Day 10 – April 18, 2023 – Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala
We decided to have breakfast in bed this morning because I didn’t want to make that trip to Lido. It’s pretty cool to have coffee delivered. Yogurt for Diane, and granola for me.
Joined the throng of folks leaving the ship for tours. Our number was Red-24. After leaving the ship we had a long walk to where the buses lived and folks out there directed us to the correct vehicle. We felt fortunate that we were able to get seats in the 2nd row, and we could see out the windshield. Seeing out the windshield came with a mixed blessing because we had a front row seat for any cars or people who got mowed down. Fortunately, we had a good driver and that didn’t happen.
Bindy, our tour guide, introduced Alex, the driver, by saying he got his driver’s license the normal way, from a box of Captain Crunch cereal.
On our 5-hour tour we were shown 3 volcanos and some very narrow streets. They got so narrow, once we reached Antigua, that we had to empty our big bus and get on two smaller ones.
When we got to the heart of Antigua, we left the buses and walked to a plaza where locals inundated us with handmade tchotchke’s, as Diane likes to call them. I think that’s a Russian word for trinkets. All of those who had tchotchkes to sell were very insistent that we buy something from them. Even the smaller kids were involved.
In Antigua, all of the streets are made of cobblestones, and they are very rough and difficult to walk on for old folks which comprised the entire bus load of people we were with. Everyone on this cruise is old unless they’re part of the entertainment. Unfortunately, one elderly lady, who was a bit wobbly on her own, took a tumble after traversing only abut 15 feet into an intersection. She face planted and skinned her knees. Mother Bindy got her medical treatment quickly and an EMT patched her up and stayed with her for the duration of our visit to the area. Luckily, nothing broke but she was a bit shaken.
Total time on buses today was about 3-4 hours, but we had breaks along the way.
Hey! There’s my bride.
And an interesting fountain.
Everyone had something to sell.
Bindy was a wealth of knowledge and taught us a lot about Guatemalan agriculture in addition to the various cultures that makes Guatemala tick. We also learned how difficult it is for common people in Guatemala to navigate the intricate tax system they enforce. Sadly, none of their elected officials, who manage the tax maze, pay taxes. They declared themselves exempt. Nifty job if you can get it. Sure makes thing difficult for the common folks.
Back on the ship, although we were sweaty and tired, we went to the Lido deck to get a late lunch. Diane likes the Dive In venue for their hamburgers. It’s by the pool, hense “dive in”.
After eating we retired to our room to wait for our departure at 1630. We read, eventually fell asleep, and totally missed the sail away from this narrow Guatemalan harbor. Didn’t feel a thing. By then it was time for supper and Diane was still dragging. So, I went to the Lido Marketplace and used her shopping list to gather food to bring to our room. It was going great until I spilled a glass of cranberry juice all over my tray, my shirt & shorts, and the floor. One of the young waiters saw my dilemma as I stood in the middle of the puddle so no one would walk through it. He got busy and cleaned the floor up, cleaned me up, cleaned my tray up, and refilled the glass I’d just dumped on the floor. He also put a napkin under all the items I had so they wouldn’t slide and showed me how to transport the tray without dumping the drinks again. After that was all done, I made it to the elevator, down three floors, and to our room without incident.
Then we ate and kept on resting.
It didn’t take long for Diane to feel the need to do something, so she dug around in the dirty clothes suitcase and pulled out some shirts and shorts to rinse out in the tub. It’s jetted so they got a nice wash getting sloshed around with all those jets. Now the clothes are being rinsed, then she plans to hang them around in the bathroom thinking they will dry overnight. I’ll be taking a picture of all that.
Now we’re on our way to Mexico, arriving at noon tomorrow. It’s another short stop as we leave at 1630. We’re on another tour but for sure it’s going to be a short one.