Friday, July 20, 2007

last days

The bus from Antigua to Lake Atitlan was quite spectacular as the road passes through the mountains and takes a torturous route with innumerable hairpin bends with a final wriggly route down the mountains to the lake itself. This last section was during a fierce rainstorm which had the road completely inundated with small rivers of mud and rolling rocks making it quite a hazardous journey.

Once at the lakes edge I had a further journey to make by boat to where I was spending the next couple of nights - a small cove which contains basically just the one hotel.

This was my little bit of luxury as the hotel is really VERY nice. It has probably the best views of the lake (see pix) I have a free standing cabin on the hillside with amazing views. In the evening the hotel puts on a group dinner whereby all the guests (except for the snotty precious ones who wouldnt dare sit with the hoi polloi) sit around a long table and eat together.

Lake Atitlan is basically a giant sunken crater formed aeons ago which then developed several volcanoes on its perimeter. There are numerous villages around its rim, Panajachel being the most popular and is where I came by boat this morning to catch a bus to chichicastenango, a village in the mountains, where there is a weekly market on.

Chi-chi is the first place I have been in Guatemala where I have been pestered by hawkers trying to sell tacky souvenirs. Not that I blame them, they are only trying to make a living - but they are a bit like flies around the dinner table (I have a whipper-snapper in this cyber cafe wanting to polish my sandals!)

Guatemala is a great place with extremely friendly people. It takes a while to get used to people saying good morning to you for no other reason than to be friendly. On arrival in this country, the first couple of buenas dias and I´m saying ¨no I dont want to buy a plastic imitation jade mayan death mask thank you very much¨ It takes a while to settle into the friendliness of the place.

chi chi markets

Lake Atitlan

the hotel from the lake

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great pics of Chi-chi market! I hope you enjoyed your visit to Panajachel too. Lake Atitlan is beautiful, isn't it? Best of luck with your adventures!