collectively you form a small (exclusive!) cohort, that is a much appreciated element to our little trip. The reassuring comments we received following the Maya Pedal debacle were a real tonic. Although we wondered, was it coincidence that the number of hits our blog received increased on the day we reported bad news, (this could explain why the media in general seem to thrive on people’s woes!) either way, we were both heartily cheered by your support.
Anyway, back to today (at this point any sensationalists out there can get on with what they were doing, this bits totally unexciting).
I am writing this sitting out on our balcony, sipping a cup of PG Tips, with unidentified wildlife chirping away as dusk falls over our idyllic hillside garden. Sorry folks but we are on a taster tour of paradise. We arrived here at Lake Atitlan today to find that that the little bungalow we had rented exceeded all expectations. Beautifully constructed, well appointed, in secure private grounds and only a 10 min walk (5 mins and 75p by tuktuk) to the centre of the little lake side town called Panajachel. Its quite a touristy place and gringos abound but we are located just far enough away to be peaceful but not feel isolated.
We wandered in to town for a nosey abouts, we passed lots of stalls selling Mayan stuff. This visual euphony of wonderfully made, vibrantly coloured crafts would knock your eyes out, well if they had not been conditioned by a week of much the same. We shall buy at some point, but as we have to carry heavy bags already, this will happen later and when we can ensure that our dosh goes to the folks who made it.
The lake itself is quite something, surrounded by three volcanoes, created as a result of a huge eruption, flinging out so much magma that the surface terrain collapsed forming a bowl 8×18 km across and 300m deep. Having missed that bit ( it all happened a tad before we got here) we have to make do with the stunning views but no fireworks 😥
This is a funny old place where events happen at their own pace (or so we thought), yesterday when I started writing this entry, we were happily ensconced in our picturesque little gaff making plans to do very little for a while. This morning I added a bit more (padding it out, we try to give our massive readership VFM) before going for a walk up the hill behind our place to look at a Mayan garden growing herbs for medicinal use.
There we met a smashing lad called Edgar who showed us around and explained that it was part of an NGO set up to enable local Mayans to market their handicrafts, support education and health whilst giving them the chance to generate a living wage. Well to cut to the chase, we start there as volunteers on Monday and I shall let Jane fill you in with the details when she blogs.