The day before I climbed Volcan Pacaya I also went into Antigua from my base near Guatemala City Airport which was chosen simply because I arrived late at night and thought it just as easy to take the 60 minute journey to the tourist showpiece of Guatemala. On reflection I should have just moved from the capital city to Antigua on waking up but I decided to stay put for another night.
Antigua looked great with its cobblestoned roads and its multi-coloured colonial buildings which played up to my stereotypical view of Central American culture perfectly. I spent many many hours wandering around the Unesco World Heritage area taking in all the sights which began with Parque Central followed by its churches, plazas and markets amid the stunning setting of its surrounding volcanoes.
Iglesia y Convento de la Recoleccion is a church on the outskirts of Antigua and its fair to say that its in a real state of decay. I loved it for this reason and it was great to explore this impressive monument which was built in the early 18th century and destroyed in the 1773 earthquake. I spent the majority of the day here in the latter part of the afternoon chilling out on the grass away from the crowds gathered in the more central parts of the city.
Due to my increased interest in regional cuisine in this year just gone I was keen to try out the local food more than I have tended to do in past trips. After my visit to the church ruins I found a restaurant to satisfy my needs though I’m afraid to say I can’t remember what it was even called. The pictures below will give you an idea and the owner did tell me it was the most Guatemalan style dish on the menu. I washed it down with a couple of Gallo beers and on saying that I only had a $100 bill he even said I could go to a bank or come back the following day and pay. I told him very honestly that if I left without paying I wouldn’t be back!! I used my credit card to settle the bill which was under $10.