Happy 35th amigo!!!

Trip Start Oct 06, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Guatemala  ,
Monday, October 11, 2004

I have just "chicken bused" myself down from Chichicastenango to the shores of Lake Atitlan (Panajachel). If you want to spend your 35th birthday downing Gallo (local beer) while toe-dipping by a lake, I guess this must be it. Lake Atitlan is just as beautiful as I imagined, with the three towering volcanoes as the perfect backdrop across the water. I think I'll try to hike the San Pedro volcano (elevation of 3020 meters) tomorrow or so, to see the lake view from up there. Must be pretty decent on a clear day.

I guess I am following the typical gringo trail so far, Chichicastenango being one of the must-sees along the way. It's a village up in the mountains, drawing hordes of tourists and locals to the colorful native market twice a week. Sunday being the big day to go shopping, while experiencing the modern day Maya people. No doubt a Mecca for Kodak moment snapping gringos (like me), looking for the perfect shot of a native woman or girl wearing their colorful dresses. The men typically wear jeans, shirts and hats, more or less like Texas cowboys. If you got spare room in your backpack, I guess it's also the perfect place to bargain and haggle for clothing, blankets, pottery and masks. I got about as much space left in my pack, as an Osaka capsule hotel room occupied by some newlywed sumo-wrestling lovebirds, so I ended up zig-zagging my way through the stands practicing my newly acquired Spanish. "No gracias, mochila pequeña."

The sun is setting, and it's time for me to sign off and head down to the local hangout, to see who wants to celebrate with me. I don´t expect too much of a hangover tomorrow, it's Monday after all. Well, as if I cared!
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