After returning to Monkey Bay Marina in the Rio Dulce, Guatemala on 04/30/11, we spent a week getting Mobetah settled in her new slip along the outer long dock. Then on May 11 we took the bus to Antigua accompanied by our good friends Rodney and Katrina on Angelina. We spent a couple of days reaquainting ourselves with this lovely little town before hopping on a shuttle van for the ride to Monterrico, Guatemala on the Pacific coast. The ride was much different going west, as there was a four lane highway most of the way, and the land became quite low and flat as we approached the Pacific. It was out of season, so we had to search to find an open hotel. We shared a "penthouse" room that left much to be desired--the screens on the windows were torn, none of the sheets or towels matched, the toilet did not flush well, and the shower was cold! It also rained all night, so everything in the room was damp. We did find some nice places to eat and explored the little town. The sand on the Pacific coast is black from all the volcanoes, so from about 10 AM to 4 PM you cannot walk on it in bare feet, because it is so hot.
|Pool at motel--nicer than room!|
|Fish dinner in town.|
|Woman carrying items to sell.|
We decided we had seen enough of that part of Guatemala, so caught the van back to Antigua on May 14.
We stayed in a pleasant little hotel, Casa Cristina, where friends Norm and Linda on Ariel met us. We shopped, drank, ate, and toured Antigua for the next five days. On the 19th, Rodney and Katrina headed to Guatemala City to catch a plane back to the US, and we got a van to Panajachel on Lake Atitlan with Norm and Linda. The travel agent had recommended we stay at Hotel Jardines del Lago. It was quite luxurious compared to the smaller places we usually stay. We had King sized beds, lots of pillows and real hot water showers, and it included a nice breakfast in their restaurant. The hotel is surrounded by lovely gardens with many beautiful tropical plants and flowers. The first day we took a ferry boat to a funky hotel/restaurant on the hillside, Casa del Mundo, for a great lunch. The next day we took the ferry boat to San Pedro on the other side of the lake for lunch and sightseeing. Lake Atitlan is a beautiful lake nestled high amongst several volcanoes. There are many different groups of Mayans living all around, adding much color and interest to the area.
|King size bed.|
|View from our hotel|
|Another view of lake from the hotel|
|Bill, Linda and Norm on ferry boat.|
|Cathedral in Panajachel|
We returned to Antigua for two days, said goodbye to Norma and Linda who were returning to the US, and we took the 6 hour bus ride back to the Rio. (Always a thrill on narrow roads where everyone passes willy-nilly and the bus driver spends much of his time on his cell phone.) We finished getting Mobetah ready to leave for hurricane season, spent time at various places on the Rio, and finally boarded the bus for the 5 hour ride back to Guatemala City on June 4. We spent the night at our old stand-by, Los Torres Hotel, and flew back to Chicago, via Houston on June 5.