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Old 12-11-2012, 01:11 PM   #856
eSTes1300
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Living on SS

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Originally Posted by JDowns View Post
Spent the day in Antigua wandering around people watching. This place is reminiscent of San Cristobal de las Casas up in Mexico only with wider cobblestoned streets:



I haven't figured out what festival is going on today. Lots of costumes:



and major amounts of fireworks and M-80s going off. Plus some interesting firecrackers that sound a lot like .45 automatic gunfire. Walked over to lunch with ratbikemike and he wasn't getting used to it. I was never in the service so fireworks don't have the same effect on me.

Here is the guesthouse I'm staying at:



Here is what 70 quetzales gets you in Antigua:



Bunk in a room. It is the off season so only two other euro backpackers and me last night. The manager said the tourist high season is Jan.-March. They have a weekly rate of 700 quetzales ($91.00) including 3 meals a day. So you could live here on social security.

Speaking of living on social security, that is exactly what ratbikemike is doing. I had never thought of being a motorcycle vagabond through my social security years. Nowadays, with the internet and automatic deposits it would be easy to withdraw funds from ATMs around the world. Hmmmmm. Something to think about. I'll be 62 in a couple years.

The cheap food in this town is over where the gringos don't go at the mercado on the other side of town. Little hole in the wall place next to the zapateria (shoe store):



Although there are also plenty of coffee shops that serve excellent cappuccino:



Soon it was dark and time for a stroll through the zocalo where everything was lit up and the party was starting. I think the constant fireworks had something to do with scaring the devil away so the Virgin Mary can emerge tomorrow, but don't quote me. i'm weak on Latin American Catholicism:



I spent exactly 100 quetzals ($13) on food and lodging.

Saludos,
Juanito
They have a weekly rate of 700 quetzales ($91.00) including 3 meals a day. So you could live here on social security.

If I took the Room and Board deal, $1100 per month would remain of my SS for wine, women, and song. People need to leave the USA to live.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:51 PM   #857
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Just a few thoughts from the road less traveled while I wait for the dentist's office to open this morning in Xela.
Excellent! Great reading and very informative as well as relevant for my immediate future. I've been familiar with most of the parts of Guatemala you've been to so far this ride. Looking forward to finding out more about Xela. Never been there, but will be going. Thanks for writing!
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:24 PM   #858
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Headed to the dentist's office this morning here in Xela (shayla). Here are some local women waiting for the bus and catching a ride:





I thought I could find my way across town since I was going to the same place as last time. Boy was I wrong. I wandered around for an hour looking. Didn't bring the GPS with the waypoint. Finally stopped at an internet cafe and paid a quetzal to look up his address. Handed it to a taxista and had him drive me there for 10 quetzales. It turns out that they painted the building a different color and I had walked right past it an hour ago. Oh well. I got there.

Mario cleaned my teeth and suggested that I have one molar that could really use a corona (crown). 1200 quetzales for a crown or pull it for 100 quetzales. Hmmm. I'd like to keep all my teeth. So corona it is. That meant grinding the molar down and making a cast impression. He put a temporary filler crown in the gap and said to come back on Viernes (Friday) to get the final crown put in with bondo, or whatever they call it in dentistry.

So I walked around Xela for a few hours with no sensation in half my face. This is quite a new feeling for me since I don't go to the dentist very often.

Stopped in at this guys shop. He was carving headstones:



Penciled in the design the customer wanted and blocked in the letters with pencil as well and then went at it with a pneumatic chisel. All freehand. This takes talent. This guy was good. He sprayed the chiseled lettering with black and gold acrylic laquer and buffed off the overspray. Kinda gaudy, but it's what they do down here.

Don't know who this founding father is. Don't really care. I liked the lady in traditional dress yakking on her cell phone:



This is the theater for performing arts. Nice:



Nice DR200. Could use some new fork gaiters and a seat cover but otherwise would be decent transportation down here:



This reminded me I hadn't eaten all morning:



Bought a couple bananas and tried to eat them without chewing off the half of my face with no feeling. Harder than you might imagine.

Since I have a few days to kill waiting for my corona I decided to move to a more economical place. I checked out the Black Cat Hostel over by the zocalo but they wanted 70 quetzales with no parking. Across the street the lady at the Los Olivos Hotel said she'd knock off 50 from the posted gringo rate and let me stay for 110 with parking and wifi. Done.

I went up to the zocalo and got some more food later today when I could safely chew. Here are some garachos I think the street vendor lady called them. 3 for 5 quetzals. I had six:



I sat down and saw this lady heading over to some big happening:



Locals pouring out of the church across the street:



I finally saw the casket and figured out it was a funeral procession through the street:





I think I'll head out to some of the areas that Guaterider and Cousteau suggested in the rural areas outside town tomorrow.

I spent 136 quetzals ($17.68) on food, lodging, taxi and internet.

Buenos noches,
Juanito
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JDowns screwed with this post 12-11-2012 at 03:30 PM
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:07 PM   #859
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I just caught up with your amazing trip. Would love to do the same, all the way to Tierra del Fuego. I will try to paypal you a Christmas present; and then try to explain my wife why I am sending cash to a strange man on the internet doing an EPIC TRIP.:cool:

Keep doing what you are doing.

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Old 12-11-2012, 05:50 PM   #860
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I just caught up with your amazing trip. Would love to do the same, all the way to Tierra del Fuego. I will try to paypal you a Christmas present; and then try to explain my wife why I am sending cash to a strange man on the internet doing an EPIC TRIP.:cool:
LOL..... Too Funny, I never thought about it that way!
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:54 PM   #861
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Originally Posted by quattroman View Post
I just caught up with your amazing trip. Would love to do the same, all the way to Tierra del Fuego. I will try to paypal you a Christmas present; and then try to explain my wife why I am sending cash to a strange man on the internet doing an EPIC TRIP.:cool:

Keep doing what you are doing.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
Hi quattroman,

No need to get in hot water with the wife by sending a donation. Just the fact that you are enjoying the ride report is payment enough. Although quattroman would look good on the gas tank.

Glad to have you along for the ride. And yes, I am a strange man on the internet.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:45 AM   #862
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Strange man indeed!

As MJ said of the Himba people, "they see you as their equal and treat you as such."
That my friend is love and you Sir respond to it well.
Why was the price of pancakes forgotten? Because the interaction was of much higher value.
I would call it, responding to treatment... Carry on Juanito.

Kindest Regards,
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:13 AM   #863
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Wow! This report is getting DEEP as well as wide.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:41 AM   #864
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Wow! This report is getting DEEP as well as wide.
Copper Canyon is deep & wide but it's North of here.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:50 PM   #865
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It was quite cold this morning. No heat in this hotel, so nice to have a down bag. 3 C is in the mid 30s I think. It warms up quickly during the day into the 70s. I spent the morning studying Spanish. That is, huddled in my down bag watching the Spanish travel station on cable and typing in all the words I didn't understand into google.translate. Spanish lessons on a shoestring.

Went out late morning for some street food. The cheap place in Xela is over where the collectivos drop off the locals coming in for market day. Enchilada 3 quetzals (39) and a strange green warm drink with black seeds in the bottom for 2.5 quetzales.

Walked around the back alleys over in the seedy part of town. Checking out all the old houses that have to be a couple hundred years old. This one had hand carved columns and lintel. No air tools back then:



And this nice hand carved stone window with hand forged wrought iron grill work. Really nicely done. You could see where the stucco was missing that the whole building had been matching stone a few hundred years ago:



The corners on the same building had hand carved stone quoins. The relief is all hand picked out with a little pick hammer. Somebody had some money back when this neighborhood had it's heyday:



Love this little ripper Sachs motard. MadAss 125. You could get across town pretty fast on this thing:



This is the street I've been staying at to the left across the street from the Black Cat Hostel:



Went over to the zocalo to get some food this afternoon. Sort of a Mayan Christmas fiesta atmosphere. Several photographers had set up backdrops with little lambs and Santas for photographing their grandchildren:





Loved these ladies' outfits. Peonies with almost a Japanese flair:



Late afternoon rays on the crowds outside the Cathedral:



Some days when you're on Latin time, changing your oil, finding something to eat and wandering around are a full day's activity.

Spent 135 quetzales ($17.55) today on food and lodging.

Saludos,
Juanito
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:37 PM   #866
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Thanks for the updates of your trip.
You really get a lot done in a days time.
Great report!!!


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Old 12-12-2012, 04:14 PM   #867
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I think today is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. She apparently appeared as a vision on Mount Tepac iirc
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:23 PM   #868
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I think today is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. She apparently appeared as a vision on Mount Tepac iirc
So that's what it is. They are kicking me out of the hotel tomorrow since there is a big fiesta of some type and the place is booked. I'll be wandering around the hills tomorrow. Probably just as well. Two days in the big city is about my limit.

Saludos,
Juan Sin Fiesta
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:24 PM   #869
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Thanks for the updates of your trip.
You really get a lot done in a days time.
Great report!!!


Love that name. Glad to have you along for the ride.

Best,
John Downs
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:00 PM   #870
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Some days when you're on Latin time, changing your oil, finding something to eat and wandering around are a full day's activity.
That is called quality of life in my book. Looking forward to your report on the end of Maya calendar days
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