January 23rd 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 1
Our host family

A wonderful, glorious night’s sleep, + then we set off to see if we could buy the elusive missing battery.  There was a camera shop not far from the hotel, so we tried there first.  They didn’t have it, but were helpful, + gave us directions to 2 other shops.  The first one didn’t have it – we were beginning to get worried – but walked on to the second (thus doing what we said we wouldn’t so, walk around Guatemala City.)  To our relief they had one; to our shock it cost Q7.50.  And then when we’d bought it, it seemed as tho’ it still didn’t work – tho’ back at the hotel we discovered it did.  The only trouble we saw in the city was a jeep of armed soldiers tho’.

Packed up our stuff, walked to the bus, + off to Antigua, past some powerful volcano scenery on the way.  Off the bus, and strolling thro’ town, we passed a Spanish language school, + as we’d decided to spend a week here learning Spanish, we took it.  We enrolled for one week, 7 hrs a day, plus full board + lodging, which set us back $80 each.  Then the lady there took us to a restaurant next door where we were given lunch, then off in a taxi to the family where we were staying.  They seemed pleasant enough, + the room was clean, if a little tatty.

Strolled around town for a while, finishing off the 12-exposure film we’d bought to test the camera, + putting it in to be developed.  Also, strolled into a bar, + chatted with the friendly young owner, who happened to have an English wife, + so invited us round for lunch tomorrow.

Back “home” for dinner, which turned out to be frightfully uninteresting – mostly black bean stodge –  + then went out again.  Stopped off to visit a fiesta in the courtyard of a church, which, like many (all?) latin American celebrations we’ve seen, was bereft of life + colour – everyone seems content merely to stand + watch a group of rather dull musicians.  Then back to the bar.  As well as having an English wife, Ignacio also has an English barmaid, so we stood + chatted with her + others for quite a while.  I got rather drunk.

Away to the decidedly civilised and peaceful Antigua, the ancient capital, which we were much taken with. And, indeed, we have committed to it for at least a week. And happening upon a friendly and affordable bar has made it all the more attractive.

  1. Pamela Blair

    I wonder if the calmness of the fiesta might have been because of the political repression going on then. Did your English contacts mention anything about that? I don’t remember what years that was happening.

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