I heard Carrie’s alarm going off for about fifteen minutes so finally I dragged myself out of bed, gathered my shower items and clothes and stumbled into el bano. After a nice hot (finally) shower I nudged Carrie, “Wake up! The shuttle is coming within the hour.” Groggily, she replied,”what time is it?” It is 7:15 a.m., I said, as her hand swept the floor looking for her phone. “No it isn’t! It’s only 5:15 a.m.!”, she exclaimed. Oops! Her phone alarm woke us up at the right time….if we were catching a shuttle in New York!
Three hours later our shuttle arrived at our hotel, Hotel Casa Cristina. We took what we thought were the last two seats and off we went….slowly. In a few minutes we stopped and picked up two more passengers who sat on seats that folded down from the arms of the first two rows of the van. Next, our driver pulled into a gas station, but just sat there….for five minutes! No gas-getting occurred, even though pumps were available. After that we stopped in front of a travel agency while our driver had a chat, then another gas station (where we did get gas). Finally, we were on our way to Monterrico, a pacific coast beach town about 2 1/2 horas from Antigua.
Monterrico is a quaint little town on a gorgeous black sand beach. We heard it is quite popular on the weekends, but during the week, like on a Tuesday when we went, it was pretty dead…in a calm and relaxing way. We had the whole beach to ourselves. The water is very warm, but unfortunately the surf is muy fuerte (very strong) and it isn’t safe to go in more than up to your waist.
Like in Antigua, there were dogs everywhere. One little perro attached himself to us in exchange for some Doritos. I wanted to stuff him in my backpack and buy him a hamburguesa, but I knew it wouldn’t have really made a difference.
Because the beach is a black sand beach, the sand is scorchingly hot! Carrie nearly got third degree burns dashing over to the beach shower without flipflops. Unfortunately, I missed catching a funny pic of her “hot footing” it! I also, somehow, had my back turned when she was sitting at the water’s edge, got pummeled by an oncoming errant wave, and lost the third pair of glasses in as many days!
After about an hour on the beach we went searching for piña colados, without luck. No problemo, though! We were able to go to the mercado and bought a bottle of Bacardi piña colado and some ice made from agua pura . Carrie talked the cashier into giving us two cups and we were back on the beach, drinks in hand, in no time!
We had to meet the shuttle at 4:00 p.m. at restaurant Calle Real so we headed there around 3:00. We had stopped there for lunch on arrival and the waitress was so sweet. We bought two cervezas for Q8 each (about $1 each) and used la sanatoria. For some reason, there was no seat on the toilet.
All in all it was a relaxing, beautiful day with our toes in the sand. Well worth the 5 hour roundtrip from Antigua, but I would recommend spending at least one night.
Audrey and Carrie – two amigas looking forward to the journey to Chichi tomorrow and our first ride on a chicken bus!