Suitcase and World: January 2010

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Chicken Bus.

An iconic form of public transportation throughout much of Central America, a chicken bus is a colloquial English name for a colofully painted, often modified, retired US school bus. Yep, THAT yellow school bus....the one that I spent many years bouncing around on in my youth going back and forth to school.  THAT bus that is no longer safe to shuttle around US kids but is perfectly suitable for Guatemalan public transport :-)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Guatemala. Itinerary.

W ith my brother and Soon on board, I decided to go ahead and firm up the itinerary. We're traveling with GAP, one of my favorite tour companies. The GAP trip does not to Tikal which is a "must-see". Luckily, there are plenty of local tours that go there so it's just a matter of finding the one that works best for us. Here's the tentative itinerary.

Mar 23/24. Depart SF/DC, arrive into Guatemala City, bus/shuttle to Antigua.
Mar 25. Depart Antigua via bus to Flores. (It will be a 12 hour bus ride....ugh)
Mar 26. Tikal/Flores.
Mar 26-27. Overnight bus from Flores back to Antigua.
Mar 27. Antigua.
Mar 28 - 30. Chichicastanango/Lago de Atitlán/Panajachel.
Mar 31 - Apr 5. Antigua.
Apr 5. Depart Guatemala for home.

As I do more planning, I'm finding out there's a lot of activities that we can take part in ranging from visiting coffee and macadamia nut farms to ziplining, paragliding, horseback riding and hiking. The guys are up for anything so I think we're going to have a lot of fun on this trip!!

Lago de Atitlán and Panajachel.

Nestled 1,574m (5,238 feet) in the Guatemalan highlands lies Lago de Atitlán (Lake Atitlán). The lake is volcanic in origin, filling an enormous caldera (collapsed volcano cone) formed in an eruption 84,000 years ago. Hemmed in on all sides by volcanoes and steep hills, it's at least 320m deep and is the deepest lake in Central America. The lake is an irregular shape, with three main inlets but it has no visible outlet, draining as it does through an underground passage to the Pacific coast. On it's southern side, 3 volcanoes - Toliman, Atitlán, and San Pedro dominate the landscape.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

He's coming with me!

My brother put in his leave request and it was approved. He's coming to Guatemala with me!! Woohoo!!

My colleague Soon and either one or both of his brothers have also decided to come along. Soon has already gotten his leave request approved and now his brothers will have to make up their minds. This will be a fun trip! Now, we really have to get down to planning and finalizing all the trip details!