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Peter and Terry's Adventures
27th Feb 2014 - 4th Mar 2014
A Picnic at the Finca

Every year the owners of Finca El Zapote open the estate to the public.  The event is a family oriented picnic that benefits the Museo Ixchel in Guatemala city.  The museum houses a huge collection of Maya textiles and historical artifacts.

The estate is located some seven kilometers from the main road between Antigua and Esquintla, on the lower slopes of Volcan Fuego.  But what a seven kilometers.  Mostly a bumpy dirt track and sometimes just one lane.  The exciting part of the drive is that you ford four rivers (that means through the water, not over a bridge!!).  This also means that during the rainy season the rivers are too deep to cross and the area is only accessible by helicopter. Nevertheless, well over a hundred cars had made the trip, each fully loaded. 

Five of us headed off from Antigua in Marianne's car (a 4 wheel drive Ford Escape) with picnic supplies and rugs to sit on, and arrived at the finca about an hour later.  The rivers were lower than other years, and we forded them with no problems. We carried the supplies to one shady area, but then realized that the sun was going to claim the space, and moved.  Other friends joined us at the Finca and our party grew to 12 people, and the spread of food was substantial.  We visited, ate and wandered the grounds.  The finca grows cinchona trees whose bark is used to make quinine for prevention and treatment of malaria.  The grounds open to the public comprise about 30 acres, and include gardens, four lakes and a swimming hole.  Hundreds of people claimed picnic sites under the shade of the trees and there was still room for more!  We left in the mid-afternoon to avoid the exit rush.

For more information about the finca, visit their site here.

Next: April to Arthur
Previous: A Break from the Break

Diary Photos

Fording the stream

The Picnic Spread

Our picnic site

The Swimming Hole

Last river to cross

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