Did not get too much time to work on Journal as hoped - all postponed for our next long stop. We started off at 8am as usual and drove about 30 minutes to a BIotopo which is like a national park and trying to encourage the breeding of the Quetzal – the national bird but in short supply. This is the only place making a serious effort to breed them and we did manage to spot one lone female high up in the trees. The walk through the cloud forest was a welcome bit of movement – not too arduous but uphill at the start. There was nothing much to look at apart from water trickles which could be waterfalls if larger. The vegetation was much as you would expect in these coolish and humid conditions – lots of ferns, palms of different types, orchids and bromeliads.
We then faced the long trek to the lake via Guatemala City where we should have stopped for lunch. This plan fortunately changed as we were late and we stopped sooner. We then hit a huge traffic queue where we were held up for another 40 minutes and G.C never seemed to get closer.
The scenery is always interesting – high mountain ranges, lower rolling landscapes and changing agriculture. Some communities are quite poor and there were lots of hawkers trying to sell peanuts and cashews while we were held up in the traffic.
Marvin, our guide, is very knowledgeable and gives us talks in the bus on Education, Health Care, Religion, Economy etc so we have gained a lot of information on Guatemala and understand its struggles. These talks always help to pass the time but this trip was very long for all of us and we were very pleased to finally get to our lakeside hotel for a three night stay. We are in a small village Called Santa Caterina, just to the east of the bigger village of Panajachel.
The rooms is very nice with a balcony overlooking the swimming pool and lake beyond. On the oother side is a volcano - on of several. I was glad to see my bed and missed yet another dinner.