Thursday, March 01, 2012

Alarm clock

2:30AM - No alarm clock
When the crooks stole my iPod Touch in the City of Los Mochis, Mexico last year, there went my alarm clock! My plan this morning was to use my "mental" alarm clock to wake up at 6am. But, here I am up at 2:30am. So, I am happily typing at you with a blog post.

Isn't it a miracle that the internet has so permeated our life that WiFi is found everywhere? As we have found during this trip, even here in Guatemala. The first thing that I ask a hotel when checking it out is, "Do you have WiFi?". I am pretty sure that this question posed to hotels without WiFi, gets them to buy WiFi fast.

PS: I set MacBook Computer to wake up at 6am. And the alarm worked!

Weather in Quetzaltenango
MacBook and I just checked the weather out online in Quetzaltenango [Xela]. It's 42°F there tonite at 7,765 feet elevation. That compares to 59°F right now at Panajachel where the elevation is 5,240 feet.

9:30AM - Bus ride
The bus arrived at the pickup place at Callejon Santa Elena at exactly the promised time. Almost the entire trip was moving up, higher and higher in elevation. I was surprised how the various buses coordinate with each other in order to switch passengers from one bus to another. This switching happened three times with other passengers, and I switched one time.

The highway is in exceptionally good condition, and very clean.
Highway to Quetzaltenango [Xela]

The micro-bus driver asked me if I had a room, and when I answered, "No" he asked how much I wanted to pay? I told him less than 100 quetzales. I got the impression that he wanted to help me find a hotel room. And sure enough, he did! I tipped the driver 30 quetzales for his valuable help.

I am staying in Andina Empresa Hotelera, which is located in the center of Xela. The hotel has a very fast WiFi, which although I was told by the clerk only is good in the lobby, actually reaches to my room. The cost for the room is 60 quetzales [$7.80US]. My room has a private bathroom with a hot shower.

The room key is weird! It's a skeleton key. I've not seen one of those in many years!
Lobby of Andina Hotel

1PM - Walk around the neighborhood
Well, it is clear now after a walk around the neighborhood of the hotel, that getting to know Xela is much, much more than getting to know towns like Antigua, Panajachel or San Pedro La Laguna. Xela is the 2nd largest city in Guatemala. New Mavicita and I are needing some help. Like a tour guide.

During our neighborhood walk, we came to a little restaurant called, "Xela Cafe" and ate breakfast there. Omelette, cafe latte and a glass of banana/pineapple/mango juice. Yummmy juice! 45 quetzales [$5.85US].

When we returned from the neighborhood walk, New Mavicita captured the entrance to Hotel Andina. The front of the hotel is somewhat nondescript. We could pass by and not even recognize that a hotel is there.
Andina Hotel entrance

6PM - Mysterious Xela
I wish that you could beam down here and walk around Xela with me. Together we could share the strange old and mysterious things about Xela. Is it the old buildings that bring out the mystery? Is it the tiny people, many a foot smaller than myself?

As supper time approached, groups of men hurriedly put up the temporary stands which would turn into restaurants.  New Mavicita was intrigued by one of those stands. It was a taco stand which had a BBQed hog on top. Not a pretend hog. A real hog. We decided to eat at this taco/hog stand. I guess that there is no doubt that this meat is not Kosher!
Pork/taco stand - Do you see the hog?

Blue sky