Posted by Hannah Ziegler
For our last full weekend together, we headed to Antigua and the Eco Earthlodge located about 30 minutes away from central park. We left at 7:30am on Friday, and got into Antigua around 12:30. For this trip, we took an Alamo pullman bus for the first part, and then switched to a chicken bus for the last hour. The Alamo bus ride was really rough, for some reason. We seemed to be going incredibly slow, and everyone suffered from some kind of motion sickness. I also really really had to pee (to the point of wanting to cry), but the bathroom on the bus was broken. Eventually I convinced the bus driver to stop for us.
The chicken bus ride was also a little rough. It was already full when we got on, so it was another ride standing up, squished between people. But, it was the last chicken bus I will take for a very very long time…
When we got to Antigua, we had about 2 hours to get lunch and hang out in the city. I already knew that the city was very touristy from the first time I visited, but I had kind of forgotten. We went to a restaurant called MonoLoco (Crazy Monkey) where all the menus were in English and all the waiters spoke English. It was definitely a strange feeling, and we felt as though this trip was placed as a transition from Guatemalan life back to US life. I ate a sweet potato and black bean burrito with tons of avocado and veggies. It was quite delicious.
At 2, we met our pickup that took us to the EarthLodge. The ride was smooth and refreshing with the air whipping at us as we drove up the mountain (I’m really going to miss pickup rides).
When we got to the lodge we were given our rooms and went to relax for a while. We were split into two rooms. Mine held 8 people in a cabin with 4 bunk beds. I got stuck with a top bunk… but the beds were actually really comfortable and had very warm blankets.
Happy hour started at 5 that night, and dinner wasn’t served until 8, so we had a lot of time to hang out. I can’t remember exactly what we had for dinner, but it included red snapper and veggies and rice and carrot bread for dessert, which was delicious. The night was a lot of fun, and I slept really well that night.
Saturday was sadly a cloudy day, but we still had fun. Rachel and I went for a run that morning (which was difficult because we had to run down the hill first and then run up it, which is never fun). For breakfast I had a huge bowl of fruit with yogurt and granola.
After breakfast, Harim, Rachel, Sarah, Goeff and I tried really hard to get the sauna working. The challenging thing about this sauna is that it requires a real fire to heat the little room. It took us about an hour and 3 books of matches to build the fire, but we were finally successful. Others sat in the sauna, but I didn’t like it too much, so I sat outside and watched the fire.
When we were done with that activity, we headed inside to watch a movie. Then we ate lunch, finished the movie, and played some serious games of corn hole. The rest of the day was enjoyable. That night happy hour started at 5 and dinner at 8… and Saturday night was just as fun as Friday night.
Sunday was a sunny day! I chose to sleep in a little, and enjoy the view with the sun. I had the same breakfast, and we ordered sandwiches to go for our trip home. At 11:30, we headed back towards Antigua.
We amazingly had private transportation for coming back to Xela, so we waited until 1, when our microbus picked us up. We figured we would be home quickly.
But of course we are in Guatemala, so that wasn’t the case. About 2 hours into the trip, we ran into a ton of traffic. Then, we learned that there was a huge rockslide further up the road, and nobody could pass. We waited for over 2 hours as the mess was cleaned up enough so one lane could pass through. It could have been so much worse though… our private microbus had a DVD player, so we watched a really cheesy movie about a dog named Hachi. I also got a chance to pee on the side of a Guatemalan highway.
We finally got home around 6:30pm. It was definitely a fun and relaxing weekend, although we were all a little sad knowing it was the last time we would all travel together.