My day started with a buffet breakfast at Yellow House: fresh fruit, oatmeal, pancakes, bread, eggs, coffee, hot chocolate, frijoles. Not bad for a hostel! I finally made it to Beat, a gym and cafe I'd meant to check out in my first week. They offer a broad range of classes 6 days/week, from yoga and ballet barre to dance beat and bellydance. If I'm going to spend 2 or more months of the year in one place, that place had better have decent dance classes. The class I attended normally has around 12 dancers but the regulars were away this weekend so it was just me and a 72 year old woman, Marla. The instructor led us through an intense workout of salsa, bachata, and reggaeton moves. This was a workout class and not an instructional class but the instructor used actual dance moves so I enjoyed it a whole lot more than the zumba class I'd taken the week before and I plan on trying out a few more classes when I return to Antigua next week. Marla had recently been sick and felt she wasn't on her game but I would have been impressed even if I hadn't know that - hope I've got as much energy as she does when I'm 72!
Marla then invited me to visit the AirBnB where she and her husband stay 4 months/year, and she gave me a tour of the area. Having now found a good place for taking dance classes, Antigua has become a much more interesting possibility as a place to spend 3-4 months of the year so I was interested in seeing her place. The AirBnb, where they have a room with a nice private bathroom, a shared kitchen, a large private outdoor space, and a smaller seating area shared with a coffee shop, rents for $400 CAD/month. Still need to figure out the balance between seeing new places and doing new things, and staying put long enough to actually get work done. I've started picking up the pace a bit more on that front, but between my classes and excursions in the first week and changing locations every few days in my second week, I haven't made enough time for work.
I once again managed to get a photo of the street food I got for lunch. This one was $2.50 CAD and wasn't really my favorite. Too many pickled vegetables overwhelmed the taste of the avocado and made for some seriously messy eating. I think I'll stick to the simpler one.
Yes, there *is* a tostada underneath all of that!
And for desert, I roamed the streets until I could find someone selling fruit. $1.75 CAD for the mango and watermelon:
Back to my hostel where I picked up my laundry and dropped it off at the lavenderia ($5.50 CAD) after which I actually got some work done (*gasp*). I quickly got hungry again and decided to make the trek to a place that serves pupusas, a street food from El Salvador. Since I'm not planning on visiting El Salvador, I figured I could try them out in Antigua. The pupusas were between $1.75 - $2.00 CAD each, depending on the filling. I wasn't a fan of the toppings except for the jalapeno (otherwise, cabbage and carrot) but the pupusas themselves were fluffy cheese filled pockets of goodness and I ended up eating one too many. Heading back to my hostel, I realized I'd forgotten about my laundry, which I'd been told to pick up at 5:30. It was 6:15 and the door to the lavenderia was closed. My heart sank - I would be leaving at 3:15 AM and wouldn't be back for a week. False alarm though - the place was still open and I was able to pick up my clothes. Lesson learned - no last minute laundry before leaving, unless I keep an eye on the clock!
Early bedtime since I had to be in front of my hostel at 3:15am for the shuttle to Guatemala City where I would catch a bus to Honduras. Just as I was starting to relax about going from A to B, something went wrong! At 3:30am, the hostel got a call to say the shuttle would arrive in 5-10 minutes. At 4:15am, just when I was going to ask the security guard to try calling the shuttle company, my driver showed up. Turns out, the shuttle had a mechanical problem so the company had to find a driver to pick everyone up in a car. At least they'd called the hostel, a poor woman who was waiting at the company office by herself since 2:45am was in a total state of panic. Despite getting a SIM card for her phone, she couldn't get through to anyone and had no idea what was going on. In any case, after that small blip, everything else went well. The bus in Guatemala City waited for us and after a long drive, we quickly got through the border and into Honduras with another 20 minute drive to Copan Ruinas.
My hotel in Copan Ruinas is up the hill from the main square. Hill just doesn't describe it. It's steep. Very, very steep. I will have legs of steel by the end of the week. I knew about the hill when I booked but decided it was worth it since this hotel has a swimming pool and even though I'm not much of a swimming pool person, I figured a quick dip when it's hot would be refreshing, and it's always nice to sit and relax by a pool otherwise. Plus, being at the top of the "hill", the view from my room is pretty sweet:
I then went out to find an ATM to get some Lempiras and find some food. It was 1pm, I'd been up since 3am, and all I'd eaten was a cookie. I was absolutely starved so I popped into the first place I found that was open and ordered a beef burrito - apparently "vegetarian friendly" stops at the border. The burrito had onions, peppers, and avocado in it so it wasn't bad, but I'll do a bit more research before my next meal. I then headed back to my hotel to rest and for an early bedtime to catch up on my sleep.