Monday, May 22, 2006

Monterrico


Minus the sardine can we rode in to and from Monterrico, this past weekend was one of the best I have ever had. The beach in Monterrico was so gorgeous and the group I went with could not have been more fun. Our group of 6 arrived Saturday at about 10:30 am and checked in at Johnny's which is a hotel right on the beach. Johnny's also has a bar/restaurant and lots of beach chairs and 2 beach volleyball nets.

Our bungalow on the beach was 2 levels and had a water cooler (very important), thatched roof, kitchenette, a little balcony and a small pool that we shared with two other bungalows. It was just 50 yards from the beach. The cost for the hotel was Q125 per person, or about US$16.

After we settled in, we ate a small lunch at the restaurant and relaxed for a while on the black sand beaches. After a couple hours of sunning, the other girls (both are dutch, Sanne and Janneke) in the group and I decided to walk down the road (I do mean road as in dirt and barely wide enough for 2 cars to pass) town of Monterrico. Monterrico itself is not much, a few tiendas, a spanish school, some farm animals (chickens and pigs) and lots of kids without shoes. We were searching for a bottle of rum, a 2-liter bottle of Coca-Cola and some limes. When we did find a tienda with rum we realized that we had no ice and that would be gross, so we decided just to pay Q10 (US$1.50) per cuba libra all night.

Although there wasn´t much in the ¨downtown¨ of Monterrico, it was fun to walk around and see what a smaller village is like. There were a couple of houses under construction and I am always interested in the different ways buildings are made in other places. We also stopped to watch the end of a football (soccer) game. That was fun, though the team and the locals watching the match were a bit distracted by the gringo girls. Sanne and Janneke both had their digital cameras and were taking pictures of everything. They would both pull them out at the exact same time. As if we didn´t already look like tourists....

Upon our return to the bar on the beach, two of the guys had already started drinking. It was about 3:00 p.m. and from then on, we took turns buying rounds for everyone. We ate a small dinner at Johnny´s restaurant and found out about a happy hour down the beach where they gave 2 for 1 cuba libras from 10-12. After midnight, we walked down the beach to the club near our hotel for some dancing and even more drinking. It was fun to shake it to Spanish hip hop mixed in with a few Madonna songs and old school American dance music. We shut down the place and went back to our hotel and went for a swim in our pool. After some swimming there, we went back to the beach and Sana and I went swimming in the water for a long time- when we got out our skin was wrinkled like raisins. Luckily by this time I was not so drunk as I was earlier and I could get in the ocean. The current in Monterrico is really strong. The water was so warm. Being at the beach at night in that perfect water was so amazing. From there, we went back to the pool and talked for a long time. We didn´t make it to bed until 5:30 am. At one point, one of the other guests at the hotel was yelling for us to shut up. Oops. Godamn gringos.

We had to check out of our hotel by 11 am. We ate breakfast at Johnny´s, slathered ourselves in sunscreen and went back to the beach. It was so hot on Sunday that we couldn´t walk on the sand without shoes because the black sand was so hot. I had to get in the water twice to cool off. Oh damn.

The weekend was the perfect mix of relaxing, sun, swimming, drinking, food, dancing, talking, joking and money. Many inside jokes were established and even now, we all laugh uncontrollably when certain words are spoken or stories are told. Those are the memories that I will always associate with the fabulous weekend at the beach in Guatemala.

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