ANTIGUA TO FLORES – Thurs 8th March
There were 516km to Flores and people started leaving from 6am in the morning, the last leaving at 7.30am. We were avoiding Guatamala City and taking to the hills which were steep and very twisty. We drove through San Juan Sacatepequez after 35km and found a large busy and bustling local market, for the locals, in progress. All the women were in traditional Guatamalan dress, sitting on low stools surrounded by huge bundles of colourful flowers and piles of vegetables and fruits. We continued up into the hills, passing through picturesque little villages where the women and young girls were wearing local dress.
The road turned to a narrow and rocky track for a 20 kilometre stretch and provided some challenging driving for us all, especially for the cars like the Corvette, Impala and Porsche. The views and scenery were stunning and we passed near-vertical cabbage patches, coffee plantations, fabulous pink blossom trees, cowboys on horses and the vegetation, which was so dry to begin with, became more green and luscious as we continued north. We arrived at a little ferry at about 7.30pm and were propelled across by two out-board motors attached to tiny little boats on the side. On the other side we found the Ford pick-up which had had to be towed off the ferry by the 88 year old Model A Ford. What a sight that must have been! The pick-up had lost all its coolant because the fan had stopped working and Toby rewired the fan and we were on our way again, in the dark and dodging ‘tumulus’, (tarmac bumps), which seem to be very popular in this country! The bumps are not marked so there were several of us who hit them at speed! We arrived Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel at 10.45pm to be met with a very welcome steak sandwich and a cold beer and once shown to our rooms, a wonderful jacuzzi!