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Life is either a great adventure or nothing. ~Helen Keller

The first trip of the year goes to Maya country, Guatemala.

A beautiful country and undeniable a lot to see if you are interested in culture and history. And for a coffee addict as me it is the place to visit. Unfortunately I am just there for 8 days and will not have time to see that much, I don’t rush around when traveling I take the days as they come.
Of course I will make a stop in Mexico for a day, last year I found a restaurant serving a traditional Swedish dish, Pyttipanna, “put-in-a-pan”. Originally just left overs, but with time it became a dish of its own. It tasted almost as it does in Sweden although one key ingredient were missing so I figure I drop that off before I continue on my new adventures.

What is there to say about Guatemala? (Mom, you can stop reading now).
Some of my friends, they don’t say it flat out, but to judge from their look, think I finally done it. Crossed that border between adventurous to idiot. As they see it, or rather read the news, Mexico is violent enough, now I manage to find an even more violent country to visit. And my boss is a bit worried, probably not that concerned about my personal safety, but to loose a key member of her team.
How bad can it really be? Let’s see what the Swedish embassy [Link to Swedish] have to say about:

  • Pay attention to your surroundings
  • Avoid exposing jewelery and valuables
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash
  • Be mentally prepared for the risk of thefts and robbery
  • Don’t loose your passport

I don’t know, so far it’s pretty standard stuff. But then they go on with places to avoid:

  • In Guatemala City avoid zones 1, 2, 3, 4 etc. counting all 30 zones except 9, 10, 14 and 15. But they have a note to it, even zones 9, 10, 14 and 15 is no longer considered safe.
  • Avoid going to Antigua
  • Avoid Petén
  • Avoid Tikal
  • Avoid Lake Atitlán
  • Avoid climbing Volcanoes
  • Avoid swimming in the Pacific Ocean
  • Avoid driving
  • Avoid local buses
  • Avoid taxis

What is left to do? In short what they say is – Stay at your hotel room, but only if you have a safe. Preferably hide under the bed.

The usual holiday traveler looking for sun and bath would probably choose an other destination. All my trips usually turns in to adventures anyway so I say…

Bring it on, challenge accepted!

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  1. Gordon commented

    Let ignorant people avoid Guatemala. I don’t want them here anyway. I love Guatemala and moved from rich California to La Antigua. Never had a problem and safe like any normal city. I avoid bad areas. Los Angeles has many dangerous areas but does that mean you should avoid LA? Stupid mentality.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:06 pm

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