Subject: Fwd: Touring Guatemala City
From: Ed Gray W0SD
Date: Thu, 26 Mar 2009 22:04:21 -0400

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wed Feb 4 7:56
Subject: Fwd: Touring Guatemala City

Still no luggage.  This will be quick as not much time before the tour leaves.  We arrived Monday and no luggage, clearing immigration and customs and filling out the baggage claim

was interesting as nearly all in  Spanish.  Just before you go outside there is tourist info and he did speak English and we got a map and the taxi cost which is always a very good thing

to know.  $10 to get to the hotel which was a long ways away so very reasonable.  No luggage and no food and in a residential area so I walked about 10 blocks for water and food and

toilet paper.  I had to ask directions a couple of times in Spanish.  When I found the store it was by the guarded gate to Zona 15 where our hotel was.  The grocery store did not take

dollars but a lady next door in a Panaria *bakery) spoke some English and with my Spanish she sent a helper to get what I needed and I paid her in dollars.  I  hate to get money at the

airport but I probably should of gotten a little.  Anyway it worked out fine.  We had hot water for a shower and good beds. 


Guatemala City is about 5000 feet elev. so it is cool.  It is winter and dry season but the wind blows a lot.  It is jungle with lots of very tall, steep hills and is pretty with mountains in the

distance.  3.5 million people.  Very modern and lots of government "cookie Cutter" apartments!  Lots of things on the side hills.  Lots of construction going on,  economy is good.  Every

where we travel they "hate" BUSH, they are all so please about Obama.  People are really up on USa POLITICS.  


We took a taxi to TICA bus to get tickets to head south on our own  after our Caravan tour which ends Feb 13th,  he waited for about 10 minutes while I got the tickets.  $146 for both of

us total to travel to El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and to Costa Rica, two overnights so travel is very reasonable and it is a big, nice modern bus.  The taxi driver took us to our

tour hotel which is a five star one.


The mall nearby is very mdern, very high scale.  I would say as high scale as I have ever seen.  Prices were reasonable.  Lots of american fast food here.  In McDonalds they get the

catsup for you, take your trays to the table and clean up.  You don't get refills but the prices are about 25 % less.  We got some Guat. money at the band,  We found the bus, bank, hotel will

all use a copy of your passport so that is slick.  We carry our passports on an inside hidden pocket and some money in our shoe and spread it around just in  case when we head south.

It is much safer here than what is in all the books.  It seems we always find it to be over blown.  More after we see some sites.


Got to run to catch the tour.  Internet yesterday was a real experience with a total Spanish keyboard and windows.  alt 64 is @.  cut and paste is in Spanish but good old Ctl C and Ctl V

works.  Also using Ipower rather than triotel to see if I can send to more people at once


Ed and Edith