“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” St. Augustine
Monday in Corinto, Nicaragua, we took the Colonial Leon: History & Arts excursion. We saw a beautiful cathedral and the city of Leon’s international cultural center. Our tour guide described the history of each major building in the city, the cultural impact of Nicaraguan poet, Rubén Darío (1867 – 1916), the political history of the city, and about the lives of the general population. She was one of the most informative tour guides we’ve had on any of our trips.
In the evening, we enjoyed listening to Derek Floyd, a Grammy nominated singer, sing hits from Lionel Richie.
The Tuesday excursion in Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala was called Panoramic Antigua.
The long bus ride took us to the outskirts of the city. Tourists transferred from the large bus to a couple of smaller buses that could easily navigate over the narrow cobblestone streets. On the ride, we saw the results of volcanic eruptions. Many workers were busy trying to restore the devastated parts of the area.
Our tour guide told us that when he and his family were eating at a beautiful golf course restaurant a few years ago, he saw a problem. He told his family that the restaurant was in a direct line of a possible volcano lava flow. He was right. When the volcano erupted, the restaurant and golf course were totally destroyed by the lava flow. I wondered why the owners of the golf resort didn’t consider that possibility before building it there. The most important consideration in starting a business is location, location, location. There are about thirty-seven volcanoes in Guatemala. Some are dormant, but three are active.
In 1773, an earthquake caused a water-filled cavern to erupt. The city of Antigua suffered a horrendous tsunami killing 500 to 600 people. About another 600 died of starvation and disease in the aftermath. I’m so grateful that we live in a place that doesn’t experience such harsh natural disasters.
On our return trip, we stopped at the town square where vendors hawked their cultural handicrafts to us. We also visited the jade factory where we could see craftsmen and craftswomen working on beautiful jade jewelry, pictures, art work, as well as jade golf tees. Roger is a golfer, but we opted not to purchase the $60 jade golf tee. It was great to get back to the ship where our group of six won the afternoon Team Trivia Challenge. One member of our group was an 87-year-old gentleman who got married this past spring. His adorable wife looked at him with love in her eyes.
In Huatulco, Oaxaca on Wednesday, our fun-filled excursion was on a 35-foot sail boat.
Going out into the ocean, the crew operated the boat’s motor so we could travel along the shore of a secluded cove where we saw a fascinating blowhole. The trip was a bit rocky, but fun. When we stopped, some of the passengers, including my husband, Roger, went swimming. I chose to stay on board to socialize with the other passengers. When they returned from swimming, the crew treated us to alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and tasty meat and cheese snacks. The crew raised the main sail for smooth sailing back to shore.