San Pedro la Laguna & Lanquin

Clay and I spent the next 2.5 days in San Pedro la Laguna. It’s a pretty small town on the lake, and has become something of a destination for hippie ex-pats. It’s also a great place to learn Spanish, and is probably where I will return for new years and a week of classes.

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The first day we rented kayaks to explore the area.

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This boat was owned by a guy who surprised us when he came up for air while snorkling. No idea what he was looking for, as he didn’t appear to be putting anything into his boat.

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There are a few abandoned houses that you can kayak your way in to. This one actually had a “for sale” sign on the other side.

SONY DSC No fires in here anytime soon.

SONY DSC The smoke in the background of this picture turned out to be locals burning trash. They’d been doing the same thing the day before, with the smoke blowing right into the middle of town. We didn’t get very close.

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SONY DSCThat afternoon we napped, then had dinner at an Irish restaurant (breakfast was at an Italian one), where our waitress from the night before was playing with her reggae cover-band, Jammin’ Noodles.

On our last day in San Pedro, we caught a boat across the river to Panajachel (“Pana”) and browsed the markets. Clay got a tapestry for his wall, and  I bought a bracelet for $0.125. When we got back and walked into Buddha Bar for dinner, Justin was there again so we shared another meal before calling it an early night again, as our bus left at 5:00am. (We’ve been up before 7am all but 2 of the days that Clay has been here.)

Yesterday we took a shuttle from San Pedro to Lanquin. Technically it was 3 shuttles – one from San Pedro to Antigua, one from Antigua to a random hotel in who-knows-where where the driver said “get out, the van is having issues and a new one will show up for you” (in so many words), and then the last one to Lanquin, which got stuck behind a local 10k footrace for approximately 45 minutes (we were literally pacing behind the slowest runner).

The hostel we had booked in advance turned out to be the party hostel, and very much not the vibe we were looking for. It was beautiful:

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but not a relaxing atmosphere.

SONY DSCWe’re now staying at El Retiro Lodge, another beautiful hotel along a turquoise river with a much better group of people.

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There is a man mowing the volleyball field with a machete:

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(I am not kidding, he was out there when we left for our walk, and then again at least an hour later.)

SONY DSC And this is Lanquin beer delivery from Gallo, the largest beer company in Guatemala.

We’ll go caving and cliff jumping tomorrow, spend Christmas hanging out in the sun (I’m writing this in my boxers having just jumped into the river) and possibly tubing, and then catch a shuttle out on the 26th for Tikal.

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I can think of worse places to spend the holiday and blog from.

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