Saturday, December 19, 2015

Poutine in San Pedro

Went for my third visit to San Pedro, this time with my lovely friends, Amazing Iva and Texas Jan. We had such a blast! :)
Iva had never been to San Pedro before, and she totally loved it. I think she is seriously considering moving over to that side of the lake. It certainly does have a different vibe than Pana.
We had decided to go to Pana to visit the awesome health food store there, plus just to see the sights. I was researching a restaurant we could go to for lunch and came upon the Mikaso Hotel. I opened up their online menu and what to did my wondering eyes did appear? POUTINE. Iva and I were in complete agreement : OMG totally going there!
So the three of us met at the docks in Pana at just past 11am and headed out!
The road down to the docks in Pana. These lanchas go to the small towns on the north and west side of the lake.
There is a different dock for boats going to the south and east.
TIP: A lancha (boat) to San Pedro costs Q25. On the way there, you pay when you disembark at San Pedro docks. But on the way back, you have to pay before you get in the boat. I figure they don't want people skipping out on the fare when they reach Pana!
No picture can captured the steepness of this road up.
Luckily, the main shopping/tourist road is right before the really steep part. 
I find San Pedro to be cleaner and more well-maintained than Pana.
But look at those crazy power lines!
Nice wide streets, fun shopping, lots of young hippies. :)
From the docks, you just walk up a bit and turn left on the first street to find San Pedro's equivalent of Santander -- shopping, bars, restaurants, and all that good stuff. (Turn to the right, there are a few more shops, and straight UP goes to the main part of the town.) The health food store is not too far down the street, and we spent quite a bit of time browsing their goodies. I bought some peppermint extract for fudge and mint hot chocolates! YUM.
The best health food store on the Lake! (My sister loved this place too!)
This adorable shifty-eyed pooch was hanging around the health food store.
After the health food store, we just meandered down the lane and checked stuff out. But we realized we were pretty darn hungry, so we hopped in a tuk-tuk to find the Hotel Mikaso. What a ride! The driver honked at almost every intersection to warn others -- smart -- and took some pretty tight corners at top speed! There are some darn narrow alleys in San Pedro but they're all relatively clean and flat. Not so much the bumpity-bump ride you get in Pana.
We were glad we had taken a tuk-tuk too because I don't think we would have ever found the hotel. But wow, I'm soooooo glad we did. It was an amazing spot!
The lovely garden walkway to Mikaso Hotel.
San Pedro volcano. This area was stinky with the smell of rotting lake plants!
Panajachel is waaaaaay over there!
Lovely rocky shores.
A view from the second floor of the hotel, looking over the main courtyard and entrance.
Wow, would love to have a soak in those hot tubs!
The restaurant is on the third floor and is ALL windows!
Care to tickle the ivories?
Proof of the rising waters of Lake Atitlan. I was fascinated by this building! I wanted to go down and swim inside.
Texas Jan, me, and Amazing Iva!
We sat on the amazing patio and had some drinks and chatted but it was so incredibly windy, we decided to go inside to eat so that our hair wouldn't get in our food!
We all ordered poutine -- even Jan! She had never had it before, being from Texas and all. It was a pretty decent poutine actually. The Mikaso is owned by a fellow from Quebec, that's why it's on the menu. But honestly, it wasn't the food that was amazing about the Mikaso, it was the location and the views! Absolutely breaktaking. And I'm not talking about the high winds!
Kitty sleeping the Mikaso's garden.
After our delicious lunch, we walked back through the twisting alleyways to the main street. It actually wasn't that far of a walk, but it seems like it would be easy to get lost!
We also found The Buddha Bar, which will be our lunch stop next time!
Three almost identical black-with-white-feet dogs (brothers & sisters, I imagine) and one smaller black & tan.
They had found a clump of feathers on the road. They were super friendly too!
GIANT cookie! The Mayan lady selling it said it was manĂ­ (peanut) but it really tasted more like sesame seeds.
It was delicious! I ate the whole thing. :)
Some more shopping and strolling and gawking and it was time to get back on a boat to go home. Well, let me tell you! That was more of an adventure that it would appear in text! It was so windy that there were whitecaps on the lake. We were the unlucky fools who sat at the front of the boat too! As we were pulling away from the dock to head out, a man motioned to us to pull up a big black tarp that was laying in the bottom of the boat. We were like -- uh-oh!
Sure enough, we got SOAKED. Iva and I laughed so hard that our tummies ached. I don't know why we thought it was so funny. Perhaps just the futility of trying to hold down a plastic tarp in high winds while getting repeatedly soaked with cold waves that were splashing over the bow of a creaky old wooden boat that felt like it was going to break apart with every SMASH down into a trough! Oh, we howled for a good 10 minutes! I don't think the rest of the boat found it as amusing as we did.
Eventually we were worn out, plus the waves became less severe, so we settled our bruised butts down for the rest of the ride home. Getting off the boat in Pana, we felt like we had been on a roller coaster! Kinda wobbly, sore, relieved, exhilarated, and a bit nauseous.
Good times! Can't wait to do it again, my friends!

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