The 3 A's... Africa, Asia & the Americas

30sep06

Hello Friends

Well we're 4 days into our adventure and here's a little taster of what we've been up to; We arrived into Antigua Guatemala after a 23hr journey. Pretty exhausting stuff. Sat 28th We've met another couple of travellers who are 1 month into their trip. They're doing Central & Southern America only and taking a year to do it. We're going to move from Antigua (the old city) today with them and go to the lake where we can relax and trek and swim (hopefully).

So this is our first time we're going to don our backpacks, and hobble to the bus station and get on a bus. I'm psyching myself up for it. I'll let you know how it goes!!! We had a few beers with Chris and Laura last night. They've done a year trip before in Central & South East Asia and Oz. I get the feeling that they're on a fairly tight budget, though they did enjoy a few beers and margaritas with us last night!!

On our second day we booked a trip which left town at 6am to drive us to a volcano which we were then to climb. It was a very steep ascent - VERY steep indeed. As we neared the top all the vegetation had disappeared and was replaced by black grit which slid down the mountain as you stepped on it. At the very top it was like being on the moon. All burnt rock which was hot to touch and sulphurous gas pouring out of the crater. We didn'0t realise it at first as we couldn't actually see a thing, but we were right at the edge of the crater. We had to put our jumpers over our faces as the gas was stinging our eyes and was choking us!!!

It was really good fun though!!! hee hee. It certainly wouldn't be allowed in the UK - health and safety would have forced us to stay half way down the mountain. It was quite amazing though. I had a bit of a cold and was a bit blocked up - not after I'd inhaled half the volcano though! It did the trick. So next time dad your sinuses play up, don't bother about chinese medicine, get yourself up the nearest volcano.

On the way down it was absolutely hilarious. Remember I said that it was all loose grit on the really steep bit? Well basically you just slipped down. We just had to dig our heels in and 'moon walk' all the way down. I giggled hysterically - it was really good fun!! So that was yesterday and today we're off on our travels to the next town.

Mon 30th Sept We got to Panajachel (have you got an atlas?) yesterday after a hair-raising 3hr bus trip on a 'chicken bus. There was bus showdown on the roads as a pullman coach vied with our little chicken bus (thay're basically old american school buses) for first place. It kept trying to overtake us and our driver was having none of it! He'd come back - around corners, up hills you name it they go for it!!!! Eventually he got his come-uppance when his tyre blew - probably cos he went round a corner too fast! So we got here and it was p"ssing down. I mean constant torrential rain. We're right up in the highlands you see. The lake is absolutely beautiful and it looked so mystical yesterday as it was swamped in looming clouds.

WE checked into an alright room. It was 9 pounds a night for the 2 of us. It had cable TV and claimed to have a hot shower. Though it was quite a precarious looking setup with electrical wires feeding into a plastic shower head. Each time Simon tried to adjust the hot water, the lights in the room dimmed!!!

So we've decided to go and have ourselves a little bit of luxury in a town just round the lake. It has a hotel which is claimed to be one of the nicest in Latin America. Sounds very romantic with hot tubs overhanging the lake and swimming ponds in the lake. So we're getting a boat and heading there after this email. Panajachel is quite a 'hippy' town - though a bit contrived. It's not that nice actually - not helped by the torrential rain last night!!

So that's us. We'll email in a few days time to keep you posted

Lots of love W & S xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx