Dear faithful followers – the internet was down in San Marcos on Wednesday and Thursday morning, and we travelled all day today, so this is a bit of a catch-up. Our last two days in San Marcos were actually quite restful – the blaring music finally ended at 8 pm Monday night and we got a good night’s sleep. Still, no one could tell us for sure what the celebration was all about, other than to accept our guess it had to do with the installation of a new mayor.
On Tuesday we took a water taxi over to San Pedro de Laguna, another small town on Lake Atitlan with the same dusty streets as San Marcos, and people going about their daily activities mostly oblivious to touristas. On Wednesday we took a water taxi to the bigger, tourist-town of Panajachel, same dust but much more effort to drain tourists of every last quetzal. We resisted all the sales pitches; our suitcases are already heavy enough trying to anticipate what we’ll need for a year on the road anyway. Instead, we stopped by a small bar open to the road that advertised that it had a beach – sure enough, around the side they had put in a bed of sand, obviously making up for the loss of beachfront around the lake itself.
Later we talked to another local resident, originally from Belgium, who had lived on the lake for five years. He lost two cabins when the lake rose and was concerned that if the rains were heavy again this year he might lose his house as well.
We were told today that there is a saying in Central America, “blind curves: ideal for passing”. We lived that today, crammed into 13-passenger shuttles, first for the ride from San Marcos to Antigua, and then for the much longer drive from there, and eventually across the border to Copan Ruinas, Honduras. Although we were in the back rows, the swerving and regular gasps from the first two rows were scary enough. With late drivers, road construction, and heavy traffic through Guatemala City, it took 11-1/2 gruelling hours to get to our accommodation tonight, a delightful B&B-style hotel operated by the mother-son team of Elena and Nery. So we’re looking forward to another restful night and tomorrow, we’ll pay a visit to the ruins themselves, just a 15-minute walk from here.