So an update from where I last left you… there is a lot of catching up to do! We have been to Las Vegas with 30 of our nearest and dearest for my best friend Lauren’s wedding to her teenage sweetheart Dave. What a wedding it was and it was amazing to be there with such amazing people to witness such a beautiful day. My mum and dad even made it out for the wedding too, after which they continued their own holiday.
The goodbyes where even worse than the first time we left. I think it was more difficult because this time we are travelling a bit differently, there is no plan, there is no route, there is no time limit. Waving to the girls as they got in their taxis outside of Caesars, i felt like i was on the set of a movie. I’m aware of a couple observing me; as i attempt to hide my streams of tears under possibly the smallest John-Lennon-like sunglasses, and bite my lip, to try and stop the quivering while i kiss and cuddle goodbye. I can see the couple watching me with questions written all over their faces, what is her story? wy would she be crying? when is she going to say hello to them again? They ask me if im ok, and i assure them i am, (not really)… i know they wanted to know more, but i wasnt in the mood for divulging. I was too overwhelmed in my own world, i think in that moment i wasnt sure if i was crying with the sadness of goodbyes, the relief that i was not going home back to re-join the rat race and was still free to continue exploring or that i was just completly scared of having no plan. Saying goodbye to my parents later that day was no any easier, overcome by the same emotions after having shared some amazing memories and on our last day a full day out enjoying the sights of Las Vegas, a full family day out, it had felt like a long time since we had done that.
We re-start our adventure back on the road and head to McLaren Airport to catch a flight to Guatemala. Checking in to restart the adventure was not as smooth as we had hoped. There are long ques, and we find out we are travelling with the USA equivalent to Easy Jet; but in fact it turns out Spirit Airlines is actually worse! After seeing people crying at check-in due to 4 day delays, and hearing a woman screaming and running off shouting ‘Oh thats just great, you’ve ruined my wedding’…. Nkosi and I don’t hold much hope that our flight will neither be on time, nor simple. We were correct. The woman checking us in sighs with annoyance that we are an international check in. When she asked for our flight details leaving Guatemala and we said we didn’t have any, we are told we cannot check in unless we purchase an exit flight from Guatema. With not much option we purchase a flight there and then, on the promise that if we rang to cancel in 24hours then we would be able to refund it (this turned out not true). My bag was also 10kg over the allowance so we had to pay for this too. The biggest surprise of the check-in process when the attendant asked us (whilst holding our passports) what country we were from… it does state GBR at the very top…even more awkward when she had to ask her manager what country it stood for. Any way, simply relieved to be on what seemed to be the only flight on time that night, we head through to the departure lounge. After a short wait, we line up with people and dogs to board the plane to Florida where we had a 6hour lay over. The plane ended up leaving 30minutes later than expected, I think it was down to there not being enough space with all of the dogs on the flight. I’m the luckiest person ever on the flight (not)… I’m strategically sat next to the two tallest people on the plane. One side of me is Nkosi (6’3) and on the other side of me was what felt like Amercas longest legged human ever (about 6’7 at a guess). Safe to say I was really comfortable. Finally on our way the plane lines up to the runway and revs the engine to take off. Suddenly though it switches off again. Of course we couldn’t leave Las Vegas without one drunken idiot on the flight, and the plane was made to turn around while he was escorted off the plane, whilst shouting ‘Im famous’ down the isle. After this the flight was smooth, they layover was long but 15 hours afte leaving Las Vegas we were finally in Guatemala City.
We had arranged for a pick up at the airport by the spanish school we were studying with in Antigua. We decided to skip Guatemalea city and head straight there. We gave ourselves 2 days to get our bearings before we would move in with the homestay that had been organised by the spanish school which would last for 2 weeks.
Straight awayfrom the moment we were picked up in our taxi, i was thankful that Nkosi had pursuaded me to participate in doing the Spanish course. The taxi driver spoke not a word of English, and the whole journey was deadly silent. Driving through Guaemala city, it felt like many others, extremly busy, with an American input of the typical Yellow shcol buses. The taxi cost us 35USD and we made it to Angigua in around 1hour 45 minutes.
I dont know what i was execting with Antigua, i had not done much research, and in my head, I had previously seen Antgua as just a stop off to learn Spanish in one of the cheapest places to do so. I think its a beautiful thing, when you have no expectations and no pre-disposited opinin or views on place and no opinions to cloud your actual judgemet. I fell in love the moment i arrived. Im not sure i haveever been anywhere so pituresque!
The hostel we hd pre booked was a complete flop to to th epice we saw on the internet. The hotel had actually moved since booking. It had no windows and no real vibe about it. We had only booked 2 days so no big deal and our oestay was to follow. Straight away we were out and about serching the streets, visitng the ocal park and people watching for hours. Within 10 miues of sitting int he park we had bought 2 necklaces tat i didnt really want. Looking around it was evident that there were soe really poor parts