I don’t have to worry about that

As I mentioned in a previous post, before I traveled to Guatemala I read the warnings and tips on the U. S. Department of State’s website. Here’s one:

Large demonstrations occur throughout Guatemala, often with little or no notice, and can cause serious traffic disruptions. Although most demonstrations are peaceful, they can turn violent, and travelers should avoid areas where demonstrations are taking place.

I wasn’t too concerned about this one really. For the most part we wouldn’t be in any cities so I figured the chance of stumbling upon any demonstrations would be unlikely. I forgot that I had scheduled a cultural walking tour of Antigua with Elizabeth Bell. On one of our last days we headed to Antigua for the tour. Whilst waiting for it  to begin I looked to my right and saw this. Yikes!

IMG_2886

On my left I saw this. Double Yikes!

That's a lot of cops!

That’s a lot of cops!

Okay, maybe I should have planned for this. Fortunately, Elizabeth is respected in the city. She excused herself to investigate the situation. Minutes later she returned saying that we would have to miss a couple of spots she normally takes groups to, but other than that everything was fine. We set off and I have to say I felt completely comfortable under her charge. And she was a fantastic guide: informative, patient, and humorous. Below you will find some photos from the tour. If you are planning a trip to Antigua, I highly recommend going on a tour with Ms Bell.

IMG_2898IMG_2928IMG_2942IMG_2964IMG_2971IMG_2972IMG_2974

I learned two things from this experience. Plan for everything—well as much as you can. Don’t assume you won’t run into issues that you’ve been warned about. Second, if going on tours, make sure you are with a reputable company.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American living in England. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs, or reading. Not necessarily in that order.
This entry was posted in Blog, Blogging, New Experiences, Travel, Travel Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to I don’t have to worry about that

  1. thirdeyemom says:

    Oh lovely Antigua!!! What was the demonstration about?

    • TBM says:

      Not sure really. I couldn’t read the signs. that reminds me, I still need to do my Spanish lesson today. Slowly I’m trying to learn the language. Do you speak Spanish? I can’t remember.

      • thirdeyemom says:

        I was a french major and lived there twice so I tried picking up Spanish a few years ago. I can get by but it is challenging! I know someday I will learn it but I feel I need more time in country. Every time I get ready to leave, I am finally getting a hang of it!

      • TBM says:

        we still haven’t visited South America so I’m trying to learn enough to get by before we start visiting. Hopefully we make our first foray into S. America in 2014. So far that’s the plan. Each day I try to listen to a few minutes of my lessons. I wish you luck!

      • thirdeyemom says:

        Ahh…..so much to choose from there! I love Argentina beyond words. It is so beautiful and Buenos Aires is wonderful. I also have been to Chile and Peru which I liked as well but Argentina is special to me. 🙂 If you like hiking, you can hit Patagonia but then again, the best hike is in Chile, Torres del Paine NP. Ahhh….what a wonderful destination!

      • TBM says:

        LOL sounds like I have a lot to choose from. I’ve been browsing through travel books and I keep finding things and places I want to explore and I’m not making any progress in crossing anything off the list.

      • thirdeyemom says:

        Sounds like me. I want to go pretty much everywhere! 🙂

      • TBM says:

        I’m the same way. It makes planning a trip difficult

      • thirdeyemom says:

        Yes, and I’ve got to keep in mind that I don’t have a paying job right now and kids! 🙂 But if there is a will, there is a way! I can’t wait to show my kids the world too. They just need to be a little older!

      • TBM says:

        I think it’s great you want to take your kids.

      • thirdeyemom says:

        Now we just need the money! Right?! Much cheaper for me to travel than for a family of four!

      • TBM says:

        I bet! Money is always an issue and I hate it. Oh, and time.

  2. Colline says:

    Even though you missed some spots, you did get to see some beautiful places.

  3. Beth Ann says:

    That is very good advice and yes—I would have most likely been a little startled to say the least ! So glad you had a good tour guide who knew exactly what to do in every situation.

  4. niasunset says:

    Wonderful post and details. I loved your photographs but especially the last one is amazing… Fascinated me. Thank you dear TBM, love, nia

  5. Valentina says:

    Good advice TBM. I also take groups to Italy to Puglia, the area I come from. People who participate to my trips, feel confident and assured because I am a local of those parts, I know all the does and don’ts of the area and look out for the interests of my travel group.

    • TBM says:

      I’ll have to remember that for when we plan a trip to Italy. I’ve been saving Italy for a time when we can spend weeks there to explore all the different parts. Back in school I fell in love with Italian art so I want to see it all. A great tour guide is key! You never know what you’ll run into and to trust the person who is in charge is important.

      • Valentina says:

        Keep me in mind when you are ready. I offer trips once or twice a year, always in off-season to keep prices down and yes taking care of my people is the most important thing while we are there.

      • TBM says:

        Will do and thanks! I remember seeing a post last summer about your tour and it sounded wonderful!

  6. Madhu says:

    Those scenes are unnerving 🙂
    But staying home scared isn’t an option is it? We were warned about flash strikes in Peru, and read reports of people being stranded and worse – returning without visiting Machu Picchu!! But nothing happened when we were there thankfully 🙂

    • TBM says:

      You’re right, we can’t just stay home. I’m glad nothing happened while you were there and it’s a shame you missed Machu Picchu. Currently we are waiting to find out information about an uprising in parts of Malaysia. We may have to redo parts of our itinerary. Hopefully we won’t, but I don’t want to walk into a situation that could have been avoided. We are keeping our fingers crossed.

  7. 52BrandNew says:

    Glad you are safe! Loved the photos!

  8. petit4chocolatier says:

    My dad went to Antigua several years ago and loved it.
    I love your pictures; especially the fern one 🙂

  9. pattisj says:

    Enjoyed your photos, and appreciate your tour safety advice.

  10. Madhu says:

    No no TBM, we didn’t miss MP, thank God! I was referring to other travelers missing seeing it after going all the way!

  11. Fergiemoto says:

    Yes, be as prepared as possible. Those would be unnerving to see, but it’s good you had a tour guide who knew what to do.

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