It rained in Chichicastenago every day, but after being in the sweltering jungle we were happy to enjoy the cooler weather. I never thought I’d be able to refer to last week, when we were in the jungle, as opposed to this week when we are in the mountains…oh, and there were those few days we were also in a cloud forest. Guatemala has everything packed into a small space.
Anyway, we have all hit some level of exhaustion, and felt it was a good time to recharge. The continuous rain helped make our decisions for us.
It was also a good time to finally let Bode watch Star Wars. He’s been talking about it for over a year, knows most of the story and insists he knows about “Dark” Vader and the “Light-savers.” Even though he loved it as a kid himself, Jason had been worried about introducing the imagination-altering movie series at age 5. But, it was now time for schooling. So far so good (and if anyone knows what the Sand People look like under their bandages, he’s dying to know.)
After a few days of lounging in ChiChi, we finally mustered enough energy to hit the road during a lull in the rain. After packing the van it began to rain again. The rain fell harder and harder as we left town and entered the mountains. I had to use my Spanish dictionary when we spotted a new sign which translated to ‘Careful on the hairpin turns.’ The turns were so tight no one actually steered all the way into them, preferring to drive over the yellow lines in order to save some energy. The problem was that they were blind turns, so often there was a chicken bus coming at us head on in our lane. In the rain. Mostly downhill, so that Jason was using his emergency brake. Needless to say I was terrified for a good couple of hours.
We finally reached Lake Atitlan and through the bad weather we were able to see the beautiful Lake and town of Panajchel. Tropical storm Agatha did some damage to the small villages around town a few weeks ago, but Pana was up and running. It was just waiting for the tourists. Lots and lots of souvenir stalls and only a handful of backpackers.
It storms every evening here, so we had food delivered once, and brought our camp stove up to the terrace another night. We continue to be pretty lazy and it feels good.
We took a boat to San Pedro on the other side of the lake one day. Another backpacker haven. We had some pretty good curry and chai – something we haven’t been able to enjoy very often. Apparently we caught the boat equivalent to the local bus, as we stopped at every town around the lake on the way back. It was interesting, but the wind had picked up and the water was extremely choppy, and it was raining again. Over an hour later, we finally got back to Pana.