

22 February 2019

Back to the beach, via a face-to-face reminder of the raw destructive power of an active volcano 😳 Upon arriving in El Paredon it became clear we had booked our very own slice of paradise for the next 3 days...behind a funky setup of restaurant, bar & ice cream shop was our super cool converted school bus complete with tropical garden & bamboo outdoor rainfall shower...oh & just 30m from the beach! After a brief snoop & luggage drop we were straight out onto the beach to enjoy sunbathing & an ocean location that we could swim in, but not before sampling the ice cream. A wander through the town before sunset made it clear there was little more than beach & surf in El Paredon. Dropping back down to the beach for sunset we watched as kids no more than 10 surfed the rolling waves like pros, while the sun dropped orange onto the horizon. Meanwhile over the fence at the food shack they were serving up some pretty tasty fish tacos we had to try. Night closing, we retired to the fairy-lit bus

21 February 2019

We were ‘back home’. We’d decided to stay at the same property we’d started our trip in & were excited to get back to Dona Luisa for brekkie. We could tell Jenny was back on form by the way she tucked into a full plate of eggs, black beans & hash browns. Somewhat plighted by the fact we hadn’t quite made a full recovery, we still had things to tick off our Antigua mission list. We needed to book the ominous Acatenango volcano trek, find & explore the cathedral ruins & stop by the North Face store to see if Toby needed to buy any unnecessary kit for our trip. ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ Mission success we decided to head back to the Sky Bar, the scene of the horrific skin scorching on day 2. However this time we prepared with buckets of sun cream & were somewhat relieved to see a bit of cloud cover. After a spot of lunch & a tasty cocktail (we decided to test our wellness further) we headed to the main supermarket to pick up some snack supplies for our beach-bound journey tomorrow 🏝 El Paredon, we’re rea

20 February 2019

Early doors, but still in the wars, our adventuring was back. We pulled ourselves out of bed at 5am & headed out to meet our guide & the other couple joining us. We’d opted for the tranquil, non-motor boat & so we were slowly punted through the mangroves. Turns out this area was a stage for all the greatest avian fisherman, we saw egrets (white, pink & grey), ibis, gulls & even the kingfisher. As the mangroves opened into the central lagoon, we slowed for sunrise watching the wildlife around us. All this by 7.30...it was time for a nap. We were checking out at 12 with a shuttle to Antigua at 4, so we were committed to making the most of the pool. So you might be asking, a shuttle back to Antigua?? Well, Jenny’s belief that “El Paredon is just up the beach from Monterrico it will be easy to get to” could not have been further from the truth! It turns out the only transport out is to Antigua, so a quick change of plan was needed. A day stop & then 3 more days at the coast 🚌🏙🚌🏖

19 February 2019

Continuing our theme of rest, relax & recoup, we had no agenda for today. Towels marking our poolside spot (German Style), Toby grabbed some brekkie & we spent the morning dipping in & out of the sun, the shade & the pool - our tanning game was on for the first time in 3 weeks! The sea in Monterrico is known for its ferocious riptides & heavy surf (you can clearly hear the waves crashing from our room) which made for a cautious game of big wave small wave; we’d either dip our toes or suddenly end up knee deep but struggling to remain upright, as we wandered up the black sand beach. We’d made it back in time for another bar side sunset & an honorary photo for Dan. Dinner for Toby & much to our waiters confusion a plate of steamed veg for Jenny (still not quite right...) we called it an early night. Somehow, as is becoming a theme, we’d booked ourselves on to a 5am tour of the mangroves 🛶

18 February 2019

To our relief the bus turned up & it was 5 mins early! Thankfully we hadn’t just given our cash to 2 stoned teenagers & it was in fact the most efficient communication we’d had so far. A mere 3 hours down to the coast & we arrived at Monterrico. All checked in but unable to go to the room, we changed into swimmers & headed down the corridor to the beach bar & beautiful black sand beach (about 20 yards from the room). After just 10 mins in the sun we realised why no one else was sat out...& retreated to the shade. After a brief snooze on the beach we retreated further to the pool. Unfortunately, Jenny wasn’t feeling on top form so rest, relax & recoup was the agenda for the day. The strain of a nap by the pool & a spot of lunch had taken it’s toll so we napped in the room before sunset. We headed out to the beach to watch yet another magnificent sunset. We’ve been lucky enough to see so many as the way of life is early starts & early finishes, the sun rises at 6.30 & sets at 6.00.

17 February 2019

This morning’s view from bed has got to be up there. Open air with the sun rising over the Rio Dulce, all we had to do was tilt our heads. After our complimentary brekkie, we took advantage of the free use of kayaks & headed out onto the river. To our surprise the current was strong & with our Flores paddle still fresh in our muscles we decided to head back to the floating deck. Realising Jenny did not know how to dive, Toby took the opportunity to teach her, to the hilarity of the entire hostel, she did manage a couple of non-belly flops! It was on our agenda to head back to Antigua & it was going to be a gruelling 7 hours...so after drying off we took the boat to our bus & made sure we were first in line for some leg room. A steady journey & we were back, much cooler, it almost felt like home. Tomorrow we were bound for the black sands of Monterrico. All travel agencies closed we ended up whatsapping a dude Toby had picked a leaflet up from. 2 stoned guys turned up to collect 💵...🤞

16 February 2019

We find ourselves writing today’s log from a lily pad pontoon on the Rio Dulce, but that’s for tomorrow... We said a fond farewell to Flores, we’d loved it & it’s tropical climate but it was now time to move on. Next stop, Rio Dulce, gateway to the Caribbean. We jumped on our 8am bus & got comfy, or at least as comfy as possible - we’re getting used to public transport. We’d arrived by lunchtime & caught our boat taxi over to Tortugal, our home for tonight. Perfectly located, within budget & catering to the 💵💵💵 boat owners, we’d done good. Dropping our bags & admiring the view from our room, we headed for the floating deck. We swam out to it & pitched up for the afternoon, mixing sunbathing & bombing like kids. Just before sunset we headed into town to organise our transfer & watch sunset over the river with a beer. We hailed our boat again, heading back to Tortugal, for some freshly caught seafood & a Yahtzee before heading back to our open air thatched loft. We were up early to ka

15 February 2019

Ruins, ruins & more ruins. After an epic brekkie & a wave goodbye to Los Amigos Hostel, we embarked on a trip to our second ancient city - Yaxha. 33 degree heat made the bus journey somewhat sticky & upon arriving it became apparent Yaxha was less excavated than Tikal, which although detracting from the wow-factor, gave it a jungle book-esque lost city feel. We wandered the park with a small group, realising why tours weren’t our thing. As we explored the Howler monkeys were in full swing, louder than we’d heard before. Our guide joked that we were in fact in Yaxha & shouldn’t be concerned we’d entered Jurassic Park. 5 o clock came so we headed for the highest temple to await the sunset over a croc-filled lake. After numerous steps we reached the top, not a cloud in the sky & the sun starting to lower. We sat in silence as we watched it set, hearing the jungle go to bed - 2 epic sunsets in 2 days✔️ We headed back, the moon looming over the ruins & returned to Flores in time for dinne

14 February 2019

Feliz Dia de San Valentine, it’s certainly one we won’t forget! We returned to Maple & Tocino for brekkie with a lake view, which we squeezed in before picking up our kayak. We were expecting a 2-man kayak, we got a large 4 person Canadian canoe 🛶 After a brief inspection of the lake map we headed off, destined for the rope swing. When we saw a sign for ARCAS, we realised why the 20 min paddle had taken 40 mins - we’d gone too far. We pulled up in a gorgeous oasis, serving cold beer for a well deserved break & a needed dip. Jenny in a tubbing ring, Toby the wild rope swing where we met some like-minded travellers. Fun was had by all. As the sun started to lower, it was time to paddle to the mirador. We decided to bob on the open water, which we had to ourselves, to watch sunset. Back on land we had a “fancy” dinner, it was Valentines after all & apparently that’s a BIG deal in Flores, ❤️s as far as they eye could see. A bottle of wine, some cocktails & we concluded a brilliant day.

13 February 2019

Part 2: Once down from the temple we made our way back to the Grand Plaza to begin our tour of the entire site. An impassioned speech from our Mayan guide and numerous gorgeous ruins, we ambled around the park soaking in the history. Upon completion of the tour, we decided to head back for some well needed brekkie, but on our way we stumbled across a Mayan fire ceremony right in front of Temple 1. With our food stores replenished, a nap & relax by the pool, we headed to the visitor centre to see the artist’s representation of Tikal. To our surprise we wandered past 2 crocodile pools, 1 with a croc having a sunbathe, after a while he slid into the water & unnerved by the lack of fence, we decided to move on. We caught the bus at 3 back to Flores to check into our hostel, with a very cool vibe & a fearless house bunny. We then tracked down the perfect roof terrace for a fresh juice & some trip planning. Dinner with bunny & a few drinks later we called it a night - both shattered!
Part 1: We thought we were justified in splitting today’s post into 2 parts, mostly due to the fact that our day started at 4am...for the sunrise tour 🌅 This meant trekking through the jungle with our small group under the cloak of darkness. With a couple of sightings of eyes, but unsure what they belonged to, we arrived at the Grand Plaza. Torches out, stars aplenty, our guide taught us how Tikal (city of voices) got it’s name. By standing between the two temples & clapping your hands, the acoustics replicate the call of the national bird. We trekked on to the tallest temple & after climbing in the dark, assumed our position upon the steps looking out over the canopy, in contemplative silence. Slowly as dawn approached & the mist burnt off we heard the jungle wake up & were privileged to see the most incredible sunrise appear through the perfectly timed break in cloud. The experience was unlike any other, all topped off with the sighting of a toucan sat atop a tree in the distance.

12 February 2019

What a cracker of a day! With a rooftop breakfast & a lounge in the sun it was then time to say a temporary goodbye to Flores as we were headed into the jungle - Tikal being our destination. We arrived at our jungle lodge retreat (thanks Mum & Dad for the Christmas pressie), dropped our bags & headed for the ancient Mayan city. A wander through the jungle, past howler & spider monkeys & other weird & wonderful creatures, we laid our eyes on our first Mayan ruins! Tikal is expansive, spread over 16 squared km & in remarkable condition, we began to comprehend it’s majesty, nowhere more so than the grand plaza. To our surprise, we had the ruins almost entirely to ourselves, emphasised when we found ourselves wandering at dusk alone through the jungle back to the park entrance, an almighty rustling in the bushes had us questioning whether we’d stumbled upon a jaguar...no just pezotes (look them up!) by the hundred combing the jungle floor. Dinner & cocktails on an open jungle deck ✔️

11 February 2019

We knew today would mostly involve the inside of a bus as we were journeying from Lanquin to Flores. It started in the back of a truck with beautiful 360 jungle panoramas - those we’d missed in the dark! It became clear when we loaded into the shuttle that our driver wasn’t afraid to put the pedal to the metal...but a Central American hour (2hours!) in Coban fixing the A/C slowed the pace. The journey was still 3 times shorter than our previous bus, but 3 times louder with some yamppey American hippee! By 5.30 we were crossing the bridge to the island town of Flores, just in time for sunset. We dropped our bags & ran up the stairs to the rooftop terrace to see the most beautiful sunset 🌅 over the lake & of course wish AJ a happy birthday! After walking a full circuit, we settled in the restaurant of Casa Amelia (our hotel). We decided that the first menu we’d seen was the best menu we’d seen. A tasty dinner and a couple of cervezas later we called it a day and commenced book club

10 February 2019

We woke up in the jungle. We now saw why it was the riverside cabin...to our relief there were no tarantulas, as had been advertised at check-in. After a hearty breakfast with a panoramic view, we decided to hike to Semuc Champey instead of the advertised tour. We followed the river through the jungle to the park entrance. A quick scan of the map & we had our sights on the mirador. A somewhat strenuous near vertical climb, it was completely worth it, for the view of the sacred pools & a surprise encounter with a troop of black monkeys - including a tiny baby! By this stage we were hot & sweaty & 100% ready for a dip. We started in the top pool & made our way down through various turquoise pools, natural water slides & a couple of fails on our way🤕. Next up, tubing back to the hostel. A tranquil cruise punctuated by rapids made for the perfect balance! We decided to soak in the chilled vibes of the hostel’s top deck, listening to the jungle as the sun set with a “family” dinner.

9 February 2019

Today we said goodbye to Lake Atitlan & prepared ourselves for a day of travel, we knew it was going to be long. Our limited pictures reflect the fact our entire day was spent in a bus. We took the boat across to Pana at 6.50 - the mission had begun...once in Pana & bags strapped to the roof, in typical Central American bus style, we started the journey to Lanquin due to arrive 10 hours later at 6pm. ...we didn’t, eventually after a number of stops for all manner of needs we arrived in the dark at Lanquin around 8.15pm. From here the excitement of the day began. We were bundled to the back of a pickup truck, crudely covered with a tarpaulin to keep the rain off, bags and 5 of us inside we set off. Thinking it would be a quick 20 min transfer, we were wrong again. 45 mins of a literal white knuckle ride, being thrown around in the pitch black & navigating our way around a broken down truck, we arrived, 15 hours later, at the aptly named Utopia & checked into our riverside jungle cabin.

8 February 2019

We waved goodbye to our beautiful home for the last few days - the sanctuary. After morning yoga & some interesting climbing techniques by Jenny we headed 500 yards down the road to our next Airbnb. All checked in, we jumped on the boat around the bay, destination Maya Moon Lodge. We pitched up in the sun at the bar for our first (very strong) 🍹🍸 of the day. After that we channeled our inner children, collecting our rubber rings on the way down to the water. All splashed out, we pitched up to dry off on the typical cobbled together deck. After a bit of sun, Yahtzee and a chill in the hammocks we hailed a boat back to San Marcos to kayak. Unfortunately we were too late so hiked back to Maya Moon for a sundowner. It was then back to the Airbnb to freshen up before dinner. A 30 second walk from the room and we were at Fe, a restaurant renowned for their wood-fired pizzas. After much hilarity and a pretty damn good pizza we called it a night, we are up early tomorrow for Lanquin 🚌.

7 February 2019

Today was market day. It started early with an excursion to Chichicastenango at 7am, after thinking the whole journey was going to be by tuk-tuk we were relieved to jump on the shuttle bus & watch the beautiful lake disappear as we climbed upward. We arrived at ChiChi & were eager to get exploring Central America’s largest market. The vibrant colours, passionate merchants & the smells of authentic street food (most a little too authentic for us) gave the whole town a super cool, bustling vibe! We realised just how expansive it was when we saw we were in ‘section 30’! At the centre of it all stands a dual worship church - Mayan and Catholic. 4 hours of exploring later & it was time to head back to the lake. We immediately headed for a lake-view cocktail (Mango & Nectarine daiquiris) - mixed by ‘Guatemala city’s top mixologist’. From the market race to Atitlan’s pace it was the perfect way to end a stunning day. Tonight’s dinner was at Tul y Sol, a nice break from beans - 🥩✔️🍗✔️

6 February 2019

Continuing the theme of early nights, early rises we were at the bakery for 8 when it opened to collect brekkie & head onward to explore the lakeside park - Mayan altars, lots of trails & places to swim. First in line again, we had the park to ourselves. Brekkie number 1 (freshly baked carrot cake muffin) was at the first mirador we came to, didn’t stop for long as we had hills to climb & altars to find. After several hundred steps (& a couple of breaks!), we stumbled upon the Mayan altar and then on to the mirador volcan - the perfect stop for brekkie 2 (chocolate brownie). We’d spotted on our travels the perfect rock for bathing and returned here to pitch up our towels, cue brekkie 3 (chocolate chip banana bread). Up to our left - trampolin. We steadied our nerves and took the plunge...the big jump. After a lazy day in the sun we were both craving a good burger. Cafe Camino - a local spot hailed for their burgers was in our sights and oh were the burgers exceptional!?!

5 February 2019

We woke this morning with renewed enthusiasm for the lake after arriving last night somewhat tired & very dehydrated. We decided yesterday to forego the faster-paced San Pedro & opted for a more chilled pace over the lake at San Marcos. After breakfast & a beautiful wander around, we began the stunning transfer for £1 each! On arrival it was clear we’d hit hippie central & accommodation jackpot, sliding doors from our room open out onto a yoga deck with views of the lake & volcano in front. After an initial flop, book club in full flow, and us switching from sun to shade every 2 mins we decided to head out & explore. We hiked around the town & along the shore line, tasty ice cream in hand, before finding one of Atitlan’s famous jetties to lounge on & finishing up with a refreshing juice. Sunset watched back at home, it was time to head for dinner at a raved about Japanese restaurant. Tucked away, under a tin roof we enjoyed authentic tempura & sushi on floor cushions - heaven!

4 February 2019

A combination of jet lag & underestimating our sunburn meant we awoke early, but we both had good books to get stuck into & so began book club. With a transit at 12.30, the first few hours of the morning were spent enjoying Antigua. Toby paired his sunburn with his red t-shirt camouflaging him against the colourful buildings. Picked up on schedule, bags promptly attached to the roof of the bus we set off. The shuttle was far from luxurious but we enjoyed catching Guatemalan countryside en route to Panajachel. Once we arrived & with a combination of Spanish cattle herding & pure luck we found our way aboard the boat shuttle. At this point Toby was pleased he’d abandoned his 4-pack as he was thankful for any extra cushioning he could get. The misty evening gave Atitlan a magical air as we passed lots of pretty villages along the shore. We disembarked in San Pedro just yards from our lakeside hostel. Greeted with a tequila, it lived up to its party reputation. Finally we’d arrived.

3 February 2019

A full 12 hours sleep later and we both felt human again. Up & sorted we left the apartment, minded to seek out the best breakfast in town. To our amazement we opened the door to one of the world’s most active volcanoes in full flow 🌋 We followed our noses (lonely planet) to an expansive cafe, again set around a garden courtyard, with a unique ordering - you filled out the form yourself. Breakfast - eggs ✔️ beans (the black variety) ✔️ coffee ✔️ hash browns ✔️ We continued our exploration from yesterday popping into The Good Hotel, getting Toby a Guatemalan SIM and ending up at a cool roof terrace bar for a couple of drinks with views of the surrounding volcanoes - blue skies & wall-to-wall sunshine. Sun cream ❌ Sun burn ✔️ Meanwhile back at the Airbnb we planned our next stop - Lake Atitlan tomorrow. Plastered in sun cream we began our hike to the city’s viewpoint. What a vista! Then it was back to our earlier find, to enjoy what was billed as the best nachos in Antigua. Nachos

2 February 2019

Struggling to sleep, we looked at the map...we were only half way to Mexico! After landing in Mexico, we had a dubious omelette, a nap on the floor and realised during our onward flight we would be back to this moonscape country. 10 am we hit Guatemala and promptly transferred to Antigua, picking up some sound advice along the way from a guy who’d spent a month in the city. Arriving at the Airbnb, not able to enter, we pitched up with the view of 3 volcanos in front of us. After finally dropping our bags, we headed out to do our preliminary recce of this World Heritage city. Wow what a city it is! Cobbled streets, colonial ruins and colourful buildings. As with so many of the buildings here their treasures lie beyond the facade. Cool colonial flower-filled courtyards aplenty - cocktails ✔️ Both a little jet lagged we finished the day early by pitching up on floor cushions in a funky hostel serving authentic Israeli fare - falafel ✔️ Day 1, doubt averted Guatemala is the one!

1 February 2019

So after waking up in snow covered Wiltshire, it was certainly a welcome thought that this time tomorrow we’d be lounging in 28 degree heat! So after digging the car out and slip sliding out of Marlborough we were en route to Heathrow, where we had a long wait ahead. Being the keenos that we are we were first in line (20mins before check in opened) - they set the line up around us. We then had a fun 3 hours spent drinking Prosecco - start as we mean to go on! Finally at 10pm we boarded; headed for Mexico 🇲🇽