Chickening Our Way to Antigua


Not sure if this is supposed to be an exit sign for hotel patrons or Justin Bieber:


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What we woke up to this morning at 6am:

 

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We begun our day with an early morning boat ride across the lake to to the west, which is off the beaten trail (tourists usually head eastwards to San Pedro). We headed instead to San Catarina. 

 

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San Catarina

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Curiosity.

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After exploring Lake Atitlan, we decided head to Antigua for the afternoon before hopping on an overnight bus to Tikal. Deciding against spending extra on tourist-friendly microbuses, we went for the cheap but maddening public chicken buses as our mode of transport. Although not as insane as our Nepal “Bus Ride from Hell,” it was somewhat more intense in that the bus operators will do their bus to cram as many people as possible without caring about such thing like “potential fire hazard” or “total body limit.” It’s as if they feel they could defy the laws of physics in the name of making an extra buck.

So we crammed hard in 4  separate buses to Antigua: Panajachel -> Solola -> Los Encuentros -> Chimaltenango -> Antigua. Although finding connecting buses is a piece of cake (simply shout your destination to someone and they’ll take you to the right bus), it also involves trusting that your bag won’t fall off the roof of the bus, cramming with 3-4 other locals into a bench meant for 2, and even having some people sit on your lap.

 




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Multiply this experience x 4 + lots of dodging traffic and throwing bags on the roof to get to our next connecting bus…


But after 4 of these buses on a total of a 4 hour ride (and spending only 40 quetzals! an equivalent of $5 USD), we finally made it to Antigua.

Unfortunately, we now have to book it to our overnight bus to Tikal within the next 20 minutes, which means no pictures from Antigua until I settle down on the north side of Guatemala. I literally wrote this as I was eating dinner, by the way, which was pretty rude of me.

 

- At time of posting in Guatemala Aeropuertola Aurora , it was 68 °F -

Humidity: 60% | Wind Speed: 12km/hr | Cloud Cover: n/a

From Antigua to Tikal
Lake Atitlan

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  1. Guatemala and Belize in Motion « « The Monsoon Diaries The Monsoon Diaries - [...] Giving you an idea of how cramped chicken buses can be: [...]
  2. From Antigua to Tikal « « The Monsoon Diaries The Monsoon Diaries - [...] « Chickening Our Way to Antigua [...]

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