Guatemala, Travels
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Guatemala II – Arriving at Lake Atitlán

I’m on my way to lake Atitlán where I’m going to stay for nearly a month. My thought is to stay in one place and thus have the time to settle down to write and to work. I board a shuttle and we set of for the three hours drive to get to the shore of Panajachel.

Gua_Pana_dockAt lake Atitlán, the transports are made by small vessels darting to and fro between the small pueblos that are situated on the shores of this vast lake. It takes about forty-five minutes for my small boat to arrive to my destination San Marcos.

Gua_SM_arriving_webNext stop San Marcos. It’s nice to arrive by boat to a new place. This boat ride reminds me a bit of the archipelago of Stockholm in my own country.

Gua_SM_billboard_webThe inhabitants of this small village consists of a Mayan population and of westerners, a lot of them spiritual seekers, who believe that there is a special spiritual energy here. The billboards are full of activities on offer such as meditation, yoga classes, Reiki, massage and chakra healing, to mention a few.

Gua_SM_tai_webThere even is a Tai Chi Tao temple on a hillside.

Gua_SM_street2_webThis is the main path from the jetty to the junction where the tuc tuc usually are parked.

Gua_SM_tuctuc_webTransportation on land is usually made with these red tuc tuc. Otherwise it’s mostly on foot on dirt roads or by narrow footpaths. There are no street names or street lighting to talk about, so walking about at night requires a flashlight and a general knowledge of where you are going.

Gua_SM_stairs_webJulia in whose house I’m staying has sent a tuc tuc to pick me up. When we round a corner I’m stunned when the driver points out the house high up on a hillside. I knew it was situated on a mountain but had perhaps not grasped just high up! What I do get to know is that to reach the house one has to climb up a couple of hundred very steep and very narrow steps without any hand-rails as there isn’t any road leading up here. This is the last stretch. Perhaps a quarter of the entire climb left to go…

Gua_SM_flowersEventually after stopping a lot to catch my breath I finally arrived to the top. The unfortunate tuc tuc driver who had the ungrateful task of lugging my mega heavy suitcase on his back, looked like he was going to pass out for a moment there poor guy. But the amazing view of the lake and the surrounding volcanoes and mountains is more than rewarding. As is the beautiful house is all mine for a whole month!

Gua_SM_myhouse_webThe houses that Julia has built are the same design as the traditional huts only blown up in size. They have a round base make of stone, a vaulted round thatched roof and big windows to take in the stunning views.

Gua_SM_myroom_webSnapshot of the interior of my new home.

Gua_SM_corridor_webThe house I’m staying in has a spectacular corridor between the combined living and sleeping room and the bathroom.

Gua_SM_viewThe scenery is breathtakingly beautiful! I settle in and make myself at home.

Copyright and photo: Anita Martinez Beijer

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