Guatemala
San Jorge La Laguna

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  • Day184

    Lake Atitlan and a sad goodbye

    November 3 in Guatemala

    The last night of the group tour was spent in a homestay with Mayan families in San Juan La Laguna, who welcomed us in their homes, showed us their culture and tried to teach us to make tortillas.

    In the morning, Lena and I had to say goodbye to this group of strangers who became a sort of family in the last weeks. Each of them was a little crazy in their own ways. Ailise and Ciara the Irish girls who spoke really slowly so we could understand them, Fiona Red Hair, Gabriel my dive buddy, Holly the international, Izie the cinema girl, Johanna the photographer, Lotte the cliff jumper, Luna the adrenaline seeker, Michelle the (future) survivor, Ray the amigo, Rosemarie 30-second-shower, Rosie the horse rider, Tom the party beast, Vesna the "I want to go to bed early" party beast, and our guide Harold who loves us all.

    To fight off post-group-tour-depression, we spent Sunday morning in the most colorful place on Earth, the market of Chichicastenango, stocking up on souvenirs.
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  • Day36

    Slightly scary hike

    March 7 in Guatemala

    I went on a slightly scary hike to a small waterfall with my teacher Gladys and a couple of other students. The trail (such as it was) was very steep, and we had to almost crawl in parts of it. The trail went through land that is farmed with a variety of crops, such as onions and beans. There were also a lot of avocado and various types of fruit trees. Naturally, my teacher wore the traditional corte (skirt), and had no problems.Read more

  • Day319

    Bienvenidos A Guatemala

    March 31, 2017 in Guatemala

    The border crossing wasn't as bad as expected. There was no queues of cars - in fact I think we were the only one I saw. We got sprayed (no idea what for), got our passport stamped, and got our vehicle import licence all within an hour. Tried to buy insurance but the guy said not to bother :l

    From there we drove through a narrow and deep valley into the mountains and to Huehuetenango (all the big towns seem to end with ~tenango around here) and started to find our feet. We were told there weren't any supermarkets here but immediately we found one, and we're surprised to see it a lot more expensive than Mexico. We got ourselves a local SIM and made our way to a strange little campsite on the edge of a football field.

    Over a week on and I'm still not feeling right, so we decided to head to Lake Atitlán for a few days R&R before we head to our volunteering place. To get to the lake you summit at over 3,000 metres which was thick with fog, then head steeply down to 1,800 metres in only a few miles.

    The lake is ringed by high classically shaped volcanoes, one of which is active. Unfortunately clouds are sitting on the lake so we only get a few tantalising glimpses of these majestic peaks. We mooched around the main tourist town of Panajachel and jumped into the back of a pickup to visit a small artesanal village further around the lake. We even got invited to a baptismal ceremony held at the campsite, and got called out by name by the priest buy fortunately we avoided the dunking.
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  • Day18

    When are these people going!!

    January 20, 2017 in Guatemala

    The faces say it all!

    First food photo was dinner and next is breakfast.

    Me in my traditional attire. There are alot of pretty gruesome photos on my camera!

    Is my forehead beginning to take over my face?

  • Day31

    Tour of Panajachel

    March 2 in Guatemala

    On the afternoon of my first day of classes in Panajachel I signed up for a tour of the village. I think that I was the only new student that day, so I ended up with a personal tour with Elizabet who works in the office and organizes the schools activities.
    I didn't take many pictures during the tour but the cemetery was really interesting.

  • Day25

    Reserva Atitlan

    February 24 in Guatemala

    I'm across the lake now in Panajachel where I plan to spend three more weeks studying Spanish at a different school. A friend from the school in San Pedro and her daughter came over for the day, and we went to this nature reserve.

  • Day32

    Another beautiful sunset

    March 3 in Guatemala

    Some other students and I enjoyed the sunset from a lakeside restaurant.

  • Day241

    Friends on Lake Atitlan

    March 30, 2016 in Guatemala

    After a day of rest in San Pedro La Laguna, we packed up to head across Lago Atitlan to Panajachel, only to get a message from our friend Orion, who had hosted us back in November in Bodega Bay, California. He was in Panajachel, just a short ride across the lake, and could we meet up, he wondered? It couldn't have been better timing. We said good bye to our host Mikaela, who had let us camp on her roof for just a few quetzales a night with a great view of San Pedro, navigated the alleyways down to the lake, and hopped on a launcha for the quick ride across the lake. Unfortunately, the lake was still shrouded in haze, so we didn't get great views, but we did get a sense of just how big the lake was.

    It was lovely to see Orion again. He showed us the Spanish school he was attending, and brought us back to his homestay hosts' house where we met Angel and Luki and their children and another of the students, Bruce. We were thrilled to get to camp on their roof and spend the night chatting away and sharing food. We resumed conversations over an early breakfast the next morning, then sadly took our leave to attack the steep climb up away from the lake.
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San Jorge La Laguna

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