Country number 4 - Guatemala

Trip Start Jun 13, 2006
Trip End Jun 12, 2007

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Flag of Guatemala  ,
Thursday, September 21, 2006

Alex: Country number 4! We actually intended to go straight to Antigua but fate stepped in in the guise of mudslides forcing us to stop in Panajachel. We started of from SCdlC at about 6am picked up a few people, drove around a bit and got on the road. The border crossing was far simpler than either of us had imagined it would be (the first one not involving the US) and then we waited for our connecting bus. We had done it all through a private company so no public buses and from what I can tell it usually is a quick and easy switch but not for us we waited over an hour it in the mid-day sun for the next bus, fortunately they sold really good chips near by! It turned out that mudslides had blocked the road and it was taking up to 3 hours to drive a half hour stretch! As it was going to take longer than normal to get back we missed out connecting bus to Antigua. Anyway we thought we would make the best of a bad situation and stay a couple of nights in Panajachel. The town is on the shore of Lake Atilan which Aldous Huxley described as the most beautiful lake in the world, as we haven't seen all the others we will reserve judgement. I can also only assume Aldous saw the lake in the summer season when it wasn't covered by cloud! Panajachel is nice enough but thoroughly aimed at the getting the tourist dollar, the main street is covered in shops selling local products, restaurants and hotels. That said I replaced my bag which has been dying since Frisco when the handle fell off (it had been held together with tie wraps ever since!) and bough a blanket to keep us warm on buses (there is an a/c obsession which is nice for 10 mins and then freezing for hours!). We generally just chilled out (Dean is still not 100%) and did very little! We will now just have 1 day in Antigua before we head to Flores and Tikal.
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