Which way to Way-Way: Huehuetenango

Trip Start Aug 09, 2007
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Trip End Jul 29, 2008


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Flag of Guatemala  ,
Thursday, August 23, 2007

Finally into Guatemala!!!  We set out from San Cristobal Wednesday morning and hit the Mexico/Guatemala border by about lunch.  No hassle on the Mexican side for stamping our tourist cards etc or arranging our next bus to Huehuetenango (pronounced waywaytenango). 
We passed to the Guatemalan side (by 'we' I mean the 7 whiteys on the huge tour bus, us included...) and pulled over immediately to have our passports stamped.  We were near the start of the line, just behind three girls from England.  We didn't see much of what was happening until one of them (the one who spoke the most Spanish) leaned back and was asking us about the apparant 'entry fee' they were being charged...

Anyways, she was awesome.  Her two other friends had already paid the 20 Mexican Pesos ($2 US) but she refused to give hers over without a receipt or at minimum a justification!! All three of them were pulled aside by this guard after several minutes of outright resistance...he finally gave up on her and gave the other two their money back as well.

We were pretty stoked about this as 1) it was very cool they were able to get around the evident scam and 2) it saved us having to struggle with our limited Spanish against the same alleged charge.  They just stamped our books and we were off!!

Crossing the border between Mexico and Guat was a bit like going from Alberta to BC...everything just becomes enhanced instantly...The mountains were higher and more of them, everything was greener as well.  Really beautiful countryside and not too long until we arrived in Huehue. 

We were the only ones off the bus here and the only non-local people we have seen here so far!  This makes us a minor spectacle, but always in a very positive and friendly way.  Everyone here is absolutely wonderful so far...very patient (with us and our Spanish!!), very friendly and relaxed.  

We hopped a city bus here today to get to some ruins nearby called Zaculue ('White Earth').  The ruins were nice and we were the only ones there to see them, so that was cool too.  The buses are awesome - they are old school buses that each driver personalizes for themselves by giving it a name (usually religious, such as Jesuchristo or such), decorating it with wicked stickers and rosaries,  and blasting their favourite music which I *love*!! 

Most of the music we hear is the typical upbeat Latin-American style you'd expect, and other music that we hear is a lot of remixes (ie-Killing Me Softly en Espaņol that we're hearing right now) and also lots of Bryan Adams for some reason...

That's it for here...There is not a ton to do in this area so we'd rather take off and spend more time elsewhere.  We are heading to Coban next via Guatemala City.   Coban itself is only 142km from Huehuetenango, but it is a 3 DAY DRIVE due to the transfers and dirt road between here and there!!  There is only one bus company in town as well and they only leave once per day on Tues and Saturday...we think...so we're going to head through Guat. City first (6 hours there) and then up to Coban (4.5 hours).  So a long day (better than 3 though!) and Coban should be smokin' cool.

We'll likely get a head start on our home schooling once in Coban as we are definitely Spanish-limited...We'd like to do more than just 'get-by'...Plus, staying with a family will be really cool, really cheap and includes 3 good meals a day!!

Coban has a coffee plantation we can tour, a national park right in town, caves to explore, and cloud forests for us to hike in!! We can even opt to stay a few days in the forest with a Mayan family.

More in the next few days...by the way, despite what we have heard on the news, it is not evident at all that a Hurricane was ever near where we were in Mexico or where we are now.  No rain, no headlines, nothing!  We were very lucky!

Take Care! xo Us.
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Comments

paya7
paya7 on

guatemala!
Still loving your blogs! Oh, I loved Guatemala. When in Coban - make sure you take a day trip to the caves, not Lanquin but rather 20min further to Las Marias? its were semuc champay is. Anyhow, there's a cool 2hr walk/swim in caves with a candle, followed by a float down the river back to the hostel. It's really worth it, was a highlight of my trip! If you take a spanish school in Antigua, TecunUman was very good for me. Also make sure you take a few Salsa lessons in Antigua too. Plus mountain bike rental/guide up the nearby volcano was awesome too. Don't miss Pacaya either.

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