Antigua, Saturday, 3 November 2012 to Sunday, 11 November, Day 123 to Day 131

Antigua Guatemala

Studying Spanish at Antiguena Spanish Academy back on Monday 🙂

Hi for those of you that where worried that there was an earthquake in the region measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale. Here in Antigua we only had the earth shaking for about 5 minutes. My first experience of an Earthquake which I thought was cool at the time, however what was a cool experience for me was not the same for the 40 plus people who died and many more that are suffering due to this earthquake it makes me feel guilty at the pleasure and excitement I had when it was happening as you do not realise how serious these things are till later my condolences and thoughts go out to those effected by the quake. I am safe and well.

So have not touched this for more than a week so I guess an update is required 😦

So what have I been up in the last 9 days in Antigua well here is a short brain dump in no particular order

  • The plan was to try learn Spanish so I have spent the last 9 days getting up at 6.30am in the morning doing 4 hours of Spanish a day and I can tell you it is exhausting. Can I speak Spanish well considering I cannot speak English that well and my Dutch ain’t so hot one could say I have a vague understanding of the lingo but I plan to do some more even though it was knackering I thoroughly enjoyed my self. I had two teacher Iliana for the 1st two days at the school then Mary for the next 7 days which we spent outside in a gorgeous garden which was a very pleasant environment for learning. Both teachers wonderful folks with the patients of a saint as I stutter and stumbled through my first lessons in Spanish.

Mary y Iliana gracias por sus pacientes en ayudarme a aprender a español muy apreciados 🙂 For those thinking my Spanish is that good its not I just used a translator on me computer.

Philly learning spanish in the garden with Mary

  • Do you recall I mentioned that my fitness levels where not as they used to be and something needed to be done about it so not being one to do anything half-heartedly I spent and afternoon doing Ultimate Frisbee. Great fun but bloody knackering for an old geezer like me. Every Sunday the local expats in Antigua organise a game and all are welcome. Met a bloke called Chris who worked as a motorcycle tour guide in town who was a wealth of info so cheers mate and an honourable link to your company

Ultimate Frisbee Antigua

  • While I am on the fitness binge I played basketball as well this week and did not do to bad since is was about 30 years ago since I done any dribbling (Insert inappropriate joke/pun here) Also very amusing but it is strange how folks can take a 3 on 3 basketball match so seriously it was amusing to watch if not a little sad. Our Team Me Jamie and Haley where playing for laughs and the other team seemed to be playing for life and death and we still thrashed them so the tall Aussie the nippy Canadian and the wily old crafty tubby English bloke from Holland whooped ass



  • I guess as I have mentioned Jamie and Haley and they where insistent that they get a mention in this blog. Along with Ali an another Australian girl these are the folks I have spent most of the time hanging around with this week and very pleasant company they where to as they where mostly drunk and I was sober which was entertaining for me to be the sober one for a change.


  • I spent a pleasant afternoon learning how to make Chocolate at Chocolate Factory and learning about the Cocoa Bean. Fascinating and to top it all I got to sample loads in liquid form and they like there chocolate with spices and pepper and I must say I am rather partial to it to 🙂

    • Spent many an hour just wondering around Antigua which is a beautiful city with a really cool vibe surrounded by volcanoes one of which is active so every now and again you see a puff of smoke coming from it. I spent an afternoon trying to locate some specific oil for my chain oiler I was not successful but pleasant afternoon trying in my best Spanish in a cool bike shop whose address I had got from Chris. While wandering around I stumbled into a gorgeous cemetery just as it was getting dark really beautiful and interesting place not sure on the protocol on wandering around taking piccies in a cemetery at dusk but I tried to be respectful. Another amusing session while getting my glasses fixed me teaching the optician English him teaching me Spanish as it took him ages trying to get the fiddly tiny little screws done up. Antigua was a great place to stay for a while I really loved the place






  • Its official Philly has no Latin blood in him at all and he also has two left feet. How do I know this well I tried a lesson in Salsa Dancing, which is great fun, but I do not have much talent or the hip movement to be any good at this. There was a free lesson so about 30 of us crammed into a tiny dance studio first we did the merengue and then the salsa. Changing partners every 5 minutes so I got to dance with loads of different chicas and fortunately for them they could move on to the younger more talented chicos down the line. I did a bit of practice with Haley during the week whilst playing basketball but I am still not getting the hang of it so Friday night another Salsa lesson and later to a Salsa bar where I realised I got a long ways to go if I am ever going to be able to get on a dance floor in Latin America but I am willing to give it a good old go as its really loads of fun.
  • As mention yesterday staying a Guatemalan family who has a puppy this we took for a walk a couple of times which was fun as it had no training what so ever and practical dragged whoever who was walking him and strangling himself in the process. Totally loopy

    I thought he was called Deure but found out it was something completely different!

  • The Darker side of Antigua one night me and Hayley were walking home from the pub when we went down a street with few people hanging around with an eerie silence. At the end the road were the police had cordoned it off so we could not get through. So I ask what had happened with my weak Spanish and was told that someone had shot themselves in the head so a suicide. So we go back to get to our house and it there a real strange uncomfortable vibe on the street as we get to the other end of the street a women comes racing along the street screaming and crying I guess she just heard the news. We were quite shook up by all of this and the walk back to the house very subdued. In the following days we found out it was not a suicide but the bloke had been shot in the face 5 times the owner of the bookstore opposite the school I still do not know the reason why but one can make an educated guess that there is a darker side to this lovely city.
  • And finally Jackie if you are reading this I gave you the wrong name of the boat from Panama to Columbia it is oops sorry.

Jamie and Jackie

So I had great time in Antigua and I will miss it the bicycle bells for the ice cream the whistle for the paper man. Fresh tortillas delivered everyday for lunch cool bars with wonderful views great little Spanish school which I highly recommend to anyone wanting to learn Spanish however it is time to move on. First Brand new country for me of this trip Honduras here I come.


5 thoughts on “Antigua, Saturday, 3 November 2012 to Sunday, 11 November, Day 123 to Day 131

  1. Liesbeth

    Hi, Gaat het goed? Op het nieuws hier zijn beelden van de aardbeving en het bericht dat er 40 doden zijn en nog heel wat vermisten…..

  2. Liesbeth

    Ik heb je geprobeerd te bellen maar je hebt ws geen bereik. Daarna heb ik de academy gebeld. Die zeiden dat iedereen op de academy nog leeft. Jij ook nog dus. Gelukkig!

    1. Phillip Beckwith Post author

      Hi Lies,

      bedankt voor je bezorgdheid ja wenig last gehad hier van de aardbeving en ja mijn mobile doet het niet hier aan deze kant van de wereld (express gedaan). gelukkig is veilig hier in Antigua maar jammer genoeg dat is niet waar dichte bij de center van de aardbeving. Altijd triest als deze dingen gebeuren.


  3. Sjoerd

    Hoi Phil , ik hoop dat je goed door de aardbeving bent gekomen .Weer een ervaring rijker .
    Bij gebrek aan GPS voor Guatemala of welk ander land dan ook is werdwalen helemaal niet nodig . Ga op je smart phone of je computer gewoon even op Bing Maps snuffelen en vergroot Guatemala en je hebt ineens alle details die je begeert .Googlemaps is hetzelfde verhaal. Je moet mischien wel in de buurt van wifi zijn , maar in. ieder geval is er geen reden om blind te
    vliegen zoals

    1. Phillip Beckwith Post author

      Hoi Sjoerd,

      Flying Blind is en Engels uitdrukking het zal heel moeilijk zijn om hier te verdwalen want er zijn weinig wegen en soms is het leuk om niet te weten waar je zit zolang als ik continue in een Zuidelijk richting rijd zal ik in Panama belanden. Ik gebruik meestaal Google Maps te kijken waar ik heb gerijden en ook voor de planning voor de volgende dag dus je hoeft hier geen zorgen te maken 🙂 Gelukkig heb ik geen last gehad van de aardbeving in Antigua wij hadden alleen 3 tot 4 minuten schudden en dan was hier over.




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