The Road Less Traveled, for a reason.

It rained again for our last night in Antigua – fitting since it rained almost every day we were here. However, it did remind us to mention the Guatemalan Shower Suicide Machines. Gamble your life for a hint of warm water.

On our last day of school, we opted to leave the kid at school and take the field trip up the mountain. I think we were supposed to be practicing our Spanish, but everyone spoke English. From the top, we had a terrific view of the Antigua and got to see all 3 volcanoes at once. To top it off, one of them started blowing out smoke and ash, but apparently that is normal.

School was out at noon, and we were loaded and on the road by 12:30. Unfortunately, it was the wrong road. It did get us to our destination, but it was several hours on not only an unpaved road, but one with gaping holes in it.

At one point, I had to get out of the car and stand on the left back bumper so the wheels would touch. We saw a chicken bus coming at us when we first started the drive, so assumed it was the right way, and that the road was just torn up from all the rain. The road just kept getting worse and we never saw another car or truck, only a few people walking, and a donkey or two.

I couldn’t keep the camera still because we were bumping around so much, and the photos that did come out don’t really show how bad the road conditions were.

Anyway, it was the wrong road. The kind of road people were very surprised that we had made it across. The kind of road that makes me very anxious. There were only about 5 horrendous undercarriage scrapings, and 3 places in the road that Jason stopped the car and admitted to also being worried.

Our road met the main highway at a trash dump site next to a small town. We managed to get lost there too, and wandered through the town a few times trying to get onto the highway. Luckily, the people just smiled at us, and eventually pointed us in the right direction.

According to the average Guatemalan, every road is fine. I’ve yet to hear anyone tell us that perhaps another route would be easier on the car.

Jason claims his teacher told him this road would be faster than going through Guatemala City, but 10 minutes after we finally got on the highway we saw a paved exit pointing to Antigua. Maybe that was the road. Oh well.

After a week of school (and 4 nights in pretty shabby accommodations), we were ready to hit the beach. We drove down to the coast, where we hit flooding. The cars in front of us would stop, watch the water and sometimes turn around. The van is pretty high up, and we were too close to the beach to turn around, so we drove through. A few times we hit a pothole we couldn’t see, tilting Red Beard so much that I swear I could reach out of the window and touch the water. We’re from Texas, where there is lots of flash flooding, so you’d think we’d be better about this kind of thing.

We finally arrived in Montericco and found the pool and some cool people almost immediately.

5 thoughts on “The Road Less Traveled, for a reason.

  • July 6, 2010 at 4:39 PM

    What a great shot of the plaid umbrella in the rain.

    You guys are having an amazing journey – thanks for sharing it with all of us at home.


  • July 6, 2010 at 5:16 PM

    Wow, given the second-to-last picture, that looks more like an intermittent river than a road.

    How’s Red Beard holding up?


  • July 6, 2010 at 9:51 PM

    Oh my god, I read your reports and think, how do you manage to get Internet connection and blog and handle your photos in the midst of all that? Even if you manage the tech connections, aren’t you too exhausted to write? I’m so impressed! I continue to enjoy following your adventures and wish you the best.

  • July 7, 2010 at 6:50 AM

    Do you get wet, then flip the switch . . . or flip the switch and get wet?

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