Tikal and More!

We made it back from Tikal Monday morning at 5:40 am.  I had class that day at 8:00 am AND I MADE IT TO CLASS…but only for 2 hours.  Whoa.  I was exhausted.  But Tikal was SO worth it!

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And yes, we walked about 100 miles that day (in the jungle) and climbed so many f*cking stairs.  OMG.  But, we also saw monkeys, so many birds, and a ton of pizote (below).

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We also followed a pair of wild turkeys around for a while.  I think they were celebrating the fact that they were not in the US for Thanksgiving.

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It took me a day to recover from all the bus travel, but by Tuesday I felt much better.  We explored a bit of Antigua yesterday, but kept it pretty low-key.

Today, we went on an excursion with some other students (and teachers) to a coffee plantation!  We learned about how coffee is made and I realized that I know nothing about coffee.

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And we saw some of the most beautiful flowers!

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I can’t even believe those flowers are real.  The color is like nothing I’ve ever seen.

After the coffee plantation, we had lunch with my home stay family and then they took us on another excursion!

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We went to San Cristóbal del Alto, which overlooks Antigua and other towns in the area and it was beautiful.  While we were there, we saw some really incredible orchids, too.

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After that, we went San Juan del Obispo to buy more chocolate! And when we arrived this time, they were in the middle of making chocolate!  So cool.

This is cacao, sugar, and cinnamon.

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It’s put through a grinder again to make it very fine and then pressed into a bowl shape (by hand).

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And then the chocolate is formed into 4 ounce discs:

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The discs are set out to dry and then packaged for sale.  We got to taste every step of the process and it was perfecto!

Tomorrow afternoon, we are going to hike up the Pacaya Volcano!  We are hoping for clear skies and a lot of lava.  Our guide is bringing marshmallows.

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