I hit the road. That was two months ago.
Left my apartment and renounced having a day job to visit the world and learn all I can.
This trip is an experiment being a homeless traveler.
Antigua and the machete attack.
I leave El Salvador by bus, to reach Guatemala.
I expected a “Chicken Bus“, the main means of transportation in central america. They’re US school buses converted into rolling pieces of art.
Instead, I end up in a plane without wings, I guess I can call that a luxury bus.
AC, hostesses, breakfast served on board, airline companies look like misers in comparison. And it’s only a bus.
Latin America has been a smooth ride, until now.
Antigua shows what humans can do when they get inspired.
This city is a bit like Venise: every wall, every window, everything is crafted deliciously, nothing is casual, not even the gutter on the pavement (cobblestones).
Churches’ colors are so soft and warm I almost want to walk into one.
The FOOD is incredibly good and I spend there some of the best times in my life, writing, practicing meditating and even doing yoga with a friendly local group.
It’s probably a good place for millionaires and students. You can soak in the beauty of this town and forget about material issues.
That’s if you can afford it.
Guatemala is said to be an overall gorgeous place to visit, however, a good part of its population lives in extreme poverty, and it’s now a big hub for drug trafficking.
Some areas are to be avoided.
I had a personal experience of how quickly things can turn bad there.
The machete attack
It happens on a Sunday, a friend from the hotel offers me to go for a trek up the Volcano of Antigua.
A shuttle takes us to a village uphill. Much poorer than what I’ve seen so far.
Quietness is around, and a sense of desolation as well, people trying to survive. Nobody’s fat, here.
We have to go pass a cemetery then walk up the mountain.
Further on, the street transforms into a steep and narrow path through the forest.
We briefly perceive two figures ahead, but they disappear in the distance. That was a warning we should have understood.
There are noises, as we walk, but it’s impossible to tell what’s going on. Everything is so foreign to me: the land, the vegetation…
We definitely hear something strange, then a masked guy jumps out of the forest holding a machete, he tells us to stop.
The machete has a long nasty blade.
By the time we look around there are four guys masked with machetes. They’re extremely nervous and aggressive. We’re asked for our money, we give it right away.
Funny, all heroic ambitions collapse easily in front of a sharp tool.
I’m thinking that these could be the last minutes of my life. My mind is busy picturing how many blows of these machetes it would take to separate my head from the rest of my body.
Not a lot probably.
I see everything like it’s happening, the missed hits, the blood, the pain.
But that’s already over, they grab some items and leave. My phone is miraculously saved. The same one with which I took the picture below, a few minutes before being robbed.
My friend decides to continue the trek. I go back straight to Antigua.
Will need time to digest the shock.
Sorry, this post wasn’t funny at all but at least there was some action, next post I’ll share things to rejoice for :)
I’d be happy to stay in touch with you, if I didn’t freak you out already: