Trip Start Oct 31, 2008
39Trip End Jul 01, 2009
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-6 Hour bus journey through jungle covered mountains to Coban.
a)The size of Vinny´s feet being laughed at by locals.
b)Anaconda 3 with David Hasslehoff playing on loop. (not a highlight)
c)30 people in and on a 15 seater
d)30 people in and on a 15 seater watching Anaconda 3 with the Hoff on loop.
-Coban. Arrived in the dark. Left in the dark. Nice dinner, not nice accommodation.
-Guatemala City. Changing buses for continuing journey.
a)Bag snatching incident on the bus outside bus station 2. (not a highlight)
b)A bag snatching incident involving 3 burly Hoods and Vinny, being foiled by a most sensational Local woman sat behind. Her husband, a Guatemalan Chuck Norris cum Magnum PI type, who on seeing his lady receive a tremendous whack from hood 'A' for her troubles, jumped up muzzy bristling muscles flexing. Resulting in Hoods 'A', 'B' and 'C' to scarper and bemused traveller 'Vinny' to be utterly perplexed about the whole event.
High hopes were had for Panajachel, 'Pana' for short, after our two days of continual travel and anticipation of Lake Atitlan's Volcano lined beauty. The journey from Guate City to Pana was mixed. Visually coming down to the lake was spectacular, the three and a half hours of back jarring crampedness on a 30 year old American School bus meant for 8 year olds, preceding that, not so. Our hopes cooled sharpish after disembarking, with offers of beer T Shirts, Banana Bread and in particular Hash from a crossed eyed, middle aged American, Quickly bringing memories of island life across South East Asia. This is not a problem though as anyone can do and be whoever, wherever they want to.
Lake Atitan is quite simply wonderful. So big its like a sea. At all sides lush green rugged terrain shoots straight up into three haloed Volcanoes. There is a constant hanging haze which gives the appearance of an old John Wayne movies with their painted sprawling backdrops. We had two nights in Pana in a quiet backstreet establishment with a lovely leafy courtyard, Where the request for 'Agua Caliente' was certainly meet with a shower so hot that it could possibly have had a direct link to the molten lava not so far under our feet.
We took a walk round a former coffee plantation reclaimed the jungle and made into a reserve. Butterfly aplenty swarm round the base of 40 foot waterfalls as with us looking on from swing bridges above
Not bad this travelling lark.
Its a couple of weeks since this little tale was told and perhaps it was a tad harsh. A tourist trap Pana most certainly is and one of the least attractive places on the lake. But importantly it has a great vibe and some athmosphere which made it a very easy spot to enjoy a couple of evenings entertainment. Live music, good food and the local brew Gallo make happy partners and this is a good spot to meet them.