Monday, February 16, 2009

Lake Atitlan es Muy Bonita!

Play the video to see the panorama of the lake and three volcanoes. Note that two of the volcanoes are set one behind the other then it scans right to the third volcano.

We have driven two hours on very curvy roads to the town of Panajachel on the shores of Lake Atitlan. The views are spectacular. A very large lake set against the backdrop of three volcanoes. We had dinner tonite at the aptly named Sunset Cafe. Our table was up against the shore wall facing the lake with the sun setting behind. Wait til you see the pictures. On the other side of the volcanoes is the coastal zone and so behind them is a huge bank of clouds as the temperate zone changes. Kinda mystical.

The terrain in the highlands is very much like the Sierra Nevadas - foresty and dry in the summer. Driving up here was like driving to Yosemite except the cliffs and valleys are very severe and steep. I´m glad I took my dramamine today.

Meals here have been very cheap while we were in the village. About $1 for eggs, rice, and beans with tortillas. Dinners were about $3. Now that we are in a resort town, it´s a bit more. I had chicken fajitas tonite for $6. But I also like to get street food. I got a chorizo in tortilla last night for 10 quetzales, about $1.30. Ice cream bars are about 40 cents. I have developed sinus congestion and so I went to the farmacia in search of Sudafed. Here they sell the medicine by pill. Some Sinutabs were thus about 35 cents a pill.

The weather has been cooler than I thought. That is because we are in the Highlands at least 5000 feet above sea level. We are in the 70´s and it gets chilly at night. I did not bring enough warm clothes but am coping. The coast, supposedly, will be hot when we get there on Saturday, more like I expected.

We have done our souvenir shopping today. You definitely need to barter and walk away. We got two bedspreads down from the initial price of $214 to $100. So at $50 each I think it is good because the same at Cost Plus is over $200. I got placemats down from $80 to $20. I had brought dollars with me and here is a tip - they will accept dollars, but only if they are in good condition. If they are well worn or torn they will not take them. So take crisp bills when traveling.

We plan on taking a water taxi to one or two of the other lake towns tomorrow. We also want to go zip lining and to stop at some Mayan ruins on the way back to Acatenango on Wed. Thursday we will do some hiking and on Friday we will go to a coffee finca (farm).

Not missing the rainy cold that I hear is at home. But I am missing my kitties. More soon.
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