First 24 hours in...,  Flores,  Food,  Guatemala

first 24 hours in flores (guatemala)

what do i like?
-the islet of flores is connected to the main city, santa elena, via a two lane causeway.  we drove into town during sunrise and you could see the reflection of the sun bouncing off of all the surrounding water.  even after a grueling travel day (and night), we could appreciate the view
-a very small and quaint town.  you can walk from one side to the other of the islet in less than 15 minutes and the number of vehicles (cars and tuktuks combined) is very manageable.  the air quality is pretty good as a result of that.
-nobody has tried to sell you anything except a boat ride.  no attempts at pawning off trinkets, clothes or bracelets.

the last thing i remember before sleeping for 24 hours

what do i dislike?
-the 15 hour travel day by ground to get here.  between a combination of two shuttles, a coach bus and some maniacal driving from our shuttle driver and trying to sleep on the 8 hour coach ride with somebody’s sour-smelling feet perched up on my armrest, i succumbed to something after we arrived.  i’ve been bedridden for over 24 hours now and haven’t had a chance to enjoy what flores has to offer
-being sick with some sort of stomach bug.  on the bright side, it was bound to happen so the sooner the better.

batman vs superman. if that isn’t a bad omen for crappy bus rides, i don’t know what is

what do i like/dislike about the new accomodations?
-the most aged accomodations we’ve been in so far.  everything in the unit is loud; the air conditioning sounds like a warehouse fan and the fridge’s vibration & volume control varies every few minutes
-we are on the water though and because flores is an islet, we have a great view from our room.  in my case, from my bed.
-as for essentials, flushing toilets, warm showers and a comfortable bed are enough to make me happy right now
-on the downside, we must be the party room for the resident ants.  they’re not big but there’s definitely a few dozen of them running around in one area of our room.  party on wayne.

comfortable lounge chairs especially when nauseous
this room as bigger than our apartment. the closet alone was bigger than our kitchen for some odd reason
between the fridge and the air con unit, i’m not sure which one was angrier

biggest adjustments from the previous stop?
-so we were in two villages while on lake atitlan.  compared to our first stop, panajachel, flores is a little quieter.  although bigger, the streets aren’t filled with as many cars and tuktuks.  compared to our second stop, santa cruz, flores feels like a bustling metropolis as there weren’t even any roads in santa cruz
-the humidity is real.  the forecasts say 90% so a little bit of time outside means a whole lot of stickiness

what was our first meal?
-breakfast at ‘achiote’.  western style breakfasts in modern decor.  flores has its own charm different to that of antigua’s busier city.  we both had simple breakfasts and they came with a slushy watermelon drink.

overall impressions?
-my first 24 hours in flores consisted mostly of sleeping and trying to recover from whatever stomach bug i picked up this week.  i wish i had more to report on this quaint little town but i’ve got nothing.  we’re staying in flores for three nights so that should give us more than enough time to find out what it has to offer.

what do i like?

Flores is a very small island town with lots of colourful buildings and nice patios to hang out. While jojo stayed in, I felt completely safe to explore the town on my own.

The main street of Flores, no traffic, no people
One of the many patios with a view of the lake

what do i dislike?

The overnight bus ride from Guatemala City was long, I didn’t sleep much even with the huge fully reclining seats. The driver was going pretty fast and there would be weird speed bumps throughout the ride. Plus we would stop at random spots along the way and I kept worrying that we were being robbed.

Settling in for the long ride

what do i like/dislike about the new accomodations?

The place is very basic but has a nice view of the lake. We arrived at sunrise and our room wasn’t ready until 1:30pm. We had a LOT of time to kill in between.

View from our room at Casazul

biggest adjustments from the previous stop?

It’s very hot and humid so I ran out of clothes pretty quickly. Not a huge problem since there are lots of laundry places around that washed, dried and folded clothes for Q35. Beats washing our stuff in the sink.

what was our first meal?

We were so tired and hungry that we didn’t bother taking pictures of our food. Instead I’ll add a photo of a subsequent breakfast. It seems to be the norm for some restaurants in Guatemala to include oatmeal as side item to the main dish and we’ve grown to really like it.

Bowls of cinnamony oatmeal. View of the lake. The boys to the right are feeding the lake fish from the boat dock.

overall impressions?

Flores is so laidback. I walked around the entire island in less than an hour. It’s so small there’s no way of getting lost. Most of the time, there’s no one in the streets. I guess most visitors are doing daytrips to nearby Mayan ruins and the locals are staying inside to avoid the heat.

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