Walkabout: Travel Life and Photographs

Nuestros Viaje a la Playa!

Feb. 20, 2007

To relax and celebrate my 22nd birthday Andres and I took a weekend trip to the beach in Monterrico. We took a shuttle bus to southwestern Guatemala with a local agency. The ride was 2 and a half hours, but very scenic. At one point our shuttle was ferried across a river on a steel launch with five other cars. This launch was manned by four men and was powered by a small motor. Once in Monterrico we checked into the Hotel Delfin (Dol phin). Our room was very basic, but we had our own bathroo m, shower, mosquito net, and fan that didn’t work. Th e walls were made of cement and the ceiling was made of palm leaves. The walls were open on the top so we could easily hear the conversation in the next room. The town of Monterrico was full of restaurants and buildings with thatched palm-leaf rooftops. Everything was close to the black volcanic beach, including Tortugario Monterrico, an animal rescue and museum, and Reserva Natural Monterrico, a natural reserve of coastal mangroves that support an abundance of aquatic life. After a lunch of tortillas and fried fish we walked up to the animal rescue and saw some turtles, caimans, and iguanas. Andy seemed to especially enjoy hangin’ out with the turtles. The museum was very funky with tons of jars of specimens from the reserve. Everything from a giant grasshopper to an entire snake was crammed into a jar of chemicals.

We met a friendly American named Roger who ate dinner with us and we shared stories of home and Guatemala together. After a romantic birthday brownie on the beach we went back to our room. We awoke at 5:30 to go to the Reserva for a tour on a boat. Our guide, Edgar, had worked very hard to convince us (Andy) that he was a certified guide with the reserve and that he was not over charging us. Our trip was very interesting and beautiful. We got a glimpse at many birds, fish, plants, and a magnificent sunrise.

The rest of the time we spent on the beach, catching up on our journals. The beach was very clean and there weren’t many people. The ocean was very powerful and warm. In the states this beach would turn into the spring break capital, but in Guatemala it is still a small uncomercialized escape. We took the same shuttle back to Antigua, where it was a bit chilly. This week we continue our Spanish and volunteering. It has been great hearing from all of you so continue to keep in touch!