A Colonial Town and a Massive Lake
24.07.2011 - 30.07.2011
The trip to Antigua was a long and brutal one, crammed in the back of a colectivo; Guatemala's terrible decision at a method of public transport. They consist of a minivan with a guy hanging out of a window trying to attract more people to ram in the back. Antigua itself is a lovely old colonial town, with a different crumbling church on every street corner. Unfortunately the town has suffered several earthquakes throughout its history and as a result exhibits buildings that are partially restored and some that are centuries old piles of rubble (where the youth of Antigua tend to hang out and cop off with each other). We spent a few days here doing very little. On the first night me and Chris were hanging out in a hostel named "Jungle Party" and experiencing a distinct lack of party. Then three yanks turned up, one of which was Zander, a turtle conservationist who at the age of 14 wrote a book on the subject which has now been translated into loads of different languages. Anyway, he was on a break from his sleepy Guatemalan fishing village and decided upon a 72 hour bender. 48 hours into it, we decided to head off to chill out on the banks of a massive lake.
Lake Atitlán is the deepest lake in Central America, surrounded by volcanoes and bordered by several Mayan villages. We turned up at the most tourist orientated one; San Pedro. The view of the lake, when you could get it, was stunning, however due to the obvious lack of building restrictions ever bigger concrete structures ruin the town. We spent two days on detox here, doing some kayaking on the first and climbing a mountain on the second. The mountain nearly saw the end of Chris who was literally steaming by the top.
We moved back to Antigua with the plan of heading straight on to Honduras but due to protests we were unable to make the second leg and had to settle for another night in Antigua and a 4am bus the following day. Luckily/unfortunately we met a lad we knew from England and another guy from earlier in our travels that evening and ended up drinking a lot of rum and missing the bus. So another day in Antigua it was. We had a wander around the market where I bought a D.A.R.E t-shirt for $2 (D.A.R.E is a programme to keep kids from drugs and violence which is widely regarded as a joke and now has cult status, yet loads of locals wear them without having a clue what it means). Eventually we managed to wake up at 4am and headed to Honduras.