We awoke Sunday morning at 6 a.m. to very loudly ringing church bells, which could be heard throughout the city. We are talking, manual ringing here. As an aside, it is funny how you get used to what is available to you for a shower, and forget what you had. It is also curious how you begin to expect to hear Spanish outside your window and start to know what is being said!
The owner of our hotel was to be setting up the next leg of our trip to Lake Atitlan. She was supposed to email us the information the previous evening. By morning, we had no email from her. We went next door to eat breakfast and to see her about the information (her office is upstairs as she owns the restaurant also). Clay said to her that we didn’t receive an email last night, to which she simply replied, “Because I didn’t send you anything.” Well there you have it. A cultural answer was given, showing time is not of the essence here. No rooms were available at Lake Atitlan, so we would wait another day. No problemo!
The weather was again beautiful, although a bit
hotter. We found a laundry down the road and dropped our clothes off to be cleaned for a whopping $4. (They folded them perfectly and wrapped them in ribbon!) Then we were off to the park for a couple of hours of people watching. Sunday meant that people were out and about in their Sunday best. Strolling through the park and main thoroughfare is a weekly event here. There is no mall, movie theater, Chuck-E- Cheese, or Adventure Landing. Families hang out together, appearing to enjoy it. One girl was celebrating her sweet 15 (not 16, here), beautifully dressed, with hair perfectly curled. Her family was taking photos of her in front of the large fountain in the park. We saw many well cared for dogs with their proud owners, including one dog with orange sunglasses and a matching sombrero. Fathers and sons were out together shining shoes. Once couple had brought a bag of shoes to the park for probably, weekly, shining. We were going to read our books, but were so fascinated by what we saw that we never read a page.
On the way back to the hotel, before lunch, we came across a random area
where people were selling goods in the street. Ann bought a handmade, beautiful leather satchel with strap for $25. Some haggling was involved, as it started at $35. Also, when shown the lack of a piece of leather into which to put the strap to close it, the seller (a girl) quickly went to get one and sewed it on right there! We had previously asked where the leather goods were made, to which the girl replied, “My family makes them all.” If we had any doubt at all, it was dispelled when you deftly began adding the needed strap to the satchel. Very cool!
Lunch at a bistro beyond the park was the best since we’ve been here. See photos. A random man approached us in the courtyard about the quality of the food. Turns out, he was from San Francisco and traveled to Guatemala every year when the weather got bad where he lived. He gave us some tips about our next destination and left. He later returned to talk some more. He was a former Pan-Am pilot for many, many years and was a very interesting fellow.
We walked and then walked some more. By
Seriously... can we do any better?
Beef medallions in "dried berry" wine reduction, polenta and veggies.
the time we returned to the hotel, it was about 4pm and we were thinking about resting our feet and dreading having to venture back out to find dinner. So we had a brilliant idea! Pizza delivery! We marched up to the desk and asked if the clerk would be so kind as to assist us in ordering a pie. He asked a simple but perplexing question, “Telepizza?” What? We have no idea what he was talking about. So, naturally we said, “Si.” He asked what we want on it and we said, “Pepperoni and cheese.” We then asked if he would like to share the pizza with us and he lit up and shook his head vigorously. We asked if he would like to add a topping to the pizza and he said that pineapple is a great addition to pepperoni pizza. Huh? OK. When in Rome… We said, “Great!” He was off and dialing. We returned to our room to await the arrival of dinner. About 30 minutes later, the clerk knocks on our door and low and behold, the box has huge letters on the top the read “TELEPIZZA!” The Telepizza question had been answered. Forget the
cheesy name though (pun intended), it was better than any delivery we have ever had. We asked the clerk to get a plate and he did so with a serious quickness. We then asked him to help himself, he refused and insisted that we give him what we thought was appropriate. We gave him half the pizza and he couldn’t have been happier! We retired back into our room, took out a half-full bottle of wine we had saved from lunch, laid out our pizza and watch a funny movie on Ann’s laptop. A great way to end a very tiring day!
Make sure to click on all of the photos. A few of the photos show the steaming/smoking volcano that we thought was incredible and beautiful, but none of the locals seemed to care about or notice. As far as we know, this will be our last day here for a week, and we drank it in with our photos. We are so excited to have you share this adventure with us!
Dad K., we hope this shorter version is better for you!
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