Get up early, shower, hunt around at various hostels, finally securing a room at Aaculaax. The first room we agreed on has been taken but they show us another room which is even nicer with en suite bathroom, two double beds and all for the reasonable price of 175 quetzal (£15). The hotel is made by volunteers and recycled materials and the owners are lovely, a really sweet Guatemalan/American couple with two young children, the eldest is 4 years old and a 1 years old 🙂
They store our bags for us and get the room ready which gives Tom and I the perfect opportunity to walk around the town and find some breakfast. The owner has provided us with a map and recommended a few places to eat, do yoga or go kayaking and we opt for a local cafe in the main square. The town is actually full of real hippies, organic and vegan restaurants, saunas, massage places, yoga schools and boards posted with upcoming gigs and parties….I could happily live here 🙂
Unfortunately it’s my time of the month but Tom is keen to go and investigate the lake, so we head back to our room to pick up our swimming gear and make our way to the lake. It’s really lovely, peaceful, warm and serene here and the lake is surrounded by three inactive volcanoes which you can trek up to watch the sunrise.
Tom decides to do some diving from the rocks and a 7 meter dive point and gets me to capture the moment on his camera, much to my surprise when he pops up from the water he has found something below the surface which looks like a ring and when I ask him what it is he says; will you marry me? I’m slightly flabbergasted but manage to say yes.
Afterwards we head to San Pedro via boat taxi to see about topping up our depleted funds as there are no ATM’s in San Marcos. In San Pedro we discover the ATM’s have no money in, Tom still has some Euro’s so we manage to use them get some food at Tul y Sol which is run by a very charismatic French chap.
In the morning through the windows you can see the volcanoes, hear the birds and watch the sunrise over the banana trees, both of us do not want to leave 😦
We go for breakfast on the roof terrace in the sunshine and it’s all beautiful fresh fruits grown in the garden, homemade jams , granola and natural honey, we soak up the sun and talk to the owners before heading back to the room to blog.
In the evening we do dinner at Hotel Paco Real, I wanted to stay here as it has a sauna 🙂 The service is slow but the food is amazing, I order chicken in orange sauce with vegetables and soup as a starter but they bring me the soup as a main course and I struggle to eat the rest of my meal palming it onto Toms plate!
Desperately low on funds we get a boat taxi to San Pedro, still no cash in the ATM’s and Tom starts to panic (as we now have no money to get back or any idea of where to head for some cash). Thankfully we manage to change some British pounds at an Irish pub (for a really awful rate) and this gives us enough to get the boat taxi to Panajachel where the ATM has a shutter pulled over it with slats in? Tom manages to get his hand/card through to get some money out of the ATM and we breath a sigh of relief.
It’s really lively over here because of the Holy Week, so families are out and about shopping in the markets or having lunch. Tom and I decide to get something to eat and unfortunately miss out of going to Chichicastenango market but plan on coming back again we really enjoy the vibe here.
In the evening we decide to head to The Mojito House for cocktails and to watch a live set by a band called ‘ Canadian Bacon’. They don’t have much of a menu and the cocktails are a little bit too strong for me, plus Tom is zoning out when an Amy Winehouse wannabe does a guest spot with the band and gets the words wrong! On their break we scaper up to Restaurant Fe for some Pizza and Gallo beers before heading back to our room to sleep.
Again we do breakfast on the roof terrace and unfortunately we have to swap rooms as our room has been booked out, so get a room next to the roof terrace which is better access for breakfast in the mornings 🙂
Tom and I decide to arrange a private car to take us to the airport (as the shared buses don’t leave as early and take longer to get there via a less direct route). It’s very costly $110 US Dollars but we prefer not to miss our flight for peace of mind.
In the afternoon we go kayaking around the bay and get totally soaked, Tom is a bit of perfectionist when it comes to certain things and is not happy with my rowing skills! I cannot take it seriously though and think it has something to do with the sun, the good food, friendly people and our being newly engaged.
Later I trade some clothes for 5Q a piece before haggling a top at a local market, want to go crazy with shopping but we don’t have the funds or time so will make sure to visit Guatemala again 🙂
In the evening we pack and get an early night in prep for our flight tomorrow, this place is so beautiful and peaceful and reminds me of how Pai used to be 😦 I would happily come here and spend some time learning yoga and Spanish…next time.
30/3/13 – Leaving San Marcos for Mexico City
Up at 11pm, 12pm, 3.00am as the room was so cold that I could sleep, especially with the itchy wool blankets which I had to throw on the floor in exchange for my thermals!
Tom has made a glitch with our connecting tickets and seemed to have booked them for the 28th, so has to desperately re-book some tickets for today, meaning we lose £400..OUCH
Sadly we don’t have time for breakfast, so our driver meets us and carries my bag (it’s larger than him) all the way to our very own mini-van 🙂 I cannot sleep and as the road twist and turn through the mountains and small villages I neck a travel pill and hope for a little bit of rest.
Half way we break at the petrol station for breakfast and it’s a really gourmet style meal which we’re pleasantly surprised by…Tom takes a few snaps but you’ll have to view his blog to have a look 🙂
Gratefully I fall asleep and wake-up when we reach the airport at 12pm. It’s an hour before our flight, so we check-in and peruse a few shops before boarding our flight for Mexico City.