Thursday (Jueves) 9th September, 2010
Day 545

Amatitlan, Guatemala
Amatitlan, Guatemala
Miles: 52,910
N 14.43324°
W 90.65528°

Our plan today was to visit the town of Jocotenango which is next to Antigua. We had been given the names of a family there by some friends in Washington. We thought this would be an easy excursion to fill in a bit of the day as we wanted to have two days camping at Amatitlan.

But the Guatemalan traffic and roads turned an easy excursion into an all day affair. Our first effort was to take CA-9 north from Amatitlan to the city in the hope of connecting with CA-1, but 20 minutes up the road the traffic came to a stop and then inched forward for 40 minutes. Then the police opened the road but there was another traffic jam 1 km farther on. So we gave up on that route.

Next we tried a route through the town of Palin, a little south of Amatitlan, but as soon as we got off the autopista we ran into another stationary wall of 18 wheel trucks.

For our final effort we drove south along the autopista 30 km to Esquintla, and then north 40 km to Joco and Antigua. This route worked but along the way we crossed two washed out creeks one of which had entirely obliterated the road. Fortunately work crews had rebuilt a narrow bumpy track that was successfully carrying buses and heavy trucks as well as myriad of cars and taxis.

We eventually found the family, Steve, Nancy and two children. It so happened that Nancy was showing some craft wares that she makes at an exhibition at the Hotel Santo Domingo in Antigua (the exhibition was for international buyers) and invited us to go look. We had an interesting afternoon in the streets of Antigua. Nina got a short tour of the exhibition and then we were back on the road to our campground.

Steve and Nancy - thanks for your hospitality.