We are back in lovely Antigua with the famous Guaterider as our host and local travel guide. Julio may be sorry he convinced us to stay longer in Guatemala, because we may never leave (he didn’t). This is a great walking town. We headed to the library to see the current photo exhibit. We had a great lunch at a fixed price place where there was an amazing selection of meat dishes and sides. Walking down the street of the arch we stopped to buy wine and some delicious chocolates.
We headed out the next day to see some local sights.
The first stop was a ride up the hillside above the city to have breakfast with a view of the three volcanoes. We had the best table on the front of the patio. The grounds of the Santa Domingo are and out door sculpture gallery. They have many Love Parakeets that are trained to sit on your shoulder.
Next we headed to San Miguel Dueñas to visit the macadamia nut farm. We had a tour in English that explained that the two types of edible nuts come from two trees with either pink or white flowers. The trees each make six sizes of nuts that are sorted, dried, and the shells are removed. They have the most photographed bathroom in Guatemala too. The nuts can then be salted and made into butters, oils, or creams. Here you can get a free facial, and some yummy macadamia pancakes.
Since we like a circle route we continued down the road with a quick stop at the car wash for a 20 min power wash for 15Q (2$). It was however wasted as we then soon ran out of pavement and continued the rest of the way up into the mountains and around to Parramos in the dirt which was quite deep and dusty at times. This of course meant a shoeshine!
The next day we ventured back east of the city to San Andrés Itzapa to see the sacrifice to Maximon who is a folk saint venerated in various forms by Maya people in Western Guatemala. Continuing west we went to the Ruins at Iximche where there are also alters for sacrifice still used by the Mayan people. The ruins themselves are quite nice also.