10-23-2013, 08:13 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Vancouver Island
Day 58 Lago Atitlan
Day 58 October 20 Santiago and San Pedro Atitlan
I set my alarm for 7am but of course didn’t need it. I intended to take a boat across the lake to Santiago and spend a few hours there before returning. The walk in the morning sun to the boats took about 25 minutes. When it comes to taxis (and boats) there is no shortage.
And there is no shortage of people asking you where you want to go and making sure you get on the vehicle/boat they represent. I’m not much of a negotiator so I don’t really care if I’m paying the gringo price as long as it’s not an outrageous amount. I found a boat and paid 30Q for the crossing to Santiago which took about 30 minutes.
The ride across the lake was beautiful
Some Luxury lakefront homes
Immediately upon disembarking the boat I was accosted by women selling brightly colored woven goods and jewelry.
A young man asked if I wanted a tour of the. I resisted but he said “it’s a big town, blab bla bla, I’ll show you interesting things you won’t see on foot, bla bla bla. I relented and am glad I did but I paid too much. And of course a few of the stops required Quetzales in exchange for photos but there were other good free photo ops too.
A woman installing traditional head gear
Next stop was a religious shrine in somebodies residence. My driver led me down this alley to see it. I did not photograph it as it was very dark in the room and they wanted 10Q for photos.
Third stop was the mirador (viewpoint)
After the mirador we stopped at the memorial for 14 people killed in 1990 when soldiers opened fire on an unarmed crowd here
Next stop...the laundromat
90% of the Mayan women wash clothes this traditional way
The more modern facility
Final stop a 500 year old Church where a funeral was taking place so I did not enter
Tourist in a Tuk Tuk
I'm not actually angry
After the one hour tour of Santiago I asked the driver to take me to a good restaurant and I had a nice breakfast.
Then I boarded a boat to San Pedro.
The first thing you notice about this place is all the waterfront buildings are half submerged. It appears they have been this way for quite some time yet somehow they look like they’re just waiting for the day they can return to use.
I wandered from the landing dock through a narrow alley way lined with small shops and access to hostals. More than pedestrians use the path. I had to make way for horses, motorbikes and Tuk Tuks.
San Pedro has more of a laid back feel and appeals to backpackers more than tourists.
I found my next boat after about an hour in San Pedro and enjoyed a rough and a bit wet ride back to Panajachel. I spent a couple of hours wandering the waterfront. There are countless food vendors and sellers of all things Guatemalan. You’ll see the same goods offered at most booths so I suspect that many of the little trinkets are merely mass produced somewhere and imported.
All in all it was a great day and I capped it off by trying my first pupusa for dinner.
From Wikipedia:A pupusa (Spanish pronunciation: [puˈpusa], from Pipil pupusaw) is a traditional Salvadoran dish made of a thick, handmade corn tortilla (made using masa de maíz, a maize flour dough used in Latin American cuisine) that is usually filled with a blend of the following: cheese (queso) (usually a soft cheese called Quesillo found throughout Central America) cooked pork meat ground to a paste consistency (called chicharrón, not to be confused with fried pork rind, which is also known as chicharrón in some other countries) refried beans (frijoles refritos), or queso con loroco (loroco is a vine flower bud from Central America).