BootsnAll Travel Network

Renewal at Lake Atitlan

I am dirty, grimey, tired, sore, and I’m loving it. I just enjoyed a huge serving of Indian food for just over $3. Fabulous soup, wheat bread, salad, rice, steamed veggies, mashed potatoes and a small glass of fresh lemonade. My body needed it. All the starch and the veggies. Because once again, my stomach was afflicted with the “Rejection” bug for most of the morning today.

Great, great hike. Beautiful weather all 3 days. Saturday’s highlight was cramming into a small sauna sweat lodge and dousing myself with cold and warm water. Sunday was a chicken feast at “Don Pedro’s” home. And today was a swim in the lake after all that hiking. I am definitely tired. Decided not to go back to Xela today. If I did, then I would have signed up for the full moon hike up Santa Maria for tomorrow evening. But my body needs a rest. And what better place than at Lake Atitlan?

Tonight I am in San Pedro. I fit in perfectly well here, because I am so dirty and have little money. Many of the gringos and foreigners here come here for the Spanish schools, the cheap food, cheap booze, cheap accomodation and because you can be unshaven, unclean and not have showered for a few days. I fit that description, so I guess this must be my place. A few months back I paid $9 to store my backpack at the Amtrak Union Station in Chicago for 5 hours. Here, for $2, I have a basic room with a bed and a door for my overnight rest. For $5 more, I could have upgraded to a more luxurious dormitory at another place, “Hotel Mikaso,” right on the lake with a rooftop terrace overlooking the whole area. But I need my $5 to treat myself to a good old American breakfast tomorrow — at a Thai restaurant. After breakfast, the plan is to take the lancha (small motorboat) across the lake to San Marcos, the spiritual and yoga capital for this area. But with the full moon on tap for
tomorrow, I’m a little worried about getting a room, since many month long workshops and such begin according to the lunar calendar. Maybe next time I’m down here I can try that out.

Woke up this morning at 4:10, where we packed up our bags and started hiking on the road at 4:40 under a setting moon (is that the right word? set??) and as the stars faded away to reveal the beginnings of dawn. We made our way to a viewpoint, where we had hot tea and started cooking oatmeal. And waited for the sun to climb over the peaks and fill the sky with light. Our view was over the lake just above San Juan Laguna, and after we had our fill of breakfast and the warmth of the sun, we hiked over to another viewpoint, and then down down down to San Juan. Many in our group developed blisters and hot spots on their feet. Fortunately I came away unscathed, except for sore leg muscles and shoulders. But I am definitely tired. And need to get back my step in time for next weekend, as Markus, Kirk and I plan to get to Tikal in one day/night, and then hire a local guide to get us to the El Mirador ruins. That’s the plan anyways.

And my plan is to bid y’all a good night. Check my page tomorrow, as I’ll have some pics of my favorite subject, FOOD, from prior weeks in Xela. Time to go relax now, although the food and accomodations are cheap, internet is expensive!!


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