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Escula y cafe No Se

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

44 hrs of Spanish lessons pretty much gives one good basics in the language on which to build & enables you to properly ask donde es le bano & dos cervazas por favor but not to have a conversation. Of course it would have helped to study properly & memorise the verbs when given every day but I am not alone in that as all the other students are saying the same thing, even the 18 yr olds just out of high school so I am in good company LOL.

Took a field trip Fri with the teacher to get some books & picked up a newspaper so ended up using the comics as a learning tool. That’s the great thing about this school the teachers have free reign to teach as they see fit for each student, we would be doing a prescribed lesson & I would ask a question & we would go off on a tangent in a whole different direction for 20 min or so but it was all a learning experience & kept it from being boring. Great school with great teachers.

Cafe No Se (cafe I don’t know) is in the Lonely Planet guide book as a friendly dive & it kind of fits the description but a great place to spend a Saturday evening with live music some time after 9. Just couldn’t leave Antigua without the experience of an evening at the No Se would have missed a part of the whole experience especially since one of my fellow Spanish school students just got a job tending bar there & was working her second shift Sat night. Talked with the bar manager a while before it got bust & he has been in town for 4 years so got a bit of the low down on ex-pat living in Antigua, seems very do-able. As I was waiting for a taxi to my hotel across town 3 more fellow students came in so it is the place to meet every one. I was twice the age of most of the crowd but in Antigua age, nationality or any thing else are not important the fact that you are in Antigua is all that matters!

Was supposed to meet real estate agent on Fri, but she forgot (es Antigua) so we changed meeting to Monday, the owner of the hotel (an amiga of Jorge) was supposed to be back from Mexico Thurs but won’t be back until Tues (es Antigua) so will stick around until Wed, came all this way have to meet her.

All the travel agents say you have to go to Guat City to go to El Salvador but the map seemed to look like you could go south from here & get there, found out last night at the No Se that it is possible to take chicken bus from here & get there by passing the city so think that is the plan now for Wed morn.

End of weekend excursion

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

On the Sunday we were picked up at our host families cassa, I had to walk about 2/3 km as the lane-way to the finca required a 4×4. We then proceeded to the base of the mountain at tecpan, approx 3500 ft at base & 10,000 at summit, went 2/3 of the way up in a 4×4 & 5 of the group hiked the rest of the way. When we started up the day was clear but by the time we reached the top clouds had developed & we were in the cloud, guess what the inside of a cloud is wet, so we didn’t get the full view which must have been impressive as about 1000 ft down when we got out of the cloud it was absolutely amazing looking over the country side dotted with the immaculate small farms with their patchwork 1/4 acre fields. At the top were 2 big communication towers, must have been quite a project building them along with the accompanying hydro line!

We then had a breakfast of a local kind of tortilla & arroz con leche, a drink made of rice, cinnamon & sugar mixed in with hot milk, delicious!

Then to the Mercado in town with a visit to the cathedral where mass was being held, back to Antigua & the end of an unforgettable week end.

A bit of trivia about a couple things Guatemala & Canada have in common, apparently Canada uses Guatemalan farm workers in the summer. I was informed of this by my host family & they should know, also every body has a cell phone & on Sunday the boys take their Harley’s out for a ride.

I was asked if it was safe for an attractive solo woman to come to Antigua for Spanish lessons, the answer is there are a lot of them here & as long as you keep yourself aware & follow the normal precautions you are as safe here as at home plus with the friendly travelers here you will make friends the first day.

I was also asked to post my itinerary; Saying a sad Hasta luego to Antigua & Guatemala on Monday as I head for El Salvador & on down to Ciduad Panama where I have a flight booked for La Habana on Dec 28. Hotel Nacional until Jan 2 then a cassa in Havana for the month of January, tour Cuba Feb & Mar, Apr????

Any one wishing to have a mojito with me in Havana pm me on Trip Adviser Cuba forum, that goes for Debbies forum members also because as long as Steffie j is a mod the busman will not be following that forum.

Stay with Mayan family

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008
Name of composer of Guatemalan anthem, Rafael Avalverez Ovalle. In afternoon of  first day stopped at Maya ruins at Iximche not a bad site but nothing to compare to Tikal bur a bit different than the others as it is in ... [Continue reading this entry]

Trip & Trivia

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008
Antigua can be expensive if you don't watch where you go just got a hair cut & beard trimmed & cost 100 Quatzales ($12 US) host family madre recommended the shop & silly me didn't ask price before hand, live ... [Continue reading this entry]


Sunday, November 23rd, 2008
Well my luck is still holding had a super time on the weekend but need a couple days to digest the experience before writing it up but can tell some thing about the tour guide & the people on it. This ... [Continue reading this entry]


Thursday, November 20th, 2008
Before I start on Antigua I will give my opinion on the difference between a traveler & a tourist. When two people meet at any given place on the planet they automatically have some thing in common, they chose that ... [Continue reading this entry]

Pics up & Back to school

Sunday, November 16th, 2008
Before I forget again want to tell about my trip to the bus station in Flores, the travel agency was to pick me up at the hotel & take me to the bus station but I guess all the vans ... [Continue reading this entry]

Buses etc

Thursday, November 13th, 2008
Seeing as I am the busman it would be delinquent of me not to comment further on the bus situation. Have already commented at length on the excellent bus situation in Mexico & how it excels that in the rest ... [Continue reading this entry]


Tuesday, November 11th, 2008
Here is my take on the Maya sites I have seen so far: the ·1 site in my books is Tikal this is an extensive site with numerous temples etc to see & some to climb. We had a very ... [Continue reading this entry]

Hola from Flores

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008
Forgot to mention in my last post that the two most important words to know in Mexico are "no gracias". Caye Caulker is a bit of Paradise a 45 min water taxi ride from Belize City, wouldn't know you were in ... [Continue reading this entry]