A Travellerspoint blog

Fitting in with the local hippies

Chillin in San Pedro

Hola everybody,

So I heard the weather is pretty crappy up there, and its really damn cold. I´m sorry to hear that, but I think its an appropriate time to mention that it is about 25 degrees here, and I went swimming today in a lake.

Ok.. so I´m done being a jerk.

Oh ya.. the hippie thing, I shall explain. San Pedro is full of people who have dreads, kinda smell, know how to do this crazy dance called the flame dance, and don´t seem to do anything all day.

Oh, and the me fitting in type thing. I haven´t really showered since Tikal, which was 6 days ago, thus I smell, and I´ve started drinking this local tea called Rosa de Jamaica. No worries though, I don´t have dreads and I can´t do the flame dance, so my minor transformation is totally reversable.

Lecciones de Espanol estan ir a muy bien. I mean, Spanish lessons are going well. We have 2 more mornings of it, and I´ve made it through the first set of lessons. Its a bit easier to comunicate what I want, but still nearly impossible to understand whats being said to me. Hopefully it comes with practice.

So funny story, I was working on cooking a stirfry for our lunch today (it was damned good by the way) and one of the burners I was using stopped working (its a propane stove). In a few more seconds a huge flame burst out of the knob.. you know the thingy that controls the amount of flame you get. So I had to reach into this pillar and fire and turn it off before it completely melted the plastic knob. No worries though, I came out unburnt, so its all good.

Not too much else to say, Ryan and I went kayaking today in the huge waves on the lake. I dumped my kayak twice (again, no worries, I came out unscathed).

Take it easy everyone, please try to stay out of a snowy car accident, for me, ok?

Peace,

Craig

Posted by iamcraig88 16:33 Comments (2)

Guatemala

San Pedro Day 4

sunny 23 °C

we got up for class like usual at 7:30 and left to get some supplies for some stir fry that we were going to make for lunch, after we came back to our hotel we had our breakfast of granola and yoghurt, eaten like a true hippy. the whole town is filled with hippies it blows my mind. but enough about the hippies. craig and ryan went kayaking while i stayed at the hotel and slept, i wasnt feeling the best, but now i feel much better after that naping. im glad to hear im in a temperated climate while it is -35celcius and snowing at home. Life in San Pedro has been super easy going, but soon i will be anxious for the adventurers life again.

Posted by leighner 15:43 Archived in Guatemala Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

San Pedro

Another blissful day in the Hippy compound

sunny 25 °C

So today is our fouth day in this uber laid back town, San Pedro la Laguna, and I am thoroughly enjoying myself! We got up this morning and had a much better breakfast than yesterday. Yesterday we froze the juice, yogurt and everything else for that matter... so we ended up with nada for breakfast. This morning on the other hand, we had yogurt and granola... at regular temperatures. We then headed out for our third session of Spanish lessons, which by the way are going pretty well. Esta muy bien! After our Spanish lesson we cooked a tasty, albeit unusual, stir fry with vegetables form the local market. Once we finished cleaning, I folded laundry with the plan to go kayaking for a couple of hours with the guys. By this time, Leigh wasn´t feeling great so he went to bed while craig and I headed out on the lake for some sweet kayaking. Since we are students at Orbita Spanish School we are supposed to get a discount on renting Kayaks, but when we showed our discount cards to the girl at the kayaks, she looked like she´d never seen them! We headed to our Spaish school to get Rene, the owner of the school to give us a hand. Finally after some heated spanish which Craig nor I understood, we paid the discounted price and got ourselves two Kayaks. We spent two hours on the water with nothign but our swim sorts on and a paddle in our hand. The water was pretty rough, so we had some good times surfing and then once we were tired we found some crazy huge reeds and laid out on our Kayaks to soak up some rays, and chat. I got some pretty good shots of the volcanoes surrounding the lake and one of craig paddling his swamped kayak.. which by the way he did twice! Once back on shore, we headed back to the Hippy compound and got Leigh, together we went to a local bakery, got some sweet itallian buns and continued on to the internet cafe I now find myself in. Tonight, were having cheap tacos and then heading back to the Hippy compund for una cerveza (a beer) and listen to craig play the guitar while we all sing Jack johnson, Sublime and Ben Harper.

Its going great, but I miss everyone too!

Happy trails,
Ryan.

Posted by Nomad18 15:41 Archived in Guatemala Tagged backpacking Comments (2)

Guatemala

San Pedro Day 2

sunny 24 °C

we didnt get to sleep in again, we had to get up for......sigh school we draged out butts out of bed and started to make breakfast, bought some eggs and bread the night before and made scrabled eggs on toast, we werent smart enough to buy some sort of cooking oil or butter. so eggs easy over were out of the question. after that we headed to do our 4 hours of spanish lessons for the day. it went much quicker then i thought plus i got to try the cofee down here for the first time. it was a good time too, because the coffee beans were just being harvested and left out to dry. i was surpried at how much i liked the coffee. after the lessons we went in search of cheese and fruit. for most of our venture all we could find was processed cheese, i dont mind it sometimes but everyone else seemed against it. we searched all the way across town and found out that there was another supermarket that carried it and it was much closer to our hotel, and it was almost on our way to the other places. but anyways. we got the cheese went back the hotel and made some sweet grilled cheese sandwiches. soo good. for the rest of the day we relaxed in the hammock and wrote in our journals.

Posted by leighner 16:43 Archived in Guatemala Tagged backpacking Comments (2)

Guatemala

San Pedro

sunny 25 °C

We left Santa Elena at 10PM for the 8 hour bus ride to Guatemala City, the ride itself was really long, and there was little leg room for me (6ft3in). i was crammed into the corner but for the first part of the trip i had two seats to myself, which was really nice. We all had our malaria medication that day too, it didnt have any effect on ryan but it made craig and ,Especially me, wired. i was up all night in a really uncomfortable possition. not only that, but the bus was air conditioned. i know it doesnt sound that bad. but when it gets too cold for canadians whom just came from a very cold winter not to long ago.
when we made it to guatimala city we were swamped by taxi drivers wanting our money. we bartered the driver down to 1.10 USD. we made it to the appropriate bus station(because every bus company has their own station) and waited for the bus. The spanish phrase dictionary was left inside the taxi so we had to ask the guard holding the shotgun where the nearest bakery was using our poor grammer and knowledge of spanish. me and craig left to go to the bakery while ryan watched the stuff. like every morning we didnt buy a big enough breakfast, we ended up just buying a sugary bun of which i had know knowledge of for each of us. it filled us up for the moment so we assumed for some reason(again!) that we would be filled up for the rest of the 3 hour trip that was ahead of us. the trip to panachel was fairly comfortable, though i was running on very little sleep i still didnt get any sleep on the bus. we have desided to pay in exact change for the bus because we definately got screwed out of 10Q. The country side was incredible once we got out of the big city, i finally got to realize how high we were above sea level. A lot of the time we were over 1000ft above sea level. The road winded up and down and left and right over and over. i found my ears actually popping many times. the towns relied mostly on farming to sustain their economy in that area. but the fields were on the steep hills or on on flields that resemble stairs. they were the stairs of the hills, incredibly large stairs, but stairs non the less. we finally made it the bustling city of Panachel during peak market hours. thats when things really got crazy on the bus. people started piling in from every direction, the bus had many open seats before we came to the city. but by the time we came down town. people were triple to a seat. it hard to have a conversation with a person whom you dont speak the same language with. Slowly but surely im picking up the language, even without the spanish lessons. it reminds me of riviere du loup and trying to communicate with the locals in french. you have to improvise with what you know and maybe add a few hand gestures(not the middle finger).

we got off in the downtown area. We werent really sure if it was the right place to get off but it is what everyone else was doing and we were getting close to sea level. I think thats as close we were going to get to our criteria. we made our way to the tourist information centre and met this curiouse man from new york who was nice enought to guide us around and some information on taking the water taxi. By this time we were famished so he suggested we got to a nice resturant called "Deli", the man said that it was one of the more expensive places in town we ate some really good food there, i had milk for the first time sinse i got here 8 days ago. this is really unusual for me because i drink milk by the bucket full. i definately getting into the hot sauce around here. Im going to have a serious tolerance to it when i get back home. ryan had the banana pancakes, me, craig and Bill(new yorker) all had the burger. They were amazing. the bill was a little more expensive compared to the rest of Guatemala but we made do. for the three of us it cost 108Q or 14USD(approx) which is amazing. we then wen back up the main drag for a second time and went to the ATM to take out 2000Q(1USD=7.6Q)and then we went to the dollar store to get some more of the sweet, sweet, hand sanitizer.We were searching for more hand sanitizer because we have to use it before we take out our contacts, before we eat and after we eat. we were going through that stuff so very quickly that searching for some more ahead of time was a good idea. we were having no such luck finding hand sanitizer in the past week but bill was able to direct us to the dollar store where he bought his. he also taught us how to ask for it. and then we had success, woot woot. now we had to get the the boat. we had no luck haggling the boat owners down from 20Q to 15Q or 10Q they had a monopoly over the water taxi service in Penachel.

we eventually made it to san pedro and took the long trek to find a hotel. it felt like a wild goose chase to find the best hotel as well as get spanish lessons set up for the next day. the town is nothing but cobble stone and up hills and down hills. we were exhausted becasue we had already gone on several long bus rides, walking around Penachel, and running on little sleep. but we eventually found the best hotel for us. it had a good view of the water, had good access to our "school", resturants and lots 'o' hammocks.

the last 2 days blended together really nicely with the overnight bus ride. Today was perhaps the longest day(s) of the trip so far. but im excited/relieved to be staying in one spot for a while and able to settle in.

Posted by leighner 17:24 Archived in Guatemala Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

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