Lake Atitlan


Sadly our timing has meant that we are visiting the lake during the rainy season, so we are unable to see to the other side nor the full glory of the volcanos that surround it. It does mean that the lake and its surrounding hillsides look very eerie, almost like a movie set...

We opted to stay in Panajechel, as our accommodation is around $2 a night!!! The cheapest so far - however, it does mean that we have had to use an outside toilet and neither of us has been brave enough to venture into the shower (three days later and we are starting to smell....). It has been a bit overwhelming staying here, as you are constantly approached to buy things - if they want me to buy anything else, they can carry my rucksack!!! Thanks to her experiences in Egypt, Gill was able to say no more readily than I can, however 10 bracelets later, I have learnt the hard way.

Yesterday we took a trip around the lake. Our first stop was San Pedro - apparently nicer to stay in than Panajechel - not in our opinion!!! We got on the first boat we could find and made the trip to Santiago. We had been advised by Bananabreadman that as soon as we arrived we would be taken to meet Moximon. He wasnt joking - we had hardly set foot on the shore when a wee laddie fixed a price and lead us to one of the most bizarre experiences of our trip so far....

Moximon is represented by a wooden effergy, dressed in traditional clothing, a sombero, smoking a cigar and drinking rum. Sharing his room is a glass coffin contained a christ statue, stuffed toys and plastic flowers, on top of which are Christmas tree lights. The room is also decorated with balloons and streamers, filled with smoking incense and in the background there are Christmas carols playing. This is all housed in the front room of a village elder and each year Moximon goes and lives in a different house. We turned down the offer to take a photo as it seemed inappropriate. But it really was as weird as it sounds.

We have managed to make the first (and hopefully only) scheduling error of the trip and turned up half an hour too late for our bus back to Antigua - hence the very up to date diary entries!!!

Additional photos below
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19th May 2005

Fab photos!
The chat is good... keep it coming. The photos are also great but I am still looking for the spider monkey in the trees! - Jenny

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