Saturday, April 4, 2015

Danger, Beauty, and Fun

un alacrán pequeño
The Lake Atitlan area is so beautiful, with bright flowers everywhere, fluttering palm trees, whispering pines, gorgeous blue skies dotted with fluffy clouds, towering volcanoes, and of course the magical aqua-blue of the lake itself.
But it seems as if there is a bit of danger hiding beneath Gautemala's lovely exterior.
This morning Willow was very interested in something behind the garbage can. Turns out it was a wee little scorpion! We shooed Willow away and took a quick picture before Bert showed me his man-skills by capturing it in a glass and taking it outside. It was just a baby, only about an inch long.
When we told the landlady, she seemed nonplussed, as if they're a common occurrence. I asked her if she had been stung and she said, "Oh, yes. It feels like an electric shock but it only hurts for about five minutes." Apparently these brown scorpions grow to four or five inches, but aren't as deadly as the white or clear scorpions in the jungles to the east.
After that exciting start to the day, the landlady took us on a lovely yet arduous walk to the nearby town of Santa Catarina Palopó.
It was a lot of uphill walking. I was quite winded!
Bert and the landlady are in much better shape and
had a nice conversation as they walked.
This is the Mirador before Santa Catarina.
That is Santa Catarina down below. Everything is very dry right now because
it is the end of the dry season. The rainy season will start in a few weeks.
Heading down from the peak into Santa Catarina.
As I was walking down this hill, I knew I wouldn't be able to walk back up it to go home.
This led to some more adventures later on.  :)
The dock at Santa Catarina. It costs Q25 per person to take a boat back to Pana.
We considered it but instead...
...we got on this truck! I took this picture after we got off at the top of our driveway.
The landlady and I were in the back of that truck with the two dogs, while Bert, the crazy man, hung off the back just like a local! These trucks go back and forth between the little towns and only cost about Q2 or Q3. Much cheaper than a tuk-tuk.
Everyone in the back of the truck thought it was hilarious that we brought the dogs on. They sat quite politely in the midst of all the legs! The truck went pretty slow up and down the hills and over the various potholes, but Bert did say he was glad it wasn't much farther because his arms were getting sore. It was fun!
After that little adventure, I took a nap while Bert went off into town again to see if he could find a barber. Because of the holidays, a lot of stores were closed, so he just sat down and enjoyed some people-watching.
When he got home, we took a stroll down to the private park at the end of our road. the park is shared by the residents of the road plus some families from up in San Andres Semetabaj, the town above us on the hill. We met some friendly kids who had come down to kayak and jetski. They spoke amazing English! They were fascinated to hear about Canada, especially about the snow.
The view from the park in the morning.
Muskoka chairs at the park.... Do they call them Atitlan chairs here?
The two pictures above were taken in the morning a few days ago when we first checked out the park. The video below was taken just tonight as we sat and watched the sunset. So lovely! But when I asked Phyllis about going swimming there, she said, "Sure, the water's fine, just watch out for the fire ants on the beach." Ha! Another hidden danger in this beautiful land.

No comments :

Post a Comment