Friday, November 28, 1997

There are several ways to travel to Panajachel from Antigua. The latest is the gringo bus that allows us to travel in relative comfort without a ton of stops and bus changes. I chose that one. It got me there early enough to check out the town, have lunch, and take the water taxi across Lake Atitlan to Santiago. I stayed at "Mario's Rooms" for $10, including breakfast. Very nice.

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Volcan San Pedro, from Panajachel

Pictures just don't do it justice. All the volcanoes around the lake have that perfect cone shape and are absolutely huge! No time to climb this one, it's a 2 day ordeal.

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Along the lake shore, at Panajachel.

Notice that Pepsi is giving Orange Crush some pretty stiff competition.

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Santiago Atitlan

An hour boat ride across the lake, this village is less physically attractive, but the artists and craftspeople here really have the goods! I wish I had brought more money with me. However, back in Pana, I bought a fantastic wall hanging from a 13 year old girl for $14. This little girl was a genius! I couldn't believe how fluently she spoke 3 languages, and how quickly she would do the math for currency values when we discussed prices for her goods. Like most Guatemala kids, she had never set foot in a school and it breaks my heart to see such a precious child with no chance to use her skills except to sell stuff on the street for 12 hours a day.

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Volcan Toliman, from Panajachel. Cerro de Oro is the little one just in front of it.

They call this the most beautiful lake in the world- If they would quit throwing their trash in it I wouldn't argue. Panajachel is nicknamed "Gringotenango" because it has become so popular with travelers. It is pretty touristed, and I really didn't feel much need to hang around after checking out the sights.

Continue to day 13.

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