This is the place for photos and reflections of my visits to Latin America beginning in 2012. Previous blogs are linked on the main pages of my photo collections on flickr. HAPPY TRAILS!

Monday, July 23, 2012


After yesterday's hard rain, we awakened to a sparkling morning. We could even see Volcan Agua clear to the top - a rare gift. Here it is as seen from the roof top of Casa Cristina
and as a backdrop to the Santa Catalina arch.
We walked to the center of town past groups of street cleaners with 'natural' brooms.
We walked to Dona Luisa and purchased a loaf of fresh-from-the-oven banana bread, cheese, and fruit and enjoyed a quick breakfast in the quiet parque central; here's the cathedral.
Despite differing information about the time and meeting place for the police escorted hikes to Cerro de la Cruz, the overlook above the city, we persevered. We found the place by 9am but the 10am sayers were correct so we grabbed a cup of coffee at Rainbow Cafe a few blocks down and returned at 10. Turns out the deal on offer was a ride in the back of their pick up clear to the top!
We enjoyed the sights and the attention we received blasting through town in a police vehicle.

As you can see, the clouds had moved in to obscure the top of the volcano but the views were still stunning. We identified landmarks, took some photos, and headed down the trail into town.

Next stop was the candy shop (candy stand? candy lady?) near San Jeronimo ruins, one of my favorite spots in Antigua - peaceful and beautiful.

For lunch we stopped at a locals restaurant near the market.
We bought cashews and macademia nuts from the nice nut man who canvasses the area.

Sue headed back to grab a book and enjoy Antigua for the afternoon while the rest of us hopped on a 'chicken bus' to the neighboring village of Jocotenango.

The plan was to see the beautiful cathedral
and visit the beautiful Azotea complex, do a little shopping, and tour the Maya music museum - successful on all counts!
Look, Mariah - 4 leaf clovers!
Pre-Columbian instruments
Our lovely trilingual guide

A representation of Maximon - patron saint of tobacco, alcohol, and prostitutes. This is actually very close to the real thing as seen in the town of Santiago Atitlan.
Before heading to dinner we made 1 more stop at the ice cream store by the Academia Antiguena to see if my dear old friend Benjamin was there. He was!! He said that God had brought us to him because he needed to have our company. He encouraged me to send copies of the photos, and for us to tell everyone to attend his son's school, pray for him, and make a stop in La Merced church. Chris hadn't been with us when we visited La Merced on Sunday so he made good on that recommendation and I'll see to the rest.

We picked up the chocolate we had made yesterday, met Sue, and looped around a few blocks looking for the perfect spot to eat.

Across from El Carmen...
we found it at Epicure - a lovely, delicious experience.

We walked back to the hotel via the Santa Catalina arch
and the giant but quiet Nim Pot store. (Note to Mike - I bought something for your dresser.)

Good night!

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