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Updated:  Sunday, August 16, 2009

The beautiful grounds of Monkey Bay Marina full of unusual plants and bright flowers. This path leads from the docks to the showers.

The entry to the kitchen and Palapa areas at Monkey Bay.

A local policeman we met at one of the historical sites. This is a big area for tourism and there are many places to visit. Besides the local police, we've seen what we believe is national or military forces, a heavy presence of navy, and many security guards who are armed with pump shotguns that have pistol style grips. Some of the local ranchers carry sidearms.

The large bridge that spans the Rio Dulce at Fronteras. It's constantly busy with trucks, and vendors will even set up at the top adding to the congestion.

This hairy red thing is a fruit we've found throughout Central America but we can't remember the name. After breaking the skin open, there is a sweet lychee type fruit inside (maybe it is lychee?), like a peeled grape with a large seed.

A magical place where a volcanic hot spring falls into a cool stream.

A ranch on the way to the hot springs. This is cattle country, but you can hardly find a tender piece of beef. Different processing? Old, tough cows?

A view of the mountains from the Rio Dulce on our way to the hot springs.

Laura posing for Jim in front of a huge la ceiba tree on a hike to the waterfall.

Rows of Chicken Busses at the Market in Antigua waiting to return vendors and buyers to nearby cities. All of these busses are retired school busses from the States. They're everywhere in Central America and decorated almost to distraction.

We were touring the Jade Museum and when the guard was busy, the one with the shotgun, Laura picked up this priceless jade mask to ham it up.

Here's another view of one of the volcanos near Antigua. This street is usually packed with busses and "tuk tuk" taxis-3 wheeled motorcycle type vehicles that normally only 3 people would ride in. Of course, some squeeze in 5 or 6. A tuk tuk ride would cost Q2 (25 cents US).

This is a human skull found in a Mayan tomb. Notice the front teeth with the jade implanted in them. This was done as a sign of wealth while the individual was living. The skull, of course was done after death.

This is the interior 2nd floor court yard of the Antigua hotel. Many of the homes and hotels in Antigua have hidden gardens behind the front doors or walls.

Many religions came to Guatemala to convert the Mayans. This is one of many churches that is in the process of being restored.

This is one of the volcanos just outside Antigua. There are many volcanos, some still active in this part of Guatemala.

Here's one of the local shoe shine boys (about 7 yrs. old) who was determined to polish Jim's shoes. Since most tourists have on tennis shoes, they're persistent when they find anyone wearing real leather. We thought they were ruined, as he covered the natural leather with watered down dye. They didn't look so good for a day or so, but only his sock suffered long term damage.

The steps of the church in Chichicastenanga fill with vendors and churchgoers. Someone performing a ceremony would be right next to a lady selling flowers.

The handicraft market in Chichicastenango certainly doesn't lack color. This confined walkway soon became filled with an almost impassible amount of people. Vendors come here for stock to sell in other cities of Guatemala.

Looking down on the hillside town of San Pedro at Lake Atilan. It's hard to tell from the photo, but the streets are narrow, steep and winding. It was great exercise walking the village, although we took this photo during a tuk tuk tour of the town. The lake itself is huge, edged by many small villages. We only saw 3 or 4 during our stay.

San Pedro, Lake Atilan. The plants in the foreground are coffee bushes. Further down the hill is corn and other crops. Many of the steep hillsides are covered with farmed fields.

Ricky's Pizza - Pizza, lasgna, spagetti, and get your alternator fixed. Ricky left, Fernando right.

Local Rancher / Cowboy and his family. Also notice the lady riding side saddle on the cycle.

Typical veggie market on Main Street.

View of the market stalls lining Main Street.

Watch out Victoria Secrets! Jim looks way too happy! What can we say?

Typical Caribbean meal. Rice, beans, meat, salad - $2.50.

Jim and the armed guard following the cell phone rep as he went from store to store. He was not arresting Jim for lurking around the underwear stand.

Cattle trucks fill the street. Skinny cattle fill the truck.

The sign at Ricky's Pizza - 2nd floor Main Street - where you can hang out at the railing and watch the world go by with a variety of food, libations, and local flavor.

Bargain britches - 60 cents!