Posted by: ramblinmanjimj | October 29, 2008

Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

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From my book…”08/17- (Day 229) At Antigua. 6 AM temperature was 67 degrees. On the road at 8:30 AM. We traveled through some beautiful farmlands, villages, mountains, and then crossed Chichoy Pass at an elevation of about 8,000 feet. Shortly thereafter, about 3,000 feet below, we got our first look at Lake Atitlan, which author Alex Huxley claimed to be “the most beautiful lake in the world.” It is our destination for today. This mountainous area of Western Guatemala is home to the physically small Maya Indians. We dropped down about another 1,000 feet to the town of Solola, population about 43,000, which has very narrow streets, and which, we had a heck of time getting through. At one corner, Bob had to go backward and forward eight times in order to get around. Then down a very steep and windy road, on which we dropped 2,000 feet in only five miles, to arrive at the town of Panajachel, on the shore of Lake Atitlan. Our guidebook calls this place a “gringo magnet,” but it is also one of those “not to be missed” places. We drove through the narrow streets, looking for a place to park. Nada. Nothing. Nil. We ended up parking in a large lot of a hotel. Our rigs are about 200 feet away from and 200 feet above the lakeshore with a sweeping 180 degree view of the lake, and it is beautiful! It’s about ten miles across and 20 miles long. On the opposite shore are four inactive volcanoes. The afternoon high temperature was 79 degrees with a refreshing breeze. After a nice siesta, we walked around town a bit and there certainly are a lot of eating places, souvenir shops, and gringos. As there is no apparent alternative, we are paying $6.25 a night for our parking spot. Since there is so much to see in this area, we are thinking of staying here as long as one week. After dark, it was absolutely beautiful seeing the lights of the several villages which are along the lakeshore.

08/18- (Day 230) At Panajachel. Another light blanket night. 6 AM temperature was 67 degrees. At 8 AM, Bob took off on his own to walk around town. At 9 AM, Bud and I departed to spend several hours walking around town. It’s interesting because there are two distinct towns in one; the old part of town where the Indians live, and the new part of town where the tourists are. We returned in time for an afternoon siesta and then happy hour at a local eating place. The afternoon high temperature was 83 degrees in the shade.”

All material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2008
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

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