I’ve heard loud voices and shots being fired. I had no idea what time it was but it was late, middle of the night. I have managed to put my trousers and trainers on and grabbing my small backpack I rushed out of my hotel room. The voices were getting closer, they were already in the lobby. I sneaked out quietly heading to the roof. As soon as I’ve managed to hide in the storage room there, I could hear the voices reaching the first floor.
Yesterday, I’ve seen some political rally on the main square and from what I understood, people there complained about gringos owning all businesses and that all the big money go abroad. I thought that it was some sort of uprising, a revolt against foreigners exploiting the country’s resources. One way or another – from the sound of it – it was violent.
I’ve checked the backpack and I couldn’t believe how lucky I was. Passport, money, camera, laptop, jumper, pocket knife and even spare baccy was there. All the most important things.
The voices were now getting closer, heading to the roof. I had to hang on the edge not to be seen but then the roof turned to a massive drop into the volcano and I found myself hanging inside the smoking volcano. I heard shots. Rhythmical shots being fired. In a reggaeton beat style (:0
tuc – – ta tuc – ta – tuc – – ta tuc – ta – tuc – – ta tuc – ta – tuc – – ta tuc – ta
Then I woke up and for a good 30 seconds I had no idea in what colonial town of what country I was. It happens sometimes when one wakes up from a vivid dream that it takes a while to adjust to the reality. Few times I woke up fast thinking that I need to catch a bus because I’ve dreamed of it but that day I wasn’t moving anywhere. Or sometimes I had no idea where was I for a minute. Where am I? Which colonial town? Which country?
They do all look rather similar, those colonial towns with their Spanish squares. It’s always a square-shaped place. There’s a Spanish church or a Spanish cathedral, Spanish cobble stoned pavements, Spanish fountain or a statue of a Spanish man in the middle around the small park or just a place to gather, people selling things.
It’s likely called Plaza de Armas, because Spanish used to store their conquistador killing gear there. Then there’s always the grid-street system around the square, the colours, the plants, a volcano on a horizon, people trying to get you on their tour and the gorgeous cafés. Where am I now?
tuc – – ta tuc – ta – tuc – – ta tu – ta – tuc – – ta tuc – ta – tuc – – ta tu – ta
Cafés. Let’s get a coffee, it’s really good here, you know – and wake up – this time properly for heavens sake 🙂
OK. I can’t believe that it’s been 7 months of this trip of mine now. The time flows its own mysterious ways. It really is relative, this time thing. For example one minute during the last hour at work could take longer than that 20minutes of extra sleep in the morning when you need to wake up, I’m sure you know what I mean ;).
And when you travel long term the time is even more relative. You don’t know much what day or date it is right now. I’ve set myself an alert not to miss the flight. The flight to Europe.
So, it’s coming to an end for me now. The emotional part of booking the flight was easy at the end. My cards are to expire at in a week. And even if they were not to expire, there is not much to be squeezed out of them anymore so there wasn’t much to think about anyway.
To be perfectly honest, there are many things as well as people I’m looking forward to see, do, hug, hear and eat – not necessarily in that order and consistency though 😉
I’m also looking for some sort of structure in life, more privacy and doing some work. It’s all going to keep being exciting for a while because I have no clue where that job will be and what it will be. It’s impossible to start looking into it. Central Americas, after 7 months of travelling is an effective jobhunt repellent. But the thoughts of getting a job begun to creep up on me occasionally – look (:0
Anyway, so what I’ve been up to for the last month and what’s ahead of me?
Well, from the magical Corn Islands, I’ve taken a nightmare night chicken bus to the capital Managua. There’s normally not much space for adult passengers because those machines are former US school buses but when they allocate you above the wheel and sit a mother with a child next to you for 8 straight hours, it’s a journey to forget for your bum and knees pressed against the seat in front of you.
From Managua I went straight to León, the revolutionary city. Uff, but León was hot. Hotter than Ometepe. But it had some great bars that looked like from the spy movies set in the 60s with fans on the sealing, pool table and retro paintings around, where poets, anarchists and other unique individuals used to go. And superb cafés.
My next move was originally meant to be Honduras but due to its capital’s prime position when it comes to the amount of homicides worldwide, combined with a political situation that came with civil unrest and barricades, I opted for heading straight through to El Salvador.
To be perfectly honest, I find it rather hard to be on a constant move after all the miles I’ve made already. I blame the fact that I nearly hate packing up all the time by now. And it’s also because my internal explorer of new places, whom got a bit quiet lately 😉 I wish I could spend this last few weeks somewhere kind of unpacked in one of the perfect spots I’ve been to during this trip: Valparaíso, Ushuaia, Buenos Aires, Bogotá with friends or in the magic Rincón del Mar.
Or at least at an equally good spot in Guatemala or Mexico. But then I think about when will I have a chance to come back here? And there are still many many places to be seen and experienced. With this guild in my heart, I kinda rushed through El Savador stopping in a surfers’ town of El Tunco only.
Antigua in Guatemala ticked many boxes of taking a break, especially when it comes to coffee scene and social life. I stayed longer than I originally anticipated but it fell short of the special magic of the places I’ve mentioned above. Unfortunately, Volcán de Fuego was a bit more active than usually so the hike I wanted to do to its neighbouring volcano Acatenango did not happen 😞 it did kill hundreds last year, if you remember the terrible news so it’s not a force to mess with.
And then I came to Lake Atitlán. And it is as they say. Special energy, good vibes, smiling, friendly Mayans – and relatively good night life – it has a lot to feel good in here for the many – not for the few 😉 I’ve stayed longer than anticipated here as well and I’ve enjoyed the atmosphere this special lake comes with a lot but I will tell you more about it in a separate piece soon. It will also include Maximo, the Mayan god that’s still celebrated here 😉
At present, I’m heading north-east to the allegedly stunning place called Semuc Champey, then the famous Mayan ruins of Tikal, after which there’s only town of Flores left for me in Guatemala. I will then most probably rush through the expensive Belize and spend my last weeks on this vibrant, colourful and full-of-life continent in the Caribbean, exploring a tiny portion of south eastern Mexico near Yucatán.
Anyway – I hope that everyone’s doing well, wherever you are 😉
Love, peace and understanding ;j