Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Super Yummy Mexican Food in Panajachel

Craving Mexican food while in Guatemala? Well, in Pana my fave place for Mexican (aside from torta carts!) is Restaurante Mexicano la Michoacana. Granted, I don't eat out much so perhaps there are better places, but for someone with my limited budget, this restaurant hits the spot! 
I took this picture last year but I don't think the front has changed too much.
Just look for the large plants blocking the entrance! 😆
I've submitted their location to Google Maps but here is a big red X until they can add it.
chalupas de pollo Michoacana
Chalupas de Pollo. Delicious! I think they were Q25.
I ordered the Chalupas de Pollo, mostly because I'd never had them before and the combination of ingredients intrigued me. The menu has both Spanish and English but only lists what is in the dish, not how it is put together. So tostadas, beans, chicken, lettuce, queso fresco, sour cream, vegetables.... how many different delicious ways can that be put together? This was a filling and yummy meal that I would definitely order again.
Chimichanga de Pollo. Sorry for the blurriness. The restaurant has moody lighting, i.e. one light bulb and a skylight. :D
Bert had the chimichanga de pollo, which he's enjoyed here before. It's basically a deep-fried burrito. He loves them! It was Q30.
I am intrigued by Quesadilla Vampiro!
They've gone all out with the weird Mexican decor, which I imagine is not anything like real Mexican decor, but what are ya gonna do when you're in Guatemala?
Their menu is quite extensive and includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner, although I don't think they're open too late. It seems to me that this restaurant is really just the front room of the owner's house! It can be a bit noisy with the chicken buses going by on the street but I would still highly recommend it for good, cheap eats. Buen provecho!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Tienda Junk Food

I find the most hilarious things in tiendas (corner stores). I buy stuff either cuz it made me giggle or I'm curious about the taste.

Yesterday's adventure in junk food is pictured below.
The best/worst junk food ever!
Starting from the left: Let's Be Cappuccino! I've had these before and had to share a picture of it. I've only found them in this one tienda and there are several flavours. What cracks me up about these is that they're Russian! Yep, Russian. This one tasted like Sugar Crisp, the cereal. Very strange!

The middle thing made me LOL in the store. Uh, so not politically correct! It's called Negrito Mix. (Little black mix.) It's a white cake with chocolate icing and chocolate filling, as depicted on the front by a white kid with a black afro. WTF??? Ha ha! It tasted horrible. Will not buy again.

The last treat was for Bert. They are (in English) "mini crazy gummies little penguins". The penguin is saying "I believe I am bipolar." Ha! They are actually shaped like little penguins, black and white, and they are flavoured with blueberry. Yummy!

For an adventurous eater like myself, Guatemala is like shopping in the import aisle every day.  😋

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Amazing Volcanoes of Guatemala

Revue Magazine (REVUEmag.com) is an English language magazine in Guatemala that publishes free paper copies of their magazine as well as a vast array of online articles. They promote "the best of Guatemala through articles on travel, food, culture, people, business, health, and community service." I follow them on Facebook and enjoy their monthly photo contests immensely.

September's contest has been exceptionally jaw-droppingly AWESOME because the theme is "Volcanoes of Guatemala"

Click here to see the amazing volcano photo submissions!

Here is just one photo that shows the beauty and power of Volcán Fuego near Antigua, Guatemala.
Volcán volcano Fuego Antigua Guatemala
Photo by Rafael Bautista Fotographía
I'm sorry if the link to the contest goes "dead" later. I'm not sure how long they keep the photos active after the contest ends. Enjoy it while you can!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Unexpected Power Outage Day

I have had people ask me about power outages here. Yes, they happen, and they happen far too often for my liking. But that's cuz I work online. I need POWER!
People have suggested that I go work in a hotel or coffee shop that has power and free WiFi. Can't do that, unfortunately, as I don't work on a laptop. I work on a big ol' PC that I brought with me from Canada. (It's kinda tough to type fast on those little laptop keyboards, all hunched over looking down at the screen on the table.)

Anyhoo, I was merrily typing away this morning when POOF -- no power. As I always do, I sit and wait for a minute to see if it's just a hiccup. Nope. No power. I didn't have saldo (minutes) on my phone, so I headed off to the bank machine to get money to get minutes to text my boss back in the States about why I suddenly disappeared in the middle of a job.

Well, down at El Amate street, it was very apparent why I had no power. There were dudes in blue helmets all over the place, tearing down the power lines and replacing the poles. *sigh* "That doesn't look like it's gonna be done anytime soon," I thought.
Yep, that's how they roll here in Guate. Just climb on up. It's fine. Perfectly safe.
This is the next pole that they were going to replace. A tangled nest of wires!
More problems arose as the bank machines were offline due to the power being off. Luckily, I ran into Bert coming back from the hardware store and used his phone to text my boss. He headed back off to work...but didn't last long as there was no power there either!

It was another gorgeous day out, sunny and hot, so I took my time wandering around town enjoying the scenery and trying not to fret too much about all the money I wasn't making.

A different view of the market, from up top in the nearby "mall", Plaza Asis.
Chatted with a friend at the market, bought some bananas and tiny peaches, and stopped into the 3Q store for random stuff. Went into the muni salon to check on AYUDA, as they were having their monthly spay/neuter clinic there. They had power, so everything was going smoothly. 
This puppy must have had a bad night. She was falling asleep sitting up as she waited her turn.
Dr. Isael of San Martin vet clinic is the amazing vet who works with AYUDA.
Lots of kitties ready for their surgeries!
street dogs Panajachel Guatemala
There is a gang of 9 street dogs that hangs out near the market, rather peacefully, I might add. This is only 7 of them. I had to get the lady in the photo as well to show how normal street dogs are to the local Guatemalans. They don't even look twice. They just walk around.
Back at home, I was kind of at a loss what to do. When the power is out, there is also no running water as it's all pumped in from the cistern. So I couldn't do dishes, or laundry, or mop the floor. I guess that means it's nap time!

After I got my beauty rest, I swept, changed the kitty litters, emptied the garbages. Still no power. *twiddling thumbs* It wasn't until around 4pm that the electricity finally came back on, and I logged on to work to see if I could pick up anything. They were swamped -- Thursdays are busy! -- so I got some work and hammered it out in double time. :)

So as days go, it was unexpected but nice. For those who are thinking to move to Guate, know that these power outages aren't nearly so common in the bigger cities, and they are usually announced ahead of time in the paper or online. I guess I just missed this one. Here in Pana, the power outages are more widespread because of the outdated infrastructure. Everything is connected to everything, so you can't just turn off one small section of power to fix something. I'm lucky that my work is so understanding about these things. If I was in danger of losing my job because of this kinda thing, I would either invest in a power generator, a backup power source, or do what others suggest and get a laptop and head to Mister Jon's. 😁

Bonus kitten pictures! 
When I'm working, the kittens sometimes feel the need to supervise me. Queso is quite dedicated to it. Noodles, he gets a little bored.
Queso making sure my work is up to snuff!
My sweet baby Noodles! I love this kitten so much!!