Antigua, Guatemala (map)
Since our last post we had a couple of trying days in Flores suffering from what we called “Mayan Revenge”. As a result we decided that we wanted to head to a more populated city vs. the other idea of heading to the remote jungle of Guatemala. On Friday evening we caught an overnight bus from Flores to Antigua. Before I get into the bus adventure, I want to preface that we eventually plan to create some lists for our blog. One list we plan to title “Lessons learned the hard way”. This bus experience will definitely be on that list.
On Friday afternoon we hit a couple of travel agencies in Flores to check out the overnight bus options. The guy who helped us at San Juan travel seemed very helpful and told us that the bus company Rapido del Sur offered a good 1st class bus for a lot less than the well known Linea Dorado bus line. Naively we believed him and booked our tickets. That evening as we were preparing to head to catch our bus, I happened to read on the Lonely Planet forums that this bus we were planning to take was actually not 1st class but 2nd class. Now you might think since we are traveling on a budget that 2nd class would be normal for us, but in Central America what we have learned is the price difference is not really all that different yet the accommodations are. That night we boarded the bus (yes we were the only tourists aka gringos on the bus) and realized that thankfully it did have A/C. I had read that these buses often have the 2-70 A/C system…which basically means 2 windows open going 70 mph! With this bus line they allow people to sit on small stools in the aisle and the bus makes frequent sketchy stops throughout the night picking up and dropping off people. The bus driver also drove like a maniac and got us there a couple of hours faster than originally scheduled! Needless to say we did not sleep well.
We arrived to Antigua tired, but got wide-eyed immediately when we saw the beautiful Volcan de Agua as the backdrop view. The past two days have been restful and we enjoyed our stay at the Black Cat Hostel.