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Antigua exploring

(March 2 – written by Dave)

First up, a couple comments on yesterday’s blog…  We read a lot of travel blogs.  Everyone writes with a different style.  Some people write blogs that contain nothing but rosy, positive commentary.  Others, for some reason only focus on the negative things that happen.  We tend to like the blogs that share honestly, balancing the good and bad.

Not every day travelling can be great.  Some days by the time you reach where you are staying, you are hot, tired and perhaps a little cranky (me mostly, not my lovely bride).  How you respond to whatever you find at your destination is clearly going to be coloured by how you feel at the time.  Our current hotel has some shortcomings but on balance it is just fine.  The two women running it are so positive and work very hard.  They cooked us a great brekkie and did our laundry for us today.  Yes, our room could be bigger and yes, sharing the one bathroom with 15 other guests is a bit troublesome.  But on balance, it’s not that bad – we both actually slept well as it cooled down in the evening and it was quiet enough at the hotel to leave our door open and get some of the cool air into our room.  I’m sure that there are people in the world who have things rougher than us so we are trying to remember that.

Having said, we are going to try to keep writing with the blog style that gives good and bad mixed.  No doubt there will be more good than bad, because, that’s what we really find every day.  And don’t be overly concerned if we report something negative – just around the next corner, I’m sure we’ll find another reason to lift our spirits.

So on to Antigua – we got a bit of a look around last night so today we decided to focus on doing things we wanted to do, rather than things that you “should” do when you come to Antigua.  As the former colonial capital of Guatemala, there are lots of old buildings, churches and random historical buildings.  These are interesting but we just could bring ourselves to a day of following a tourist map and ticking off a list of buildings.

We have had trouble getting fresh greens since leaving the USA.  So today we decided that our first stop should be Caoba Farms – an organic farm just on the southern edge of Antigua.  We liked the idea of an organic farm, employing local folks, polluting less and best of all serving what they grow in an onsite restaurant.  We were not disappointed with our decision.  The farm is open to the public, and by open, I mean you can wander pretty much everywhere.  And the food, it was great.

Caoba Farms 1

Caoba Farms 3

Working hard to feed us

Flowers for Pete

Flowers to accent your meal

Lunch at Caoba Farms

Yum – I even ate the flower

We had to walk through a coffee plantation to get Caoba Farms.  To us, the cherries looked like they were almost ready to be picked.  We aren’t experts but we didn’t see anyone in amongst the bushes.  It was all pretty quiet.  There are several coffee plantation tours on offer here but we didn’t have our act together to get one booked.  We have definitely put this on our list of things to do before we leave Central America – perhaps in Nicaragua.

Coffee cherries 2

Not quite ripe

Coffee on side of volcano

Coffee plants cascading down the side of a volcano

For Chris

This is for our friend Chris

Our next stop was naturally a coffee shop.  We decided on the Fat Cat Cafe.  They have an extensive menu with just about every fancy coffee brew that you can imagine.   Naturally, we both chose to have flat whites and they were good – remember, it was our day, not the day being done because we were supposed to do something.

Coffee thoughts

True, true

Flat whites

Two flat whites – yum

Next stop – our hotel.  Nancy took the direct route.  I wandered to find some tomatoes for our home cooked dinner.  Yes, Antigua is full of fancy restaurants, serving good, but probably overpriced meals.  We know what we like and are having pasta with fresh pesto from Caoba Farms.  We have use of the kitchen at our hotel and a nice roof-top terrace to eat dinner on.  Just our style, no one waiting on us and a meal we like to eat.

Wandering, looking for tomatoes, I took a few building photos.  But honest, only because I wanted to.  I’m not going to look up the names of them or spend any time on Wikipedia.  Just photos that I liked.

Keys to a happy life

On the foot path – we found the keys to happiness

Door of the day

Door of the day

Bogan and church 1

A famous building (I think) – I liked the bougainvillea

4 oclock in Antigua

It was just after 3PM – the sundial says 4PM – earthquake or time of year issue maybe…

Tomorrow we are headed more towards the coast.  We have a couple days riding left in Guatemala.  So far we’ve really enjoy it.  The people are so friendly and the scenery great.

10 responses to “Antigua exploring

  1. Paul Alcantra

    Hi Dave and Nancy, Please keep your blog “real.” Patricia and I enjoy the honest, balanced writing. We also do not do the tourist thing… Instead, we immerse ourselves in the local culture. Safe travels, Paul

  2. What a great day! The farm sounds amazing!

  3. I love the tone of your posts! Keep it up! Great door of the day and beautiful flower pics for Pete! Your meal looks fantastic. Enjoy the rest of your stay in Guatemala. I can’t wait to see the coast!

  4. I love the Sundial & it is on daylight savings time! Our time changes on 3/11. Do you know what the ‘pointer’ is? It appears to come from the mouth. Bougainvillia is beautiful!

  5. All right Dave, you have sealed it for me, I am starting a bucket list and Guatemala is my first destination on it! I have made up bucket list items before just because everyone seems to have a bucket so I would make one up, this is my first pick! What else could a guy want more then friendly people, great coffee and good wine… You did say there was good wine there, right??

    Chris

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