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    Is This the Isthmus? Tour – Guatemala Part 11

    Monday, September 11, 2017
    San Pedro to Panajachel, Lago de Atitlan, Guatemala

    My room at the Casa Rolando in San Pedro, Lago de Atitlan, Guatemala.
    My room at the Casa Rolando in San Pedro, Lago de Atitlan, Guatemala.

    When I woke up today, I couldn’t decide if I should stay another night in San Pedro or Panajachel or Antigua. My plan was to catch a shuttle bus to Lanquin the next morning from one of those three places. At exactly 23 minutes before 11:00 am, which was check out time at the Hospedaje Casa Rolando, I frantically packed up my backpack and headed out the door. Down at the docks, the boat to Panajachel was already half full, so I only had to wait about 20 minutes.

    A mural painted on a wall in San Pedro, Lago de Atitlan, Guatemala.
    A mural painted on a wall in San Pedro, Lago de Atitlan, Guatemala.

    A few moments later, a super old white man with a cane climbed on board. I overheard him say he was originally from the United States, but that he has lived near Guadalahara, Mexico for a long time and visits Guatemala every year. It was pretty inspiring to see such a creaky old man traveling. The ride across the lake was surprisingly smooth, seeing as how it’s usually choppy out in the middle. At the dock in Panajachel, I was dismayed to learn that I had just missed a shuttle to Antigua, and the next one didn’t leave for another 3.5 hours.

    The docks in San Pedro, Lago de Atitlan, Guatemala.
    The docks in San Pedro, Lago de Atitlan, Guatemala.

    Then a young Euro couple who had just missed the last shuttle to Guatemala City airport, asked me if I wanted to share a private taxi cab with them for 100 quetzals, for which they’d drop me off in Antigua, and they would pay the other 400. I said yes because that meant I could leave immediately, plus a shuttle would have cost 75 anyway. But, then the driver said he couldn’t stop in Antigua. So, that was the end of the private taxi cab for me.

    Before, during and after that whole negotiation, I was being pestered non-stop by a super persistent old man from one of the shuttle van booths. I shook him off and walked a few blocks over to the main drag in Panajachel,  Calle Santander, and stepped into a travel agency. There, I bought a ticket for the next day to Lanquin, a small town in the middle of Guatemala, a nine-hour drive north. The clerk asked me which hotel I was staying in, but I hadn’t checked into one yet. I told her I might stay at the Hospedaje El Viajero, but I wasn’t sure. She told me to come back and let her know if I stayed somewhere else.

    My room at Mario's Rooms in Panajachel, Lago de Atitlan, Guatemala.
    My room at Mario’s Rooms in Panajachel, Lago de Atitlan, Guatemala.

    I ended up checking into Mario’s Rooms, which was much nicer looking than the Hospedaje El Viajero in every way, it was cleaner with fresh white paint on the walls, better looking furniture, a more attractive common area, a kitchen for guests, etc. I wish I would have stayed at Mario’s those other nights I was in Panajachel! Right after I checked in, I walked back over to the travel agent to tell her I was staying in Mario’s Rooms, but the place was seriously closed. It rained the rest of the afternoon, so I just took a nap and caught up on my blogs. I went back the see if the travel agent had ever returned but she stayed closed for the rest of the day.

    Words and photos ©2017 Arcane Candy.

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