This is the place for photos and reflections of my visits to Latin America beginning in 2012. Previous blogs are linked on the main pages of my photo collections on flickr. HAPPY TRAILS!

Saturday, July 14, 2012


For years I've looked up at Nariz de Indio, also known as La Cristalina, and wondered if I could make it to the top. The elevation of the lake is about 4500 feet and Nariz de Indio tops 10,000 feet. Today a group of 8 students from the Cooperativa Spanish School had a chance to give it a go. Our tireless guide was Delfino, the beloved garden artist from the school (you really need to experience the garden to know what I mean by artist).

The day started with a beautiful sunrise, as seen below from the rooftop of my host family's house. The 2nd picture shows the view to the north; the peak near the center is Nariz de Indio.

We walked to the area north of the park by the Catholic church and hopped on a pickup bound for the neighboring village of San Juan.

We walked through town to the trailhead where we signed in and paid 20 quetzales each (about $2.50); there was an additional charge of 30 quetzales (about $3.70) when we reached the top.

There goes Delfino - up the hill!
Most of the photos are self explanatory but I'll pipe up now and then.
San Juan is to the right and San Pedro is on the pointy bit that sticks out into the lake nearer the left.
Un Mirador or overlook above San Juan.

Taking a break at another mirador. Please note that Delfino could have charged right up that mountain at twice our pace and without a break. Count that up to growing up at 4500 feet above sea level and working at a very physical job 6 or 7 days/week.

I love this one. :-)

I thought the bony knob was our goal but actually there's a higher part behind it.
One advantage of needing to take breaks is you see lots of interesting and beautiful things while you catch your breath.

San Pedro on the right; I think that's San Pablo on the left.
 I made it!!
So did Zechariah (and the other 6 students).
And, of course, Delfino.
The (rather rickety) lookout on the peak.
We enjoyed the views for half an hour before heading down toward the village of Santa Clara.

Once we were down from the steepest part much of the trail was through farmland.

We visited the cemetery.
That's Nariz de Indio in the background; Santa Clara is (obviously) at a higher elevation than San Pedro.
I was so happy this nice man let me take a picture of his pigs.
Heading toward the market - it was hopping!.

Delfino and I sat in the shade and enjoyed people watching in the parque central. I offered to take Delfino out to lunch but he said he'd rather wait because the food is much better in San Pedro.

He relented to a shoe shine when I offered to pay and that boy really earned his 2 quetzales (about 16 cents).

 After an hour it was time to head back through the market to our meeting place.

We packed more than twice as many people into the colectivo as the van was built to haul; I was too compressed to count but others counted at least 24 and Zechariah was pretty sure there were 28. Cost was 5 quetzales (about 40 cents) from Santa Clara to San Pablo.
In San Pablo we switched to tuktuks for the rest of the way to San Pedro. Our tuktuk couldn't make it up the new road into San Pedro so Delfino hopped out and asked permission to go the old way in the wrong direction. That worked until the next uphill when Delfino and another passenger had to get out and push, which worked until the tuktuk ran out of gas. With the help of the reserve tank, we made it back into town safe and sound. Happy trails!

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