After the Pecaya climb on Saturday I was in much need of a day of relaxation. Two other volunteers, Diane and Michelle, and I headed to the right place for this on Sunday morning…the macadamia nut farm, Valhalla.
To get to the farm, we rode the chicken bus. After being in Guatemala for five weeks and almost getting ran over by several, I could not believe that I was finally taking my first chicken bus ride. It was not all that different from riding any American school bus except they were ridiculously decorated and came straight out of the 1970s. Despite our tackily designed aging bus, we made it to the farm.
This farm was just what we all needed. It was a small little paradise ran by a crazy old man and his wife. Once we entered, I was immediately taken in by the beauty. We were offered macadamia nuts and chocolates with the nuts in them. Then we got a very short tour by the owner who used to live in the US. He pretty much just babbled on about all the US’s conspiracy theories against him, but I was too amazed by the surroundings to care. He also quickly showed us how the nuts are harvested, and then went on his way.
Next, we were all given a short free facial massage using Macadamia nut oils. It felt incredible.
We headed towards the restaurant, which were pretty much just some tables outside surrounded by the macadamia nut trees. Apparently they cook in this old trailer that looked like it was a thousand years old.
Without having to think about it, all three of us ordered the pancakes with macadamia nut butter and didn’t regret it for a second. They were delicious!
After our scrumptious brunch, we explored the surroundings a little bit more, having fun on the swings and in the hammocks. We all agreed this place was one of the most beautiful we’ve seen thus far in our travels.
It was hard to pull ourselves away from the peacefulness of the farm, but we managed to hop on another chicken bus and made our way to the small pueblo of San Antonio. One of the interns, Moli, had recommended I stop here at some point but warned me it would be hard to walk away from the artesian market empty handed.
Moli was most certainly right. As soon as I walked in to the indoor market, I instantly saw woman working at the looms to weave beautiful bags, scarves, tablecloths, etc for their shops. I started talking with one of the women while she was weaving.
Next thing I know, I’m dressed head to toe in traditional Mayan clothing. Don’t laugh when you look at this picture. Okay, maybe you can laugh a little bit. Here’s how I look dressed as a traditional Mayan.
Next I headed upstairs and struck up a conversation with a woman named Anna. We spoke for about 30 minutes, all in Spanish, which definitely made me feel more confident in my conversational abilities in another language. All the woman here was nice and friendly, but Anna was especially welcoming. Here is a picture of the two of us.
Upstairs, next to all the vendors, there was this small one room museum. It had typical clothing that Mayan women where in all different parts of Guatemala. It was small but quite interesting and worth a look.
I did not walk away empty handed, but instead ended up buying a small purse, a table runner, a worry doll, and a scarf.
I then went to their adorable Parque Central to capture a few more shots of this small town.
Then is was back on the chicken bus to Antigua where we all sat three to a seat with no windows down because it was pouring rain by this point. I had a woman practically sitting on my lap and a child sitting on her lap. Again, Guatemala is not so up to date on those safety laws. The bus ride back was uncomfortable to say the least, but most definitely worth it.
These days in Guatemala have been amazing. I can’t believe I have such a short time left!
“Easy Like Sunday Morning” -Commadores