Sunday 8 February 2015

Guatemala: Antigua

Day 11

An early start today as some of us headed off for a 6am volcano hike!

Antigua’s natural scenery is meant to be some of the most beautiful in the world – with high mountain peaks and deep valleys with lust greenery everywhere.

I wish I could confirm. However the weather had a crazy sense of humor and we hiked through clouds, barely seeing 5m in front of us.

When we reached the top, rather than stunning views, we had gale force winds! You could barely stand up before you got blown over!

We clambered over ash and lava, battling the elements!

Our reward was marshmallows melted from the volcano itself!

After our morning snack, we hiked along the side of the volcano, trying to stay upright as the ground crumbled and gave way below us – it was a proper workout!

Delighted with our achievement we reached the bottom – even breaking into a run at the end!

Arriving back into Antigua city we showered to warm up before heading out for lunch.

A few of us girls went to a Lonely Planet recommended place – Sabe Rico.
  Tiste - a combination of cacao, achiote and cinnamon

Definitely worth a visit to their gorgeous garden restaurant.

We sat in the sunshine and devoured their delicious sandwiches. I shared a rabbit stew sandwich and beef sandwich.

"Rabbit stew sandwich: organic rabbit stew seasoned with herbs and wine, Dijon mustard dressing and cheese" & "Roast beef sandwich: homemade wine infused roast beef, seasoned with three mustard dressing, cheese, lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, tomato and avocado"

After refueling, some of us met for a local cooking class.  We went to the friendly ‘Frijol Feliz’ (literally ‘The Happy Bean’).

There we were set to work on creating a feast!

It was great because we also made some of the foods from our San Juan village lunch:

And had quite a giggle in the process...
Pepián – a stew made from multiple flavours. This flavor-layering is achieved through roasting each ingredients to bring out their full taste. We roasted elements such as tomatoes, seeds, chilies, onion and garlic to form the sauce. This stew is traditionally served at wedding, birthdays or other special events. We made two versions – one with chicken and one with extra vegetables.

Chuchitos, a type of tamale, where a firm corn masa (paste-like) filling was mixed with chaya and then steamed in corn husks.

Tortillas – corn based tortillas

Guacomole – fresh and ripe local avocados plus onions, lime, salt and oregano.

Traditional Guatemalan rice – prepared with carrots and bell peppers

Then for dessert we made “Molletes Rellenos” – made using a Guatemalan sweet bread, filled with manjar (custard) , covered in a meringue, deep fried and then soaked in a sweet syrup. They are traditionally eaten during religious holidays such as Easter and Lent.

Erynk doesn't look convinced...
Check out the fruits of our labour!

We settled down for a big feast of our foods! 

The stew, rice and guacamole were delicious. I wasn’t really keen on the chuchitos – it’s a strange texture, kind of like eating a rubbery cold paste! 

The dessert was also very soggy – I think without the syrup sauce soaking would have been better.

And then hurried off to join the rest of our group for a second dinner... we stuck just to dessert! So healthy…!

Then a little dancing to work off our indulgent evening.

Guess I missed the 'stripes' memo...

Central America

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