Thursday, July 15, 2010
San Pedro de Laguna
So Honduas has been amazing (as i might have mentioned a few times already : )
The border crossing was easy (thanks go to a New Zealand couple that gave me a little bit of money, to pay the official that was supposed to let me leave for free :o)
I ended up going straight through Antigua to the Lago Atitlan. One more week of Spanish and
a terrible game of soccer against Espana later, i had to work on loving this touristy place ... but the nature surrounding San Pedro la Laguana is amazing. The lake is surrounded by a few volcanoes, where even the simple hiking in the mountains is gorgeous due to a magnificent view - also not much recommended by yourself... most people up there are still traditional and speak only Mayan languages. They are very concerned of preserving their cultures. it is amazing to see how hard these guys are working every day. Most cook with firewood, meaning that someone has to go into the mountains and carry this heavy load down - every day. The elaborate clothing takes a long time for the women to work on - you see some every day. Hot water IS a Luxury. So is a flushing toilet.
The last centuries have not treated the Mayans well (from the spanish to military governments, supported by the big brother up north - again), and still these folks are struggling every day. However once you get to know one, they are incredible helpful and loving.
On my way to climp the nariz de nino (the nose of the child) i decided to go independently and not to use a guide as suggested : ) the local chicken bus took me up the road and a team of locals helped to get me of the moving bus on time (as in honduras the buses do not stop all the way, but you can get off anywhere). The hike overlooking the lake was amazing and once more i had to think of how amazing it is to travel on your own as a women - the locals seem to want to take care of you all the time :) .... however, after the visit on the nose, on the hike from Santa Clara to San Juan (mas o menus 8 km) i did also get some odd vibes and came to understand why the guidebook tells you not to walk between towns by yourself....
My stay was sweetened by the $3 a night single room, which included a hammock overlooking the lake - which was utilized every single day. Despite the bulk of party hungry tourists, there were also some great, critical minds that strifed for sustainable travel.
Local food is a bit tricky to find ... so my dinner was at a stand from a local Mayan women - Andrea - ever day. Tostadas - a veggie option with all kinds of good stuff and leche con arriz (milk with rice). The donuts as desert ... if i didn't opt for a banana bread which was sold by other women on the street daily.
The weather was a bit temperamental - lots of rain. Then again it is rainy season : ) ... this made my outdoor shower less appealing. After the nose of the child visit, i decided to climb a volcano with a guide the day after. The volcano of San Pedro is about 3200m. Amazing view about half way up ... after that you enter a hug cloud, which make the conquering of this mountain a bit less rewarding. Still amazing to walk through moss covered cloud forest and over fallen trees.
I had meant to take a bus back to Antigua that afternoon .... but ran into a couple of guys from Spain that had spend a year in Mexico... and since i do not have a guidebook for Mexico,their little map and cities they advised me to visit were great ..
Without a watch i actually attempted to catch my bus .... but that's what travelling is for. change plans. or better yet. don't have any plans. one more night in san pedro.