Sunday, May 31, 2015

Lake Atítlan

After the volcano hike, I packed up my hiking shoes, some purchased souvenirs and clothes that I hadn't worn the whole first month and shipped them back to the U.S.  It definitely lightened my load though I still seemed to have very full bags. 

I used the Guatemalan post office and it was about $100 - all in small denomination stamps that covered at least one side of the box :). And, since I'm writing this so late, I can tell you it arrived exactly on time and undamaged!
(the big one on the floor)

I then waited and waited for a shuttle that finally came and I was off to the lake. For some towns on the lake, the only way there is via boat. So I was dropped at the dock in one of the bigger towns and headed down to catch a little "ferry". They only run during daylight, so your dinner options were limited. I had three choices, my hostel, the one next door or the local lady down the street. She was the cheapest of course, but not much variety - a little meat, rice and beans. I did that one night and ate at my hostel the rest. It was a nice, communal dinner that you reserved by 3pm that day. A couple nights the staff hosted some activities like wine and cheese night, open mic (without an actual mic), trivia night (we won!) and a group BBQ. It was fun to meet all the other travelers and hear about what they were doing. I met some interesting people and even ran into one of my Volcano hiker buddies again!

One night, going to play pool after dinner, I stepped into the dark room and felt something like a pine needle jab into my foot. Ow! Turn on the lights and it was a scorpion. A scorpion!! I've never seen one in nature before. It was like slow motion. Aren't those poisonous? Can't they kill you? Oh my god. One guy stabbed it with a dart in case we needed it for identification while another girl ran to tell the staff. Apparently the Guatemalan scorpions are more like bee stings and not super harmful. I was still nervous but the pain did wear off and I woke up the next morning :). My mom is just finding out about that one as she reads this now.....sorry ;). 

I spent one morning kayaking with a guide. There are some neat houses and hotels along the waterfront. He gave me a little history and of course there's a legend about a lake monster :). He also got me to jump in off a rock. I only went about half as high as he did (and wanted me to go) but even that took me a while to work up the courage to jump. It was a fun day. 

There was a trail to hike to the next town over (otherwise you have to take the boat) and I visited there twice. They had a bar on the water that also had a pool. They had amazing fish tacos and I got to practice some Spanish with the bartender. I just needed to be sober enough for the walk home and not to fall off the cliff ;). No worries, I was fine, lol. 

I also visited a couple other local towns, one to check out the market and another to see local artists' products. I ended up buying a very colorful picture of birds. The lady who sold it to me was also a Lina and her husband was the artist. I didn't have enough cash, so her daughters escorted me to the ATM and back so she could stay with her little one and they were sure to get the sale ;).  

The lake is super relaxing and a must see if you're ever in Guatemala. I stayed at the Iguana Perdida and highly recommend it. 

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