While I had been planning to be picked up by Carlos at 9 am this morning, to travel back to Guatemala City with him, that never worked out because he found out this morning that the brakes on his car were broken. He called me around 8 am, telling me that he needed to get his brakes fixed, so he couldn't pick me up until tomorrow around noon. However, Luis and his wife Aura knew about a secure bus that I could take directly to Guatemala City, without any stops. After I said goodbye to Luis and his family, and thanked them for their hospitality, Aura and Diana drove me to the bus station located in Río Hondo, which is one town over from Estanzuela.
Bus Station in Río Hondo
I ended up taking a large double-decker bus from Río Hondo back to Guatemala City, which was very comfortable and had a great view of the countryside. Other than a bit of construction on the roads, it was a smooth ride with no problems. At the bus station in Guatemala City, Carlos was waiting to pick me up, so I was able to go with him directly to my hotel in Guatemala City. It is the same hotel that I stayed in for my first night in Guatemala City, located in the Zona Viva district. Since it was pouring rain for most of the afternoon, I did not venture out from my hotel much today except for dinner, and have been napping for most of the time.
For the next few days in Guatemala City, Carlos told me that the Mani+ office is closed for the entire weekend because it is a national holiday in Guatemala. Saturday, June 30 is Army Day in Guatemala, and most businesses here are on vacation for a three-day weekend starting tomorrow on Friday. I am planning to meet with Carlos for breakfast/lunch some time on Saturday, but besides that I am pretty much on my own for the next two days, before I head back to the US on Sunday.
Since I have heard such great things about Antigua, I booked a tour for the city for tomorrow, leaving at 9:30 am and returning at 5 pm. It includes shuttle transport to/from the hotel where I am staying in Guatemala City, which I signed up for because the public shuttle transport is known to be dangerous.
The next few days, I will post some more pictures/updates from my trip around Guatemala City as they happen, and also keep you updated on the laboratory testing for the peanut samples as we sort out those details as well. Goodbye for now, and I'll post again soon.