Day 1, Central America trip, Dec 2012
Guatemala city, Guatemala Day 1
I don’t know what it is with airlines company nowadays but it seem that none of them ever depart nor arrive on schedule. I experienced about an hour delay from each of my legs, Guatemala city bound. I departed San Francisco on Monday night at 9pm Miami bound so the airport was almost death from the absence of passengers. However, when it comes to boarding time, the crew told us that the flight was fully booked and even enforced baggage restriction. AA allowed only 1 checked-in bag so I ended up paying an extra $40 USD for the 2nd piece of luggage-the medicine supply donation box.
Then my lay over in Miami was another hour of pain in the asset delay since it was another full flight. Good things I reserved seats for all my flights, both out bound and in bound months in advance through seat guru. It also helped that I checked-in in San Francisco 4 hours in advance. Otherwise, I don’t know if I could even made the flight. I was determined to go to Central America so my advance preparation definitely paid off.
Outside view from the walk way when exiting the airplane upon my arrival in Guate
Honestly, by the time I finally got to Guatemala city, my bum is so numb that I just wanted to go to Antigua (about an hour from Guatemala city) so I can check in the hotel and rest. But I can’t do that yet. I need to make a stop at Safe Passage, an NGO to drop off some school supplies while I’m still in Guatemala city. I do not want to backtrack at all.
Walk way toward custom-immigration.
Guatemala city and it’s airport is a lot more clean, modern and huge compared to what I’ve envisioned to be….due to all the materials I’ve been reading on.
Once I walk to the end of the above path, picking up my luggage was within 10 minutes. Things seems to be pretty efficient and very Americanized. However, the airport staff such as the police/security didn’t speak much English. My primal, word or two of Spanish knowledge let me pick up the world: luggage in Spanish. Picked it up, went through custom, had it stamped, shown the custom form that was handed out before arrival. It was a breeze. I was out of the airport within half an hour.
So far so good! And that’s my initial encounter with the country of Guatemala.