Monday, June 05, 2006

Lago Atitlan

Whew, what a trip! It definitely had it´s ups and downs (and if you saw the roads, you´d know what I mean.) We took a shuttle for about 2.5 hours and arrived at Pana in the rain. We booked our hotel based on the information we had in the travel book(*which has been dead on to this point): it was a mid-range hotel with a balcony and lake view, a fire place, and room for four. And it was true, the room had all of these things, but it also had a leaky ceiling, scraggley towels (that I´m pretty sure had been used and not washed) and a shower that spewed brown, sulfur-smelling water. Needless to say, we were a bit disappointed, but managed to spend the night there and find another hotel for a bit more money the next day(* the room was clean though and the mayan man who worked there was quite nice).
The lake was gorgeous and we took a private boat across it to two other pueblos called Santiago and San Pedro. We shopped and walked about the streets and enjoyed the scenery. (The lake is surrounded by about 4 volcanos.) The boat dropped us off at Hotel Atitlan where we ate a lovely lunch of hamburgers and chicken sandwiches and we strolled in the absolutely fabulous garden. There were fountains and flowers and those bush things carved into animals. (I took lots of pictures for you, Swigs.)
And now the best part: dinner at a Tex-Mex restaurant called Al Chisme(* the book told us about this place) (which roughly means the gossip or through the grapevine). We were all talking about how we missed Rosas and flour tortillas and cheese. The owner was a woman from Houston, extremely nice, and willing to make us anything we could think of. And just when I thought it couldn´t get any better, Lyle Lovett came on the speakers and I saw the $2 margaritas on the menu. *All the furniture was texasish oak and there was a picture of willie on the wall. We were all giddy with the memory of Texas. Is it possible to miss it after only one week. Yes. Yes, it is.
We spent the rest of the trip shopping and avoiding the rain. The trip home was fairly frightening because the driver wasn´t from our travel agency but insisted he had been sent to pick us up and then he was talking to another passenger about stopping in Chichicastenago, which is in the opposite direction from Antigua. However, we did actually make it to our correct bus and also the correct stop after lots of turns, fog, and nausea. I was trying to think of how to say ¨I think I might vomit,¨ in Spanish but I could only come up with, ¨I think I might toss my cookies.¨ I´m not sure if that´s the same phrase in Spanish. But we got ¨home¨ successfully and soothed our weary stomachs by eating at a cafe called Queso y Vino.
Just for future notice, try not to mention Rosa´s in your emails or comments because Cory and Garrett might cry. :)
All * denote additions made by Cory. The travel book is great and we are much obliged to Cody for sending it our way.

11 comments:

MOM said...

It all sounds beautiful...even the leaky ceiling and the scraggley towels. I am not sure about the brown sulfer-smelling water, however. That might push me over the edge of being comfortable too.

Are any of the volcanos "alive" and did they serve wine at Queso y Vino? Just wonderin'....

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a trip! The water and towels were really scarey, however I think the trip was worst, I know I have seen that in a movie, ha. I think it was all worth it for the beatiful scenery and food though. You know if Willie was on the wall, your safe. Lot of volcanos around, huh?
Love, Sandi

Ashlee said...

Sound like you are having a great time! I was talking to my internship boss and he was telling me that the purses that are woven and made out of gum wrappers are like $8 there and $300-400 here in the states. It's some kind of fad or something, so if you see any, get as many as you can!
We have annual conference wed-sat of this week so we'll be out of touch with the whole world eccept the Methodist Church. Please pray for our sanity! Love ya.

sarah said...

Your excursion to Atitlan sounds vaguely like something out of a comedic travel movie. Maybe you should write a screenplay based on your adventures, Jess. I'd see that movie; it sounds hilarious. I'm relieved to hear that you survived dangerous spewing volcanoes, bus drivers who are probably in the Guatemalan tourist-abduction racket, and a lake that was most likely swarming with poisonous frogs and deadly mini-crocs. It's like Indiana Jones meets National Lampoon's, except in a tropical Latin American rainforest. I'm really glad that you made it back safe and sound.
And I know what you mean about missing Texas after you've only been away a short while, and how the smallest reminder of home makes you remember all the things you love about it. But you'll be home soon enough, and for now you have to enjoy Guatemala, because when you get back here, you'll miss that too. Speaking of missing, I miss y'all heaps. Can't wait till the next posting to hear further adventures.
Swigs

Cody said...

Glad the book is coming in useful! Bring me back a shrunken head and we'll call it even. Sounds like you guys are having lots of fun, glad to hear it.

Anonymous said...

I got so excited I nearly couldn't read any more when you mentioned LYLE LOVETT....I thought he was there on vacation and came over to your table, $2 margarita in hand, and started singing to you!! To heck with Willie !smile, smile
Sounds like you are having the time of your lives and that's fantastic!
Everyone seems to be holding the fort down here for you and we are all missing you!! Just have fun with all of it....
XXXOOO Memaw

Anonymous said...

I asked Sandi to post this for us.We are really enjoying the stories, it sounds beautiful!
Love, Neenie and Rick

jessica said...

To answer all of your questions: yes there are volcanos all over Antigua, and we are going to climb one of the active ones soon. Of course, they served wine and Queso y Vino, and we had some lovely Cabernet. We haven´t seen any purses made of gum wrappers, but if we do, I´m snatching some!

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