Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Earth Lodge Adventure

Last weekend was my second full weekend back in Guatemala, which meant it was time to get out of the city for a night.  Amy, Kenra, Chris, and I therefore spent Saturday night at a place called Earth Lodge just outside of Antigua.   This weekend was kind of a milestone for me in Guatemala, too, because it was the first outing that I have planned and organized on my own.  Coming from Puerto Rico, where I was more or less the self-proclaimed group tour guide and planned most of our weekend trips, I had missed that comfort level and feeling like I could plan something the way I used to be able to.  This was just a small trip, but it felt good to be back in planning mode.

We left a little after noon on Saturday, after a productive morning that for me included a 5 mile run and test driving a car, and before we got to Antigua, we were hungry.  We stopped at a shopping plaza in San Lucas hoping for some frozen yogurt.  We were not disappointed…and in the process of finding the sweet treat, we stumbled upon these adult-sized toy horses.  So of course we had to take them for a spin, and that became what is now lovingly remembered as The Great Horse Race of Lai Lai. 
I hope we never let go of our inner children.

As we neared Antigua, Chris realized we had never been to see the giant cross which overlooks the city, and since it was on our way that day, we made the slightest of detours and were rewarded with a great vantage point of the city of Antigua.  We took some photos, and then we were on our way.

Finally, we reached the end of our road and a dusty parking lot where we paid Q15 (about 2 dollars) and parked Chris’s truck for the night.  From there, we grabbed our bags and made our way down the dirt road towards the lodge.  (The road is under construction and therefore cars are not allowed to drive all the way to the lodge).

The view on the walk was worth it, and we all remarked we were glad to be walking so we could take the time to take it in.  We live in a beautiful country.

When we got to the Earth Lodge, it was more of the same.  We enjoyed breathtaking views of the volcanoes Agua, Fuego, and Acatenango framing the city of Antigua down below us as we relaxed in comfortable Adirondack chairs and munched on chips and guacamole before dinner.

At 7pm, as the sun set in a glorious flash of pink and orange, we dined on a scrumptious vegetarian meal (meat could be added if desired, but there was plenty of food without that).  After a bit of conversation with other guests, we retired to our dorm room (Where we occupied 4 of the 7 taken beds) and had a “slumber party.”  We had a great time lounging in our comfy clothes and telling ghost stories and sharing our most embarrassing moments.  At one point Amy exclaimed, “A slumber party?!  I haven’t had one of those since I was like 25!” which had us all in hysterics.
I hope we never let go of our inner children. 

The next morning dawned just as beautiful as the day before, and we were graced with some rumblings and smoke puffing out of Volcan Fuego in the distance.  It was certainly a cool experience to hear/feel the rumble and see the corresponding smoke cloud from a safe distance.

Volcan Agua to the left, Volcan Fuego (covered by a cloud)
and Volcan Acetenango to the right

We didn’t stay too late in the day on Sunday because we wanted to beat traffic back into the city…and make it in time to watch the Broncos/Patriots game.


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