Monday, December 28, 2009

I Walked 17 Hours in the Last Three Days

Walk #1: Friday, Dec. 25, Christmas Day

About 3 hours

We walked up into the hills overlooking the town of San Pedro! The whole area is deserted fields of coffee, and it was cool, shady, and beautiful! Little did I know that this 3-hour hike was nothing compared to the rest of the weekend...

Walk #2: Saturday, Dec. 26

6 a.m. - 3 p.m. ish

I woke up at 5 a.m. in time to see the sun rise over gorgeous Lake Atitlan. We caught a bus at 6 a.m. and were dropped off at some random spot on the side of the road overlooking the lake, the towns, and the 3 volcanoes. We walked all morning along the very top of the mountains, and mist was hovering over all the corn fields and tops of volcanoes.

We stopped for a late breakfast picnic at the most gorgeous overlook that probably exists on the lake. It looked directly at the 3 volcanoes and down into the lake. Breakfast was delicous, with watermelon, platano, toast, avocado with salt, eggs, coffee and tea. Afterwards, we stretched out to siesta on the grass and begin getting my sunburn.

Breakfast at the overlook. The blob of white that you see straight ahead along the shore of the lake is the town of San Pedro, where we lived. That's how high up we were.

We walked for hours and hours and hours after that: through tiny villages, through more corn fields, and down the side of insanely steep mountains. There is no way tourists could have done this hike on their own. You would have died. It was definitely key that we had Urs as our local guide. I was scared for my life that at any minute I would slip and roll down this hill all the way into the lake. I only really wiped out once, and although I have a giant scratch down my entire forearm, I'll at least have a cool story if it leaves a monster scar, right? :)

Me with the lake, the volcanoes, and Mona -- the best hiking dog ever.

A million gorgeous but exhausting hours later, we caught a lancha (boat) from our final town and headed back to San Pedro. I ate a late lunch, fell asleep, and slept for about 12 hours haha.

Walk #3: Sunday, Dec. 27

Another 5 hours

This time, we left around 1 p.m. and hailed a lancha over to the town of Santa Cruz. From there, we walked right along the beach, passing kayaks and fancy hotels with lakeside bungalows. We stopped in the town of Jaibalito (only accessible by foot) for lemonades, and then kept up the hike. Like the day before, we hiked along the water the entire way, and it was almost sunset. Gorgeous. We also passed some of the fanciest and most expensive hotels in Guatemala (but for a price check, the most expensive hotels here cost about $45 per person per night -- WAY cheap by American standards). I was definitely plotting honeymoon ideas hahaha. We finished in the town of San Marcos and hailed another lancha back home to San Pedro.

In conclusion, I have a new sunburn, hundreds of incredible photos, and really really really sore legs. It was great though! I can now say I have walked almost the entire northwestern side of Lake Atitlan, and I definitely experienced the most fantastic views you can get from this place. It was such a cool weekend. I'll upload photos when I'm able to!!

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