Antigua and our journey to Panajachel - Its the rainy season!
Panajachel Travel Blog› entry 4 of 9 › view all entries
In the morning we got up and headed out to find some breakfast and arrange for a mini bus to Panajachel. We ended up walking a few blocks across the center and found a very small (4 table) restaurant with three Guatemalan women who spoke NO English... so this seemed like the place to be! A man, whom we later found out was a tour guide proceeded to help us order some of the most amazing food we've had yet! Scrambled eggs, blank beans, cheese, fresh fruit milkshakes and coffee. Marcos was the mans name, he told us about a number of amazing places to visit and about his children 14 and 17 before heading out to begin his day.
After breakfast we walked around town and got some food for the mini bus. We headed back to our hotel to have a beer on the roof deck before the bus arrived. The ride to Panajachel is about 2.5 hours... we stopped a few times as we approached the lake too take some photos and for the driver to tarp the luggage on the roof (good call on the drivers part). As we headed down towards the lake the rain began... light at first but then really hard - the term ¨down pour¨ does not really do it justice. As we arrived the streets were more like rivers (anywhere from 2-6inches of rushing water!) we were in our flip flops so I just decided to jump on in and we started walking for the dock/ launches that would take us to Santiago. Lisa was a trooper as we walked about 10 minutes in the pouring rain to the docks. The trip on the launch took about 25 minutes, and the small boats had roofs - so it was actually nicer than we had first imagined! :) Before we left I informed our driver that we were headed to Hotel Bambu (a haven amidst the storm, fyi) so he took us directly to the hotels launch avoiding the main dock... I recommend that to avoid the hawkers at the main dock.
Hotel Bambu reminds us of our trip to Belize, $55 a night (talked tham down from $65) was well worth it. We took a HOT shower and had some coffee on the restaurants main porch that overlooked the small bay and town or Santiago.
Our Rough Guide recommended a simple, but tasty restaurant called Wach alal so we flagged down a Tuk Tuk on the road for the 5 minute ride to town. Wach alal is about 400m up the main road from the dock. Lisa ended up having a small fish - cooked whole (bones, head and all!) by mistake... it was tasty though. After dinner we headed further up the main street to find out that it was a festival week! There were tons of men, women and children in traditional dress, a huge market, ferris wheels for the kids and we also got to watch part of a religious ceremony in the main church!
After exploring we decided to head back and relax before bed. Our porch at the hotel was relaxing so we just chilled out, read our books and figured out where we wanted to head the next day!