Getting out of Xela and into paradise at Lago Atitlan
23.01.2011 - 24.01.2011 13 °C
Or to put it in the right chronological order the beast and the beauty. We left Antigua early to go to Xela. From there it was our plan that Pim would go on a three day hike to Lago Atitlan, and Malka was going to stay to take a few language classes. Because everyone told us the tour was only for very experienced hikers, plus the fact that Malka has been ill for the last week, lead to the decision that Pim would go alone and we would meet up a few days later.
However, things turned out differently...
... when we arrived in Xela we soon discovered that this was going to be our first really disappointing stop in our travels. We came to Xela on a Sunday and in contrast to all towns we have visited so far EVERYTHING was closed from the market to shops to restaurants and tour agencies. The disappointment grew even bigger when we found out that there were no tours leaving AT ALL on weekdays, not even a little hike. So having absolutely nothing to do, we mostly hung out at the only pretty spot in the city, the central park, eating ice cream like the locals and getting free hugs (regalo abrazos!) from this bunch. But after our first (and last) day we were totally bored already.
To make matters worse it turned incredibly cold, making Pim a bit sick, so we decided that Xela was absolutely not for us and we had to get out of there quickly. This trip actually made Pim's cold even worse: During the travel from Xela to Lago Atitlan we had to drive up from 2000m to 3500m and then down to 1200m above sea level, making Pim's ears go crazy. Once we arrived in Lago Atitlan Pim could hear only blunt sounds, and felt like living in a bubble... on the bright sight it's probably a good thing he did not go on any hike!
After all of this, just the view of the famous Lago Atitlan brought back the smiles to our faces... but more about that in the next post (coming soon!)