Only stopped once and lived to tell about it ;)
Guatemala City Travel Blog› entry 16 of 49 › view all entries
Up at 4:40am to catch the 5am bus that actually arrived on time. The road between Semuc and Lanquin is steep in places and they have put down concrete pads in places. I can't imagine what its like in the rainy season. Bus was so loaded down it couldn't even get up several of the hills. Nothing like making half the people and some gringos get off the bus and run up the hill at 5 in the morning! Top notch. Luckily I was in the last row and didn't have to get out. Only draw back is the springboard over those damn speedbumps. Switched buses in Coban, but not before waiting 1hr for two other people to arrive.
Drove through Guatemala City, AKA Guate. One of the highest murder rates in the world. Lately bus drivers have been getting blasted. In the desert right outside of Guate we hit major traffic and it was stop and go with no AC, horrid heat and no airlfow...not to mention the awful exhaust. Luckily we had a non-stop Brad Pitt movie-thon on the DVD player in the van. Spanish subtitles and the sound was barely audible. Watched Troy then Fight Club and then started Troy again.
From what I could see out the window Guate is a dump. I've never seen so much sheet metal, barbed wire and cinder blocks. It was sort of like driving through a never ending junk yard. The pollution is awful as well and between this and not wanting to drink too much water I had a headache. Armed guards all over the place. Most pack around a well used shotgun and most also have an archaic hand gun. Probably all left over from their civil war. I think the travel company pays guards to be at our stop points. On the way out of Guate we called waved over by some official. I thought we were going to be searched or have to pay or something. Some gangly looking guy with a shotgun outside too. After about a half hour we took off. I think our driver got a ticket or had to pay money or something. Finally arrived in Antigua and checked into the Black Cat Hostel.
Walked around and finally got some real coffee that was good. We were ball'n so went to Frida's an expensive mexican restaurant for dinner.