Back to Guatemala City on Our Way to Tikal

Guatemala City Travel Blog

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Sit on Jesus' lap .. store in Antigua

Our original plan was to spend some time in Guatemala City before getting a night bus to Tikal, but there were cheap shuttle-night bus combos ($17) from Antigua that were almost just as cheap.

I think we made a good choice with the direct shuttle as the bus system in Guatemala City is cheap but very confusing. The city is numbered into zones, but the zones seem to be ordered nonsensically (We're in zone 2..... now we're in zone 13.... now we're in zone 7...). It's also a big city with really confusing things on the map like two sets of streets with the same number.

Me, hammock, and roving army/police guys
Getting in from the airport was pretty weird -- I kept getting the feeling we were riding around in circles, but we weren't sure if that was the case. On top of that, there are many different bus stations throughout the city, and some are in pretty scuzzy neighbourhoods, including the one for the bus to Tikal.

This bus station was the most awesome bus station I have ever seen. Standing on the corner outside of it was like watching that show "Real TV" on the Spike Channel. We saw a fistfight that made its way down the opposite street, lots of people being loaded into a big paddy wagon, a couple consisting of a little Mayan lady and a trucker that alternately slapped each other and made out with each other, and a band of roving policemen/army guys. We kept laughing at the police because they seemed to be wandering nonesensically with a confused look on thier faces -- chilling at the corner, wandering back to the middle of the black, looking around, getting on a bus, getting off a bus, etc, but we found out that their job was basically to wander around and wait to break up any trouble.

I went over to them and had them take a picture with me and my hammock. They obliged, but one of them seemed very suspicious of the garbage-bag wrapped hammock.

We met a dude at the bus stop who used to live in LA before he was deported. He said he was on his way back to sneak into the US again. He was very nice, but said he used to be in prison for some "bad things". He was going to get back into Mexico on fake papers and then sneak into the US by hopping a train. Basically, he was the Guatemalan Johnny Cash.

He told us he didn't care for Guatemala because their was little work and it was very dangerous. We asked him where the dangerous part of town was. He pointed across the street.

mswim says:
This is random but when I read about the people watching Spike TV it reminded me of my trip to Latin America last month. When I was in Belize and Honduras, people from both countries chatted my ear off about American TV. They love it. The guy in Belize was rattling off all these channels to me, dude gets stuff I don't even have. I pay like 90 bucks for my cable bill and he pays $25 USD and has better channels. Something is not right. BTW I've loved reading your travelogues.
Posted on: Oct 01, 2007
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Sit on Jesus lap .. store in Anti…
Sit on Jesus' lap .. store in Ant…
Me, hammock, and roving army/polic…
Me, hammock, and roving army/poli…