With all our hard work done; my thesis written and sent off, a huge box of Guatemalan souvenirs posted home, and Anu's first steps being taken, we left our lakeside paradise to head down to Antigua, the former capital. Having been there already and seen some of the sights, we decided to spend two nights at a lodge 20 minutes outside the city, in the hills, with amazing views of the town and the volcanoes. We had our own little cottage there, complete with hammocks, and had a great time relaxing, and hanging out with other travellers from all over, including two lovely girls from Sligo who Anu adored. Particularly as they were more than happy to walk her round and round the garden, giving our backs a break! We had lots of rain while there and it was surprisingly chilly in the evenings, different to the weather we had enjoyed at the lake. Dinner was family style each evening, meaning you sit at large tables with others and share stories, tips and jokes. Great fun!
From there, we took a shuttle to the pacific, a whole new world. It's like being in another country. Hot, flat, with black volcanic sand, and thatched roofed houses. Here we met up with Jamie and Jeff, who are down from Kentucky for the week and have the house next to us. And our days are spent in the pool, on sofas in the open air communal area, or in our hammocks. Except at 4 pm when the three of them head out for surf lessons, while Anu and I take a siesta. Despite a few minor injuries such as bruising and bashed toes, they are progressing well and hope to be tackling the big waves by the end of the week. The food here is amazing, the other guests are great, a lot of Europeans (English, French, Danish and Belgian) the last two days, but in total we are about 16 people so it's very relaxed. Evening meals are again family style, and we sit out under the stars with our beers, the heat and the sound of the waves. Being the only child, Anu is loving the attention, and on her first birthday on Sunday, she had lots of people to play with and lovely gifts from Jamie and Jeff. There was a huge storm the first night, and we lay in bed listening to the thunder cracking above our straw roof. I'd never heard anything like it. The boys had stayed up, having a few drinks on the beach and by chance had the experience of seeing a sea turtle come up the beach to lay eggs. They then helped the locals dig up the eggs to take to a hatchery nearby to ensure their survival. This is something few tourists get to see, apparently. What luck! Jamie and I were seriously jealous!
The sea is warm and the village is really a collection of huts along a sandy path, with chickens and dogs everywhere. Today we have a tour by boat through the mangroves to look forward to, but other than that it's more eating, drinking, and relaxing!