Published: June 25th 2008June 25th 2008
After spending every hour of every day with the other volunteers here we end up being almost like a family. So when some of the longer term ones leave its a bit tough, not only because we end up doing more work until new volunteers come, but because we really miss them around the house. This month six of those special people have left us, Miguel & Lara the couple from Madrid, their good friend Pilar, Ana, another Madrider, Maria from Andalucia, and one of the longest term volunteers, Quique from Galicia. The three Madrileños
left because their time was up and after four months had to get their plane back home, Ana and Maria left to carry on travelling, and the Gallego
left because the motor for his hydroponic greenhouse broke down and he's been left without a job. Of course we did get some new volunteers, three new girls from Madrid, Christina from Catalunya (Adriana's friend for those in the know, Adriana came back by the way), and last but not least Lotta from Finland who was also here for a week in January. Good crowd but very different, sad to see our good friends
The Three Musketeers
Miguel, Lara and Pilar
So after the usual antics at the leaving party I set off with Miguel, Lara and Pilar on my 3rd descanso
and their final wind down to el Lago de Atitlan
(Lake Atitlan) at about an hour or two from Guatemala City. Not quite sure if rainy season has landed yet but there was a bit of a tropical storm off the Pacific coast and it rained solid for about a week. The first two days at the lake it was just finishing so it was still a bit over cast with the occasional down pour, but absolutly beautiful all the same.
Basically the lake is surrounded by volcanos and various little towns, San Pedro, San Juan, San Pablo, and San Marco, for example. They are all quite traditional with varying amounts of tourism and tourists. The most touristy was probably San Pedro where we stayed three nights. We stayed in a lovely hostel called the Pinnochio and went to some lovely bars, restaurants and cafes. I could easily stay a few months here in the summer, and even a couple of weeks in the rain. I'll definitly be coming back before leaving
Guatemala. We visited a few of the other towns and drove through even more. From what I could see the town with the best balance between tourists and locals was San Juan and I will definitly be stopping of there when I go back.
All in all I loved the lake, it is definitly the most traditional part of Guatemala that I've seen so far. All of the women and children wear traditional clothes and work all day in food markets. The tourists here seemed more of the hippy breed than the snap happy gringos we're so used to. And everything was suprisingly cheap. Good craic with the 3 Madrileños but sad at the same time knowing the end is near. Next stop Xela.
There are more photos below