Panama Canal Cruise - Day 8

On Day 8 of our cruise, we visited Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala. This was our first time in Guatemala, and we were especially eager to visit Antigua.

On the way to the city, we stopped for a tour of a coffee plantation. We really didn't want to tour a coffee plantation, but were pleasantly surprised to find it an enjoyable, informative, and rewarding trip! Coffee production is extremely interesting, and quite an agricultural feat. Since the coffee plants don't produce for the first few years, and then have a limited lifespan, the owners have to plan carefully. We saw coffee from the seed stage all the way to the brewed final result - and believe me, that was the best coffee either of us have ever tasted. We bought some as gifts, and some to bring home for ourselves.

Three volcanos tower over that area of Guatemala, one of them active and spewing smoke most of the day. Since that's the first volcano I've ever seen, I found that sight quite amazing.

Antigua is a nasty, crumbling old city with cobblestone streets and lots of bars on the windows. The city square on front of a nice cathedral is swarming with locals selling their wares. I made the mistake of buying something from a tired little girl, and we were swarmed for the rest of the day. We got so tired of saying, "No, gracias." And when I got back home, I wasn't sure what to do with the "chicken" potholder I bought. Oh, well. I think the little girl appreciated the money.