Antigua, Guatemala part 3

Getting completely lost in this place we spent days just exploring.
On the Sunday we joined the locals by walking up to the view point of the city.
It felt like one million and one steps but so worth it when we got to the top.

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We were so lucky that it was a clear day and you could see right over to the volcano.

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We really did love Antigua, but it is time to move on…

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Antigua, Guatemala Part 2

After the driver forgetting to pick us up for the volcano trek we re-booked for 7am. As I mentioned previously, Antigua isn’t the warmest place so it was a shock to the system!

Joe and I pulled out our hiking boots and got ready for a day of trekking!

Check out this landscape…

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The trek took us from the bottom of the volcano up halfway and then around the back. The previous days trek had proven getting to the top was too difficult as it was thick in smoke. Our guide decided to take us around the back and toward a new crater that had developed and had recently released a stream of lava.
The landscape went from green trees and bushes to black ash within seconds.

The ash was so difficult to walk on and the wind picked up and was blowing down the side of the volcano… We nearly lost a few!

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As we got close the the lava it started heating up.

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Made our way back with our group

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On our way back we found a little pub to have some dinner in. Who would have thought we would have found this in Guatemala?!

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And we had a few of these…

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Antigua, Guatemala

Disappearing into the abstract countryside of Guatemala we came across a city called Antigua. It’s fairly far into the country and surrounded by 3 volcanos, one if which is still active. However this made Antigua bloody cold!
The feel of the city was very colonial, bright and beautiful.

We arrived at 7am from the overnight bus and killed some time by wondering around the beautiful city and going to the local market.

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The variety of the fruit and vegetables are unbelievable and everything seems 10 times the size of our fruit at home!
We walked through the bus station. In Guatemala they use old American school buses as public buses. Drivers “pimp” their buses so they are all different. Most are covered in bright graffiti, with names on the front, and LED lights everywhere. They are so loud and have funny musical horns.

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Pretty much fell in love with the city as soon as we arrived. Found ourselves looking to do some activities for the next few days. Antigua has a lot to offer in the way of tours and sightseeing. So we booked to go on a 3 hour trek to volcano pacaya. Talking to several people we were told you would trek to the top and roast marsh-mellows.
Now, I will let you into a small secret that absolutely nothing runs on time in Guatemala…
The tour was booked for 1pm, after sitting in 25 degrees with 7 layers on and walking boots for an hour and a half we discovered the bus had forgotten to pick us up.

So, change of costume and off we went to hire some bikes to explore the town in greater detail.
The chap we rented bikes off gave us a very vague map and told us that the route was 30km all the way around the city.

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It was so refreshing. But of course… We got lost!

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We asked a few of the locals and they said to keep heading straight. After about an hour we found ourselves in Guatemalan shanty town.
All the corner shops would serve through metal bars and we got stared at an awful lot. Hence there not being any pictures of this area!
Luckily after a mild panic attack and bumping into the very few friendly locals we found ourself back on the highway to the safer end of town!
After the shock, a brew was in order.

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More adventures in Antigua to come.

Flores, Guatemala

Wow, Guatemala is going to be a big one so I’m going to break it down into sections!

We left Belize at some sort of ridiculous time in the morning with a group of Irish and Canadian girls we had met, of course Joe loved being the only boy! Boat to Belize City and then an 8 hour bus journey to Flores in Guatemala. We chose this as our first destination as it is a complete contrast to where we had just come from in Belize.

Flores is situated in the north of Guatemala and is a small island on lake Péten Itza.
The view was remarkable.

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There was severe flooding on the island just before we arrived. But it appeared that it was a common problem.
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The island took just an hour to walk all the way around, it was vibrant with colour and beautifully decorated. The stores were full of Guatemalan arts and crafts.
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The evening of our arrival we were welcomed by fireworks, a street party and a parade… I would like to say it was for us but it was the final night of the “Black Christ” festival. It had been going on for over a week and people came from all over Central America to celebrate it on the island.
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Fire crackers and fireworks were let off in the street which caused crazy amount of smoke.
And the parade followed closely behind with a statue of The Black Christ.

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The next day we took a tour to the famous Tikal ruins, again from the Mayans. The best time to see the ruins and wildlife is early in the morning. So we set out at 4am!
Jaguars are rumoured to rule these ruins… Unfortunately we didn’t catch any. But we saw toucans, spider monkeys, howling monkeys and a tarantula (yuk).

The ruins were even more impressive than the ruins in Chichen Itza in Mexico.

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We spent a day wondering the streets of this Guatemalan gem and sampled some of their famous coffee… And of course beer.a href=”https://abbfabulous.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/20140209-202504.jpg”>20140209-202504.jpg20140209-201734.jpg20140209-201811.jpg20140209-201825.jpg20140209-201748.jpg20140209-201955.jpg20140209-202020.jpg

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On to Antigua…. Until next time!

Belize

Overnight bus to Belize City did the job as it was a 9 hour journey. Left at 1am, hit the Mexican border at 4am and the Belize boarder at 4.30am. It was an experience to say the least! And they are certainly not short of guns in this part of the world.

Upon arrival into Belize City we got absolutely mobbed by taxi drivers, tour guides and salesmen. To the point I was using my handbag as a weapon!

Luckily we befriended a chap from Chile who is a Rastafarian and whilst walking with him we didn’t get harassed at all! Bonus!

Wondering through Belize City, it was nothing like I imagined.

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There is a huge Caribbean influence on the country and a lot of American retirement homes. The contrast from house to house was unbelievable. There would be a huge mansion next to a shanty town.
There is also still a huge British influence as Belize only gained full independence in 1981! So there was no need for our spanish as everyone spoke English!

Anyway enough with the history and on with the planning…

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As we sat in the dock and read up on where we wanted to go, Caye caulker kept popping up so on the boat we went.

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As we arrived it was pretty glum but perfect when your loaded with bags and looking for accommodation.

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Our new rasta friend took us across the island to this hostel… It was a little more up his street than ours!

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But it was perfect for a few days, we had our own little hut complete with geckos!

We spent the first 2 days mooching around, eating and drinking.

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And a spot of sunbathing and sunsetting

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Even took a canoe out and watched the sunset. Joe, myself and our Dutch friend.

We took a boat out to the reef on the third day and went to 4 snorkelling spots.
First was shark and ray alley which was where there were sting rays up to 4 foot (scary as hell) and brown nurse sharks that were 5 foot long (petrifying!!!)
The second was where a 100 year old turtle lived and some more giant rays. The turtle was old and blind and bit one of the ladies on our tour!
Third was very shallow reef with alsorts of fish. Rainbow parrot fish, butterfly fish, puffa fish, damsel fish etc. We also saw a moray eel which was HUGE! And was hiding from 4 sharks.
Forth was a ship that sunk in the war and had fish living in the wreck.

Unfortunately no photos as we forgot both cameras….

Anyway, some more arty farty from Joe.

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All in all, Belize was incredible and was a little taster to the Caribbean Coast. We learned a lot about Rastafarian culture from Rodary Rasta and then watched him get arrested for smoking pot.

On to the next!

Tulum, Mexico

Good morning/afternoon/evening depending on where you are in the world!

Upon arrival into Tulum there was finally some sun!!! However our arrival was probably the most chaotic so far.
We had been recommended to stay in Big Moma’s Home in Tulum which sounded fun and we booked it online a few days before aririval. Turned up around 6 with our rucksacks and decided to walk from bus to hostel.
Big Mama had no clue we were coming and I’m pretty sure she didn’t know how to use the internet! She called us a taxi and bundled us off to another hostel that she owned…. Turned out to be horrendous!
Seeing as it was late and we were tired we just went with it. When we woke up to glorious sunshine the horrendous hostel seemed to get better. We got given breakfast (which obviously made me very happy!) and free bikes to go riding around. We shortly discovered Tulum was STUNNING!

What more could we ask for?

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2 for 1 Capariñhas and books on the sand.

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In the evening watched a local band and turned some street food… Delicious!

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The next day we met some people from holland and went cave snorkelling in the Cenotés . The Cenoté was full of stalactites and stalagmites, which are the rock formation in the caves like long fingers poking up from the bottom and pointing down from the top.
This cave was crazy as it was very low and you had to swim with your hand on top of your head the whole time to make sure you didn’t bang the rock formations.
We dove in 3 different caves including one called bat cave… Pretty scary!

(Joe has filmed it all on his GoPro)

Back to the beach for a few cocktails and Joe played football with the locals.

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Then watch the sun set with our new Dutch friends

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Had a few drinks at the hostel with Marcell who we met in Isla Mujeres.

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All packed up and onto Belize! Wish us Luck!

Isla Mujeres, Mexico

From cancun we took a ferry over to Isla Mujeres which is known as the best beach in Mexico. It is a tiny island that took us 10 minutes to walk from one side to the other!
I’m not one to complain about the weather but it absolutely sheeted down with rain from the minute we got there to the time we left… No beach for us!
However, Joe did some arty farty pictures…

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And we used the time to catch up on our food and drinking habits.

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First day we sipped on sol and munched on BBQ king prawns and lots of guacamole

Luckily on the second day of being on the island we found ourself in a little reggae bar sipping on sol watching the rain pour down

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And our friend CJ walked past….

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This led to us drinking excessive amounts of tequila and partying on the beach…

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Oh how I love Mexico!

Next we are on to Tulum (said tulooooom which I discovered after some embarrassing incidents), let’s hope for better weather!

Nigellas nifty nik naks!

Nigella lawson line of kitchenware has stolen my heart. Much to my boyfriends disgust I have kitted out our kitchen with Nigellas utensils! The cappacino cups and saucers are my favourite. Perfect for when mother or mother-in-law comes round for a coffee and a catch up!

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The other favourite is the mini salt and pepper “piglets”

Have a look at the range… It’s too cute to resist!

Paisley is back…

Paisley print always reminds me of my Grandmother. But its back with vengeance. The high street have bought out some stunning tops around to be matched up with some electric blue jeans.

Jill Sander has a cute paisley top on Net-A-Porter but at £200 I would stick to Mango  or Warehouse. From tops ranging from £30 to £55.

I think this is going to be sticking around for spring and even though its loud its easy to wear with neons or pastels. Remodel your Granny’s favourite print!

Spring clean!

So, sorry i have neglected you for a few months! been busy with new jobs etc!
Now we have hit spring all these colours and patterns have fallen into my life! we have pastels, floral, neutrals, neons… i could go on and on!
These are a few must haves i have spotted to put a “spring” in your step!

This super cute, supersoft silk shirt from Riess would go perfect with some pastel blue jeans for a smart spring look. Matched with some cute heels from LK Bennett.