Jonathan keeps calling the cities around the lake “islands”. I think that’s cute.
We’re finally off to the first city on our tour: San Marcos.
We get off the boat, and we’re told we have an hour to see the town. That doesn’t sound like much time to explore a whole town.
It’s too much. Really.
But we did find a little amphitheater where Jonathan put on a show for me.
We get back on the boat, exactly on time, and are driven to San Pedro a little bit further around the lake.
Again, we’re only given an hour to see this town. So, we grab a Tuk-Tuk, and ask for a tour.
The driver is great. He’s really friendly and fun. He’s more than willing to talk about what we’re seeing, so that we actually know what’s going on.
We also learned that he’s only 15 years old!
15 and spending his Christmas vacation DRIVING a little tuk tuk to make money.
He took us to a get a great view of the city, see the big church (where we climbed the tower), and then took us back to the dock.
We wish we could have spent more time here in San Pedro on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
From there our boat driver takes us to Santiago. Here we have 1.5 hours to see the town. Again, not much. He says that the boat is leaving at 2:00 exactly.
This time, we decide to see what we can on foot first. After hiking a bit through town, I see a crowded café.
I’m pretty hungry, and while nothing on the menu looks particularly amazing, I get a really good vibe from the place, so I suggest we go in.
It’s filled with locals, so the food has to be good.
You know in movies when you walk into a room, and everyone gets quiet? Well, that happened to us when we walked in.
Then, everyone must have decided we were ok, because they went back to eating, and we ordered food.
I ordered a simple hamburger and fries. It was fantastic! It was a veggie patty (which I didn’t know it would be in advance).
And, the fries. Were. Amazing. They were fresh. (In fact, I saw the woman peeling potatoes in the back.) There were freshly cut and made.
It was fabulous. I really liked everything about the café. It really gave me a chance to appreciate the beauty that was there.
It was funny…one of the ceiling fans was really squeaky, the people were loud, and it was on a busy street, so normally, not the most appealing of places.
But for some reason, it just spoke to me. I wish I could remember the name of it…but I loved it there.
After that we realized that we still had an hour. We’d heard that we could go pay a visit to a Mayan god.
How many chances do you get in life to see a real Mayan god? Well, we took it.
We grabbed another tuk-tuk, and asked him to take us to Maximon.
He drives us out to the middle of nowhere. He drops us off, points us in the direction of some chickens and a small tin shack.
Then he tells us that we’ll have to pay 2 Quetzales ($0.25) each to visit Maximon.
We go inside, and see Maximon through a VERY thick cloud of incense.
Maximon is a carved statue who is smoking a cigarette (truly, a real cigarette that needs to be ashed by someone and everything), and covered in clothes and scarves.
There is some sort of ceremony going on while we are there. We don’t really understand it, but we are allowed to watch.
We spend a few minutes paying our respects (and our Quetzales).
Unfortunately, now we’re out of time, so we head back to the boat. (See this post to see how the boat turned out.)
After getting back to Panajachel, we decided to watch the sunset over the lake (behind 3 volcanoes).
It was a very beautiful sunset.
At the moment, Lake Atitlan is experiencing a disease. Apparently, it’s currently infested with a strange algae that is killing all the fish and turning the water green.
I thought it was beautiful, but people told me that it’s actually ugly right now.
I guess I can see that when the water is normally “Carribean” clear blue, and right now it’s definitely a blueish-green color, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not beautiful.
I just feel bad for all the fish.