Monday, August 13, 2007

August 13, 2007
Got into Antigua, Guatemala yesterday afternoon. Antigua is what Santa Fe pretends to be. Really old and classic Spanish colonial. Great restaurants, cozy B&B inside an ancient Spanish home. I'm sitting out on a patio with a gurgling fountain and pond. Massive vines and plants everywhere. A light drizzle on the roof and mosquitos carrying dengue fever on both arms.

Speaking of which, they scared the patootie out of us at the "Pre-Port" which is a briefing on the boat, where a state department kind of guy, came on and said, "First the bad news, Guatemala is a medium security port, with roving gangs who commandeer the chicken buses, shoot a random tourist, then mug everyone while the guy bleeds in the aisle. We had a volcanic eruption yesterday, the Peten region is off limits because of sexual assaults, Guatemala is in the bloodiest election campaign in its history and a German tourist was beheaded last year for taking a photo of a baby in a village where they suspected him of being a baby snatcher. The good news is, free margaritas at Frida's every Wednesday night from 5 to 7. And good luck getting there!"

We took a bus trip to visit a coffee plantation and had a police escort. There are guys standing in front of stores with shotguns.

So, this is one country where Kathy and I haven't ran down the streets yelling, "We're from France! We're from France!" Although I did go into a random house with my video camera saying loudly,"Seig Heil! Bambinos! Yo quiero Bambinos!"

Not really.

"You know, one of these time you're going to get caught in one of those Mexican countries down there and not get back."
—J.D. "Mad Dog" Nelson

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