Day 38: San Cristobal, Mexico
Tupac stood me up the next morning, which is likely for the best as I wasn’t murdered but alone again. I was running out of things to do in San Cristobal.
After taking a horse ride up the mountain to see a Zapatista “village” that was really a town equipped with everything, including souvenir shops, I realized it was time to say goodbye to Mexico and hello to Guatemala.
There didn’t appear to be an easy border crossing with public transit so I purchased a ticket to Antigua on a tourist shuttle that cost more than my daily budget at $36.
It was an eight hour ride and somewhere along the way I decided to get off in Panajachel with the rest of the minivan occupants.
Panajachel has been compared to Koh San Road in Thailand and I can see why.
The main street is filled with locals selling bucketloads of bracelets, key chains and any other souvenirs.
As you walk down the street you are bombarded with people offering tours and kids selling 10 bracelets for 3 dollars.
Late afternoon when the sun begins to set, things start to slow down, the bracelet kids become tired and new friends approach you to see if you’re in need of drugs for the night.
The town isn’t very eventful but the lake it is on, Atitlan, is beautiful.
Surrounded by two volcanoes and many mountains, the lake is a volcanic crater and has many hot springs because of it.
The next day I woke up early to spend the day with Isabel, a German pharmacist on a 10-week vacation along with Australian Sally and Kate from Liverpool who were on vacation from working in Whistler.
We had originally hoped to rent bicycles to go to see hot springs but it turned out that renting a boat with a driver was strangely less expensive.
The driver took us to one of the towns on the lake and after looking at some of the woven goods we headed to the hot springs.
But were surprised to see that they weren’t steaming pools of water but just a section of the lake that had hot water.
The scenery was beautiful and it was nice to share it with other people.
While I had only known the other girls for 24 hours it reminded me of hanging out with friends from home, taking lots of photos and just being silly.
And with this day I officially ended my longstanding streak of being alone.