Trek Day 3, and arrival in San Pedro
Trip Start Dec 28, 2007
22Trip End Feb 13, 2008
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Day 3 of the trek started very, very early. We awoke at 4am, and hit the road at 4:30, so that we would be in the right spot for watching the sun rise over Lago Atitlan. We had to walk on the road, in the dark, which wasnīt a lot of fun, but compared to the 2 days previous, it felt like a walk in the park. Plus, the quantity of stars was incredible. John and I took some amazing pictures of the sunrise between the volcanoes. As Andy said, if you donīt enjoy a sunrise, you have no soul.
After the sun rose, we hiked up to the non-mandatory peak above San Juan, the ĻnoseĻ of the giant resting in the lake. The views were incredible, and we could look back and see the route we had taken, almost all the way from Xela. It looked like hardly any distance at all, and although we hiked 45 km, it turns out that directly, by car, it is only about 15 ... ah well!
So, then we started our descent to the beach, where we would swim and be picked up. We were told this was pretty easy, but at this point, with such high temperatures (it was probably 32 degrees), sore feet, sore knees, and a 45degree slope... this part SUCKED. And, it seemed to take forever. I think it took almost 3 hours, instead of the promised 45 minutes! However, we did hike down through some world famous shade-grown coffee plants, and that was pretty cool.
Eventually, we all made it (even Ove, who was in serious pain from an old knee injury, and possibly the WORST blister on his toe I have ever seen), and the swim in the lake was probably the best swim ever. We hopped on the lancha (boat) when it arrived, and went to San Pedro, where lunch was served. Ove, Linn, Graeme, Luu, John and I spent the next few hours just relaxing on the deck with beers, and the 6 of us managed to book in at the same hotel, thanks to the awesome guides from Quetzaltrekkers who called ahead for us.
We were really impressed by the trek, and although it was really hard, we all enjoyed it. We met some awesome people, and learned a lot about the local people, and the history of the area. If anyone is thinking of trekking, we would wholeheartedly recommend Quetzaltrekkers, and we are going to do another trek with them out of Nicaragua in a few weeks. It was nice to see everyone felt the same, as the guides donīt get paid, and literally eat based on the tips they receive, and I think they were really touched by how well everyone tipped them on this trip.
Anyway, we made it to the hotel, and it was fine, although run down. Cheap, at only $10 a night for a private room. Plus, it had the best thing ever... 4 hammocks in the garden. Sweet!
We all hung out, drank some more beer, and then with the 3 finnish girls who were also staying there, Ove, Linn, Graeme, Luu, John, myself, and 2 of the guides (Andy and Greg) hit the town for dinner and then drinks. I met up with an old friend from home, which was cool, and we all hung out and listened to a great band.