San Pedro is a community 1560 meters above sea level located in the skirts of the volcanoes Toliman and San Pedro. What a weekend this turned out to be! An extravaganza of photo taking with breathtaking opportunities at every corner existing, capturing the sights, sounds, tastes and beauty that Guatemala beholds. It was fantastic … 350 photos taken in total! And during this time, my lovely roommate, Heidi from Austria, accompanied me in my quest for discovery with the plethora of unique opportunities here. It was truly spectacular to explore this small shore side town, which manages to successfully intertwine the worlds of traditional Mayan with first-world Hippies and Tourists, so prevalent in this region around Lake Atitlán. And what a gorgeous lake it is … Charles Dickens lauded its beauty to the world back in the 60s, much due, I believe, to the 3 volcanoes which surround the lake (stoic guardians), silent but strong.
The drive here in our relatively safe and somewhat less-scary-than-a-chicken-bus minivan, packed full of 18 people (with seats for only 15), was an experience in itself! Both the descent into and ascent from Lake Atitlán was quite hairy, to say the least. Just from watching the other vehicles on the road, I was grateful for our means of transport, especially as the switchback curves were too sharp for most vehicles (but especially for the long buses and trucks); it was often necessary for our minivan to stop and reverse. At those times, you pray that the brakes are good. You also pray that the driver has phenomenal skills, without the kamikaze’s touch that is unfortunately all too common (both here and in India!). Anyway, I didn’t see any other vehicle protruding from the lake so I suppose that accidents are uncommon in these foothills. Again I could be wrong :).
After settling into our barren but clean hotel room, we gathered at a local restaurant, just by the docks, with an outstanding view of our weekend home. The food was scrumptious (am I ever to acquire a taste for the avocado, which is served EVERYWHERE in Guatemala?) and the company fun and light — cats and dogs abounded keeping us amused with their persistence. With a craving for discovery, a group of us set off on a lovely ramble around the edge of the lake. Lush greenery and fabulous gardens, almost like that of a rainforest, enveloped us at times. We were on a search for a private beach entrance but upon finding one, it was inhabited by a lone nude sunbather, so we returned to San Pedro happy with our excursion. Heidi and I then went off exploring the town, finding a lovely little hotel to rest at and enjoy great conversation. I discovered San Pedro Spanish School when rambling back and was immediately wanting of a new school to explore the language at further. This seemed perfect and I was left wanting for more. Something to look into, for certain! We ran into our group, heading for dinner, on our way back but opted to spend a quiet evening in, first burning some music CDs at Nik’s Place (they have 1000’s of albums for you to purchase a pirate from :)) and watching the beginnings of the movie ‘Fight Club’. Fantastic film!