Lake Atitlan

Trip Start Oct 02, 2012
Trip End Jan 16, 2013

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Flag of Guatemala  , Western Highlands,
Friday, December 21, 2012

The 21st December is the End of the Mayan Calendar and we decided to spend it in San Pedro, Lake Atitlan. Because everywhere was fully booked Jim and I booked a room in a hotel just to guarantee we had a room. I dont normally book ahead somewhere but it is now the peak season and places are getting pretty busy. 

We arrived pretty late, checked in, showered and met up with some of the people for our shuttle bus and went to dinner. Whilst we were getting ready and at dinner the wind had picked up and the power kept cutting out. At about 10pm it went off and never returned until the next day! It made the whole evening slightly eerie given that it was the "End of the World". After dinner we went to a bar that was playing live music on the rooftop. Unfortunately we couldn't really see what was going on as it was completely dark except for a few candles. It was a good night though.

The next day we checked in to the Zoola Hostel. Its a pretty cool hostel that has a pool and bar that over look the lake.
We stayed there for two nights during which I chilled out for a day reading by the lake and soaking up the sun.

San Pedro is quite a cool little village. Its one of the larger villages/towns on the lake and is also synonymous with partying. Where the hostel is located the properties are all quite close together all separated by a little alleyway. There are some really nice restaurants and hidden "little gems". Because space is kind of at a premium, owners have had to be creative with the space they have. This leads to some really interesting and cool places to hangout.

On the 23rd a group of us went for a Sunday BBQ at another pool that was owned by some Gringos and hired kayaks for a few hours which we used to explore some half sunken buildings. Its so strange, there are entire houses, restaurants and businesses that are submerged around the lake. It turns out the lake has a 50 year cycle where the water level increases by about 15m - 20m and then decreases. So in the low period people come along and build on the shore line only to find in a few years time their properties are being flooded! 

All of us departed for Antigua on Christmas eve. At one point though I didn't think we would be able to leave. As we were driving up the hill, out of the village, we heard a loud bang and a screech. At first we thought we had run over a dog but luckily that wasn't the case. The rear wheels had jammed shut some how. An Australian guy thought it sounded like the rear axle had broken. If this was the case we would have been completely stuck. The driver was clearly used to this sort thing as he promptly jacked the rear right wheel up, removed the tire and the disc brakes. At this point the wheels began to move again. Turned out the brakes where just fucked. Im not entirely sure what he did to fix them, I have a funny feeling we didnt have any brakes on that wheel the entire journey but we did make it safely to Antigua.
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