The largest city in Mesoamerica.
The trip to famous lake Atitlan was a challenging one,
squeezed like a Sardine in a Goddamn chickenbus, not being able to wiggle a
toe nor move an arm for 4+ hours with 3 year old Brandon vomiting all over us.
What a difference a few hours make.... the plane before was sublime.
The bus stopped prematurely in Solola' instead of Panajachel down at the Lake.
Had to stay the night....so here are some photos of the Highland town Solola'.
Going down to the Lake.
Finally at PANAJACHEL ! Hippie Haven ! Shangri-La !
With Tuk-Tuks n all....just to remind me of SE Asia !!!
Is that the same guy that was up in Solola'?....is he following me....?
Down at the Lake front, getting a boat to San Pedro.
Santa Cruz, along the way.
Arriving in San Pedro.
The Docks, underwater, because of exceptionally high water levels in the Lake.
There he is again!....new disguise...but doesn't fool me...
it's the CIA, cunningly cloaked in spyware.
I think they think I can't spot em.......fools.
Ok....a little more subtle....they're learning..they're learning....
San Pedro is popular with New Agers.
It's supposed to be Atitlan's Bohemian party spot.
These pictures are taken during a short stroll around town...
The death cult is going strong around here it seems. If you
didn't know who Jesus was you'd think he's some kind of revolutionary
rebel ala Che Guevara.....as political sloganing on city walls is a common
art form throughout Latin America.
I'm not sure what the evangelical scumbaggery around this Maya Highland Lake is all about...
The evangelical attitude must be an unfortunate "cultural" remnant from all the missionary scum
that wreaked havoc with the indigenous people in Maya land since the "Conquest", fervently trying
to eradicate any vestige of their cultural heritage and Pagan traditions in their chauvinistic attempt
to turn all of the Americas, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, into one culturally homogenous, lovely JESUSLAND.
I have not seen any of these culture assassins in action here yet but I'm sure there are one or two of them maggots
somewhere in the woodwork around here. It's creepy as HELL in any case, gives me DA WILLYS!!!
Indoctrination starts at an early age in San Pedro, at the Jesus playgrounds...
Now at least that's more appropriate, on the "dump truck"....
"The blood of Jeeesus cleans your sins",
(picture it exclaimed with the hysterical fervor of a southern Baptist preacher, with fangs).
Brando trying out some local organic chocolate.
"Chocolate" is a Mayan loan word to the rest of the world.
Thank you Maya, for the word (xocolātl) ... AND the Chocolate !
Chocolate has been used here in its birth place for Millennia as a food & as a religious item.
We spent a day making it with our new friend Wilfred, the chocolate expert.
Shelling the fermented, dried & roasted beans.
They smell good already & taste great.
No need to even turn em into Chocolate.
Going to have em ground up at the Village grinder.
The beans come out the grinder as 100% pure chocolate sauce !
Then we added local honey & either Coconut or Orange as flavors.
Downtown San Pedro.
Desfarçado de pobre.....hein !
The Hippie section.
Organic gardens abound.
Donning cleaner garb.....Creative !
Locals celebrating "Jesus gets nailed" day.
Car enthusiast ey.
The bread Lady.
The Buddha bar, best food in town, probably. Pan-Asian menu.
The view from Pinocchio.
The view from Henderson.
That little Village on the other side is San Pablo.
San Pedro Volcano, 3020 meters.
At the San Pedro boat ramp to Santiago, the houses are underwater because of water
levels 5 meters above normal because of recent hurricanes filling up the Crater.
Atitlan is indeed a spectacular place, 320m deep reasonably clear waters
(with a constant flow of raw sewage streaming in) in a muy dramatico caldera
lake at 1558m surrounded by 3000+ meter Volcanoes (all higher than Haleakala) and
throw in plenty of authentic villages where Mayan is spoken dotting the landscape.
Nice spot. One drawback of such a picturesque place is the constant presence of smoke in
what otherwise would be pristine mountain air thanks to thousands of quaint wood burning stoves.
And if it isn't the wood smoke it's 100% unfiltered exhaust fumes from the Tuk-Tuks et all...
That's Toliman Volcano (3158m) and Atitlan Volcano (3536m) behind Marcia & Brando.
End of San Pedro photos.
Trippin across the Lake to San Marcos.
Walking to San Pablo.
San Pedro Volcano.
...trying to keep his head down...it isn't working Dude.
San Pablo !
Solidarity in San Pablo.
Walking to San Juan.
Art galleries abound.
Here heading to Santa Cruz.
The Santa Cruz shore.
And the Town itself, clinging to the Mountain slope.
This is pretty much the steepest town I've ever visited outside the favelas of Rio.
No pico do morro.
King of the hill.
This one seemed pleasant at first...then, when within striking distance,
the hand shoots out and a bone chilling "Un Quetzal" (the local currency)
in a "Chucky" or "The Exorcist"-like voice shatters the air.
The Western part of Santa Cruz's shoreline.
Our Shack at night.
Today We'll hike down the coast...
with our guide.
The Casa del Mundo Hotel.
The fabulous Casa del Mundo.
Back in Santa Cruz.
Today we have a massive flash flood.
San Pedro Volcano sunset.
Racing with the lads, modern vs. traditional.
Underwater Lake Atitlan. The water is about 22 Celsius.
There isn't much to see.
The sunken Casa del Mundo.
I've noticed that the Maya are very skittish about having their photo taken,
that they are very short and that no man dare be seen in public without a HAT !
About half are illiterate and are easily duped by a plethora of Jesus Cults and they
don't smile a lot. Hygiene is not a high priority (hello DelhiBelly), restaurant staff blowing
their nose in the same dirty rag as is used to wipe "clean" the plates & cutlery = typical.
I have ALSO noticed an amazing similarity to INDIA, be it the Tuk-Tuks (imported from India),
the colorful clothes with shiny bits on them or the people themselves who look kind of Indian.
It is also CHEAP and the Maya highland God Maximon has a striking resemblance to Vishnu, more
specifically Vishnu's 9th incarnation (Krishna). Maximon or Ry Laj Man as he's called down in Antigua is
also into drinking Rum, smoking specific brands of cigarettes and in some parts his "pole" is highly venerated.
Add to that "Delhi Belly" from lack of hygiene and the fact that the locals see you as little
more than an ATM machine with legs (to which they have the PIN) makes the picture complete.
Discrimination and racism is an ingrained part of the culture here (like a cast system). You will be charged
double (or triple, or quadruple) for everything from transport to merchandise because of the color of your skin.
Only in a supermarket paying the same as all other human beings for a pint of milk can you get away from
the sensation of, as Borat would put it, "hordes of brown people clawing at you".
I have a dream....that someday the Guatemayans will hear of the noble words of the late great dr. King.
Now hang on a sec....?!? Short....bad hygiene....don't smile much....lots of head lice...overcharge........TROLLS !!!!