Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Toujours en Provence

No.  Not really.  But definitely still in Antigua.

Mostly, it's been lots of walking the last few days -- pick a compass heading ... a part of the town we really hadn't explored ... and go explore.

Yesterday, we spent a bit of time at Casa Santo Domingo -- a phenomenally beautiful, old, restored convent, now serving as a museum, tourist attraction, and -- for the area -- frightfully expensive hotel.

We did little besides walk around.  Naturally, I played with the handful of macaws that live there:

Sure.  One or two of the macaws wanted to eat me, not realizing I'd been trained by Waldo, a/k/a "Beak of Death --" Ernie's bird.

We made nice ;-)

Last night, I was visited by my old friends -- the nightmares.  'Twas a long night, and I awoke before sunrise.

Today's goal -- apart from coffee and breakfast -- was to find the chimerical public hot springs, alleged to be only a few miles outside of town.

Coffee was had at The Refuge Coffee House.  Superlatives had been chucked at this place with reckless abandon, all over the Internet.  How good could coffee be, anyway ??

Oh.  It was so unbelievably good.  I'm not a qualified wine OR coffee snob, so I lack the vocabulary to adequately describe it.  Suffice to say ... for USD$1.50 ... I had the best cup of coffee I'd had in my life.  I plan to haunt the place.

Headed toward the bus terminal, and stopped into a breakfast place.  Realizing we'd skipped dinner, last night, I ordered big: pancakes and a big breakfast combo -- eggs, beans, rice, bread, jam, fried plantains, and ... maybe tortillas.

It's all kind of a blur.

We decided to walk to the mythical San Lorenzo el Tejar, to find the lost hot springs of Guatemala.

Eventually, after walking forever, I started asking locals ... how do we get there.

The responses were pretty consistent, in words and facial expressions: what kind of idiots would WALK there ??  It's REALLY far away ??

Okay.  We gave up.  Flagged down a Tuk-Tuk and tuk-tuk a Q70 (USD$10) ride over the river and through the woods.

Money WELL spent:

As many know, your typical hot springs range from "REALLY hot, until you get used to it" to "I can finally steam the wrinkles out of my linen suit."

Not these.

These were far more akin to ... it doesn't feel hot until you get out, and are cold.

Okay.  That'll do.  We splashed around, swam around, kept a watchful eye on the three soldiers with automatic weapons (what I needed, after a night of nightmares) who were ... inexplicably ... stationed there, and relaxed to the occasional staccato sound of small-arms fire in the hills above us (ibid).

But ... all in all ... a few hours well spent.

Of course, there was an Q8 bus back to Antigua afterward.  Now you tell me :-)

We made a beeline to the McDonald's McCafe, so Donald could gorge himself on cheeseburgers (he needed to), then hung in the Central Park for a bit, eventually heading back to the hotel by way of a bakery (a Pop-Tart-esque thingy called, in Spanish, a "strawberry filled diaper --" much tastier than it sounds).

Okay.  Maybe it translates into "handkerchief" or "scarf," but I like my story better.

My eyeglasses are alleged to be on their way to Miami.  The fun (import, customs, duties, etc.) begins in a few days, then.

Ciao for now ... from ... the Lukewarm Beach Head of ... The Gulag.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the post! I have been scouring the internet to see if these hot springs would be too hot for my 9 month old, and the answer is no! Haha. I just started my own travel blog too.