Saturday, December 29, 2007
I have the bad habit of comparing every place I´ve been to the last place I was the night before. I call it "comparatitis" in my mind. Will Isla Grande be as good as Salvador? Will place X be as good as place Y? Will San Pedro be as good as Antigua? This morning I got up at the crack - o - dawn for a bus that was an hour late, (which honestly isn´t too bad - compared to the bus that was 6 hours late, what´s an hour?) and took the most winding, hilly carsick ride to Panajcel, which is on Lake Atitlan. The Israeli girl sitting next to me threw up into a plastic bag. I immediately took a boat over to San Pedro, which I heard is one of the best little towns on the lake. San Pedro is definitely more ramshackle than Antigua. I knew all the time that Antigua was really touristy, but I so enjoyed it´s crumbly old architecture, clean streets, wonderful food and atmospheric little places to go for dinner and drinks. Antigua reminded me of Europe, and I told Antonella that it even kind of, in a small tiny way, reminded me of Italy.
San Pedro is a smaller town, on a couple of huge hills that are extremely difficult to walk up. But that´s good, since I´ve been eating and drinking beer every day. At first the town really didn´t impress me, and the lake - well, it was just a huge lake with some volcanoes around it. It´s loud and dusty. After getting lost, I checked into a hotel that I had read about on another blog that I was addicted to - meganlyles.com. She and her boyfriend travelled by bus from NYC to Argentina, and it´s some really great writing. (and that´s where I cyber-met funchilde as well, and found HER blog!) Yes, I´m a travel blog geek. Anyhow, I remember that she stayed at some psychedelic painted hotel, so I checked in and was happy to see that it was $3-4 dollars a night! After I finally had a chance to sit down at a cafe with a snack and my book to admire the view, I could see that it really is a beautiful place and I "get" it now. There is a hippie side of town, which reminded me of other places - ko chang, lake malawi... massages, fire shows, a faint smell of pot in the air... There is a place here showing a monty python movie tonight so I might have to check that out. Tomorrow I go to another village where I had a reservation for New Years. http://www.laiguanaperdida.com/ reminds me a lot (from the website anyway) of where Kathy and I stayed last year in Malawi for New Year´s. So I hope it´s good. All I really ask for is a hammock and no cockroaches.
I wandered around and got a fresh fruit shake from a woman with a stand outside her house. It came in a huge glass so I had to sit on the curb to drink it. Her funny little daughter came out to talk to me, and she admired my feet (which is funny because they are filthy), I guess she dug the nail polish. We talked as much as I could and we played with my camera. I let her take some pictures of herself, and of her mom, which turned out really cute. I also found a laundry place which really gave me some high expectations with their sign, above. But I like their confidence, and I´m sure my laundry will come back just awesome..