I never get tired of Petén, I reassert this as being my favorite destination in the country.
Posts Tagged ‘sunset’
Escuintla, No Reservations
Today I had nothing to do, so I decided to go give some well needed maintenance to my vacation property in the Province of Escuintla.
Driving to this location should not take you more than 50 minutes from Guatemala City. Well, Elí moves by bus; which makes it a bit more difficult.
I’ve done this route a few times with no issue. I get to the bus stop and get on the first bus (chicken) to my layover. There are direct buses, but I’m not known for being a patient person. Well, there is a very nice highway to my layover location, but it happens that the bus I boarded takes the old road, which makes it double the time to Escuintla City.
Math does not add up
Bus fares are cheap here in Guatemala; Q10 ($1.30) from Escuintla City to Puerto San Jose –the town on the beachfront.
My vacation property is located on the highway, halfway from Escuintla to Puerto San Jose. I first go from Escuintla to my property. When the bus attendant asks for the bus fare, I asked him how much. He replies Q10. Not a big deal for us used to the Dollar currency. For lunch, we took a bus from my vacation property to Puerto San Jose –the ocean front-. Again, when I paid the bus fare, it was Q10 again.
Puerto San Jose
Covered in sweat, dying to gulp down some ice cold beers, we arrived at Puerto San Jose. Walked for a few blocks looking for sand, ocean and something to eat. Out of this narrow alley comes a guy who has the appearance of a street thug, he has the looks of a gang member, he rides an old and in bad shape BMX bike. He starts talking to me, gets close to offer a handshake. I’m a tourist guide he states.
Please forgive me for exercising prejudice, you don’t look or talk like one; Elí thinks.
I can offer you caldo de mariscos, hamburguesas, blah blah, blah blah, ceviches.
Wait: did he just say Ceviche!? Elí thinks! A while ago, I saw a photograph of a Levantamuertos -a type of ceviche- on Antiguadailyphoto, since; I’d been dying to try it.
Well, street thug looking tourist guide, please take me to the restaurant you suggest, Elí thinks.
We have walked out of the narrow alley and there it is, The Pacific Ocean with its entire splendor. Last time here was more than eight years ago, the area was what you would expect at a distant third world country: dirty, few improvised “restaurants”, no infrastructure. When I start paying attention to details, I see things have changed a lot. Now there is a bicycle path with separate lanes for each direction, the area seems cleaner, look: the ocean front has been squatted by these beer brand tarps, toldos they call them. You can see them on the beach, all the way to the horizon line.
Wait: We’ve been walking for a little while now. Where is this “tourist guide” taking me? I think for a moment whether he is bringing me to a trap and going to make some ceviche out of my corpse to sell to some tourists from Guatemala City like me.
Donde es: Where is it? I asked the guide. Right there! He replies.
Get me one of them toldos close to the water I command.
I asked for a Levantamuertos Ceviche and for my partner I ordered him a Ceviche Mixto. I ordered a liter of beer and start sipping it, actually; I finished that beer rather quick and of course I ordered 5 more of those liters.
While waiting for them Ceviches; one of the hundred of street (beach?) vendors approaches my table. I was playing with my camera and I turned him away. I raise my sight and see oysters. Wait: ?Que trae alli? What do you have there, I asked. Local Oysters he tells me. Q25 ($3.20) for half a dozen. Ok, now that you insist I’m going to try them. Can’t ever go wrong with oysters, the sound of waves crashing very near, and an ice cold beer next to you, the view is free.
Ceviches arrived on the table: An overflowing cup of deliciousness. I had been craving this Levantamuertos for years. I start eating it and trying to find what’s so amazing about it. I keep fishing trying to get something extraordinary out of my cup. Nothing! Did not impress me at all! I reached for my partner’s cup and trade it for mine. The Ceviche Mixto did really hit the spot. It had a little of everything; shrimp, little delicious Cephalopods, some mollusks. Ah Heaven!
Terminando un día laboral, lleva en las manos los frutos de su esfuerzo y trabajo para aquellos a los que ama. ¿Guatemala camina?
After a day at work, in her hands, she carries the price of her hard effort to those she loves the most. Where do you think our society is heading?
Sipacate by Karlbert.
Sometimes you don’t need any words. The picture speaks for itself.
Guatemala have many beautiful views, but so far my favorite are the sunsets with his volcanos and clean skies; these always look so peaceful in the middle of the concrete jungle. One would think that with so many buildings make these views hard to watch, but in really the geography of the capital city allow so many open spaces.
PD: Do you see the bright star? well it’s not a star, its the planet Venus.
by Javier Aroche
There’s some quiet in the pasarelas of the city that you can’t experience in other areas, at least in rush hour. Don’t know about you, but the sunset in zona 4 invites me to come back another day.
Hay cierta calma en las pasarelas de la ciudad que no puedes experimentar en otros lugares, por lo menos en la hora de tráfico. No sé ustedes, pero el atardecer en zona 4 me invita a regresar otro día.
Trying to break some rules, attempting to get all the DailyPhoto contributors to write more posts, the whole country is amazing for its colors. There is a “rule” that sunsets are best in November. In Petén, perhaps not all 365 days around, but quite a good deal of times November is truly not the only best time. So, the challenge to our DailyPhoto colleagues is to share those golden hour photographs.
In the mean time, the situation in Petén for tourism is still quite safe regardless the current state of siege. Would you like to join us for some beers while we photograph more sunsets? You can’t deny that such sunsets aren’t inviting for a drink every time you head back home with such heavy traffic when you just have to paddle your way home.
Every once in a while Micaela spends some days at a small and beautiful Natural Private Reserve that also is sponsoring this long trip to Petén, Ni’tun. Micaela is not really shy, she is quite friendly, perhaps she escaped from being captive in some house. Nonetheless, Micaela is free, moving around as she pleases, but of course visiting this place with certain regularity. She is the first monkey seen after many years that this property was purchased and it is relatively recent that it was inscribed as Natural Private Reserve.
While being here, and being spoiled, not only Micaela finds a home in this Reserve, but also many other species and of course some people as well, I got a phone call by a very good journalist whose work is incredibly stunning, Moisés Castillo, an Antigueño that has been working for Associated Press for about seventeen years. So, he was curious as to the possibility of driving to the place where the recent massacre had ocurred, and hours of driving and asking around we made it. Coincidentally, the President made it by helicopter, along with other Ministers, and other press, at almost the same time we were arriving. In fact, we saw the helicopters and that’s how we finally knew where exactly the place was.
Getting there, journalists did their job, and everybody was ready to leave. Some shots escaped my camara, but the best job is the Jounalists. The ambience was very heavy, or at least the combination of heat and air was very heavy. How can people massacre people?
It seems that humanity as a species, and through its history doesn’t seem to have enough wiping out habitats and ecosystems, it even has to destroy itself by becoming less human. Atrocities of these kind will damage Guatemala entirely, for years to come, as if the war held wasn’t enough. There shouldn’t be wars, it seems humanity itself is incapable of tolerating peace. When as as species, as humanity will we grow up?
If you are unaware of the recent events in Petén, read the following news articles:
- Guatemala: Brutality and Impunity: Over 28 Decapitated in Petén by Renata Ávila, Global Voices
- Guatemala: 27 massacred, decapitated in Petén by paramilitary drug gang Los Zetas by Xeni Jardin, BoingBoing
In the meantime, also enjoy some of Petén’s sunsets.
This is the welcoming vista you get when you arrive to Guatemala City, the largest and most modern city in Central America, coming from El Salvador. You have to stop at el mirador (viewpoint) on Carretera a El Salvador to enjoy the sunset and the volcano skyline, including the smoking Volcán de Fuego. Here’s a closer look at the volcanoes Agua (Water), Fuego (Fire) and Acatenango. From this perspective is easy to fall in love with the veiled beauty of Guatemala City.
photo by Oscar Velasquez