6/05/2008 10:43:00 pm

Friday's Child is a Little More Relaxed

Posted by Unknown |

So waking up late at the Holiday Inn was a rather nice way to start the day. We had a 1pm check-out, so none of this scrambling for 10am business. We had a leisurely breakfast at the buffet, eating as much as we could before we began the journey out of the city again.

Finally at around 11am we made it out of the hotel. Pretty good for us. First stop was a drive through bank where we needed to make a deposit for our hotel that night. While it was just a regular bank visit, I’ve never seen a drive through bank before. They’re pretty awesome. It’s kinda like a cross between a drive through and a supermarket. You drive your car up to a little console at the end of one of those suction pipes, talk to some one, put your money in the pipe and away it goes. I assume that somewhere in there the you swipe your card or something do. We didn’t actually use th drive through bank, we went to the conventional bank as we had to do a transfer. But, most unlike Australia, the bank was empty and full of staff. They even served us straight away.

Back on the road for San Marcos (via Panajachel) we trundled out of Guatemala City only to get stuck in traffic as just after we’d left town. As we waited many Ambulances with their sirens going were screaming past us in the other direction.

Eventually we rounded a bend and saw that the cause of the hold was a bus that had rolled onto it’s roof. The drivers seat had been completely smashed in by the guard rail that was now sticking vertically in the rain. There were people speaking in through the windows and school girls, soaked through with rain, standing beside the bus looking shocked. It was a rather amazing scene. We drove on felling rather shell shocked. It’s not often you things like that, but in Guatemala it seems to be the norm. Everyday on the road we’ve seen accidents.

As we drove on things were much more calm. We got stuck in the longest stretch of road works I’ve ever seen. And we were thanking God for the lack of OH&S here, cause we got to drive right next to rock crushers and bulldozers in action. It was pretty special.

Girl Selling Stuff.jpg

Girl who sold us stuff on the side of the road during the road work traffic jam.

Eventually we made it to the Lake Atitlan (which has San Marcos and Panajachel on the shore) but we couldn’t see it because we were at the top of the volcanic mountains which surround the lake, and the mountains were stuck in cloud. Again we were stuck on Guatemalan roads with falling rain, falling rocks and falling cloud. But we made it down the mountain ok.

Panajachel was a town chock full of tourists and people trying to sell you stuff. We met a man on a bike as we were driving into down. He asked us if we needed a place to park, we said we did as we needed to leave the car there over night. So the man led us on his bike to his special little parking area which was just someone’s back yard. Call me un-trusting but I wasn’t all that keen to leave the car in some random backyard for a few days.

Eventually we found our way to the wharf where we hired a boat to take us across the lake to San Marcos. We left the car with the volunteer firefighters. I thought this was a much better arrangement. If you can’t trust volunteer firefighters who can you trust?

After our boat trip across the lake, we arrived at San Marcos, pulling right up on the beach just in front of our hotel. If our place in Rio Dulce was an “eco-lodge” then San Marcos is an eco-terrorist training camp. There are no road for through most of the town, just walkways surrounded by bamboo fences. There are meditation and hippy hostels littered all over the town. I get the impression that Americans and Germans with dreads and hemp clothing come here to meditate, pray with crystals and get stoned.

San Marcos Thing.jpg

Some bit of the Hotel. It was rather creative.

We were staying at a hotel where every room was unique. Everything was built out of glass, rock, and logs of relatively uncut timber. There were paintings on the walls of Hindu gods and other such new age celebrities. It was pretty cool.

After checking out that room we ate at a Mexican restaurant that didn’t sell any Mexican food. The food was nice, the owner happy and the dog friendly, so it was good to be there.

I went to sleep pretty early that night. I guess that what you do in eco land. I was only bothered by on mosquito which is pretty good for a hotel in the trees with windows that don’t go all the way to the edges. In the spirit of being one with nature I didn’t kill it I just waved my hand at it at various intervals during the night, and thought mean thoughts about it. I’m sure it felt bad.