I have made it to Guatemala safely. I started the trip by trying to sleep in the Miami airport overnight while waiting for my flight to Guatemala the next morning. It was good to save the money a hotel would have cost and know from experience that I can sleep in the airport if I have to but I probably won´t do it again. The lights are on in the airport all night and there are announcements every few minutes. That combined with a hard floor made sleeping very difficult. I probably slept an hour at most. There were lots of other people there attempting to sleep but I don´t think most of them had any better luck than me.
When I arrived in Guatemala on Wednesday I was extremely tired. I didn´t think to negotiate with the taxi driver before I took it to the bus station. I probably overpaid a couple of bucks but not enough to worry about. The bus was a little better than I remembered. The bus used to stop everywhere and pick up more passengers. Now they don´t do that because of bandits. This made for a 3 1/2 hour bus ride rather than a 4 hour bus ride. There were only 6 passengers on the bus and it was a Greyhound style bus. The bus ticket was roughly $8 and the taxi to the bus station was $12. I´m not sure how the bus company is making a profit but I´m guessing there are usually more passengers.
Once I arrived in Xela I got a hotel room for the night. The hotel I remembered was only $4 a night back in 1996. In 2009 it is still $4 a night. This is a great bargain. The rooms are small and you have a common bathroom but for the price it is a great deal. The cleanliness was better than some hotels I´ve stayed at in the States.
The next day I went to get my room for the month. The place I wanted to stay at didn´t have any rooms available though. I spent most of the day walking around the city looking for a place to live for the next month. I decided on a hostel that charges about $100 a month. I have a private room and share bathroom and kitchen facilities with the other guests. This is the same setup as the place I wanted to stay at although the first place only charges $85 a month. It is still a pretty good price though. I spent one more night in the hotel and moved into the hostel this morning.
Now I need to go shopping and get some food. I´ve been eating at fast food places like McDonalds and Pollo Campero so far. Fast food costs about as much here as in the U.S. It is strange that I could pay as much for a fast food meal as a hotel room.
I haven´t found internet service that I´m happy with yet. The first place I went to had extremely slow computeres. The next two places (including this one) I´ve gone to have had pop-ups on the computer all the time. This makes me think the computers probably have viruses so I don´t want to do too much on them. Hopefully, I can find a better internet place tomorrow and I will have another post then.
4 thoughts on “Guatemala Update 1”
Andy, hopefully we will get pics? I noticed you don’t post too many. Interested to see what the living arrangements really look like.
Marilyn – I do have my camera with me and will be taking pictures. Since I don’t have the USB cable for the camera with me I might not be able to post any pictures until I return home. Maybe I can find another way to get the pictures from my camera to the computer.
Sean – Thanks for the info. I think I have finally found a reasonable internet place but I’ll check out the buddha bar also. Is Xelaspace the same as Xelapages? I was in that neighborhood yesterday, I think.
The last time I was in there the buddha bar right next to parque central had fast computers and reasonably-fast internet. It might be worth checking out.
Overall, though, it’s difficult to find a place that has decent internet speed and computers that are fast and spyware free. Good luck!
Stop by Xelaspace and say hi if you want – 8a Calle, by the trees in the middle of the street, near Mercado Las Flores.
Glad to hear that you are safe – I look forward to reading more.