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Published: December 1st 2008
06:30 hr start this morning took us to Comitan for breakfast at the main plaza. I had some sort of chicken tortilla soaked in Mexicano tomato sauce with scrambled eggs. Tasty, but somewhat salty. We stopped by a mega-mart like Costco to pick up some stuff to make lunch on the way to Guatemala.
Lagos de Colon was the only touristy stop before we left Mexico today. At first glance it looked like a large artificial pool, but as we got farther in it got bigger and the crystal clear and calm water made for some beautiful reflection photographs. There was a small waterfall 950m from the entrance and there are caves behind it such that you could go in one and come out the other. I was the first to get into the water this time although I didn’t go swimming.
Because of some sort of government regulation, we had to switch vans and driver at the border at Ciudad Cuauhtemoc (Mexico) / La Mesilla (Guatemala). There was a buffer zone of sorts and clearing Mexican immigration was a breeze. While we were waiting a group of students came to interview some of us in English, apparently one
of their class assignments. I was sure the many videos made that day would eventually find their way online! Pascual got us as close to the actual border as he could but it was challenging because the street was filled with vendors on a market day. We had to hike uphill a bit to get to the Guatemalan immigration. The border looked wide open and I am sure we could have just walked through, although we might have some explaining to do when we try to leave the country. Street currency exchangers quickly spotted the gringos and offered to change money, the rate then was 1 USD: 7.2 Qtz (not great considering that ATM was giving out 1: 7.70). It was crazy and completely chaotic and it took us a while to get our Guatemalan van out of the border region. The van was marginally larger than our previous one and our new driver Ortillio was very careful, a very good attribute driving Guatemalan roads, although at times I wish he had the guts to pass. The scenery through the Guatemalan highlands was picturesque, especially with a nearly full moon as we drove in complete darkness.
We arrived at
Panajachel at 21:00hr. Some of us ventured out to eat and we found 3 tacos for 10 Qtz, although they were raising their price to 3 for 15. Some other people found tacos at street vendors at 5 for 12 Qtz, a much better deal. I was on a quest to find cheap tacos and this certainly rivals the 3 peso tacos!
Lesson of the day: things are not always what they seem initially.
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