It felt like we were back in Europe, or at least not in Guatemala anymore. We were driving through colorful cobble stone streets, where no building climbed above two floors. The only thing that did seem similar to the other towns in Guatemala were the crazy tuktuks, chicken busses and market stalls.
We drove straight to the site of the tourism police, where we were allowed to camp for free. Not just for one night, but for five nights! We were amazed by the friendly police who offered their big field for vans and had an open roof for the tents or hammocks. And all of this right in the centre of Antigua behind a secured entrance. There was even a bathroom to share with all the campers and the police staff. Antigua is situated at a height of 1500m, surrounded by mountains and three volcanos. Which meant more durable weather and colder nights. And so, after putting up our tent we had an amazing night sleep, it had been a long time since we had been able to sleep in our sleeping bags. Such a blessing!
The next day, after getting a delicious espresso from Chloé at their van, we started exploring the city. We were amazed by the different vibe of this town with all its vibrant restaurants and bars, fresh bread and organic chocolate. A weird thing but somehow we were unable to find any pure chocolate anywhere in Mexico and Belize. Coming from Belgium you really start to feel detox signs, so we treated ourselves to some delicious 100% pure chocolate milk.
Our favorite restaurant was Rainbow Cafe, where we spent quite some time. They sell a delicious breakfast with a coffee and fresh orange juice included for 28Q, they have wifi, a book exchange and cool art on the walls. We were happy to do our writing in a place with such a good energy.
Two days later after having our laundry done, exploring the market and updating our website, it felt like it was time to continue our journey towards lake Atitlan. Chloe and Mauro had a little setback with their van, which was in desperate need of some surgery. But within two days everything was fixed and two more Nomads decided to join the “van crew”. Now the roadtrip would include six people and two dogs. This definitely promised to be a fun and interesting journey.
The night before we left Antigua we had a very nice goodbye meal, with a couple from Australia who had been surfing in Mexico for six months, Chloe and Mauro, the Nomads who were joining our trip and an Argentinian who had been robbed in Mexico. All were very happy to camp for free on this big piece of nature in the middle of the city. Especially the dogs were loving the freedom to run after the frisbee again. With some team effort we created a dinner table out of a pile of tires and a piece of wood on top, found a bench and collected camping chairs. It was a night with such a good energy, created by all the different nationalities getting together. Losing all sense of boarders and enjoying that even though the next day we would all go our separate ways, in that moment it felt like a family.