From the lake I headed to Guatemala City in a share shuttle; not exactly uncomfortable but 5 and half hours instead of what would have been ~3 hours in a private ride.
This little shuttle friend and I entertained each other along the way.
Traffic was so heavy in Guatemala City that I even made friends with bus passengers that moved slowly back and forth in my line of vision for the better part of an hour.
In Guatemala City I stayed 2 nights at lovely Villa Toscana in a small, perfect, single room, $38/night including tax, breakfast, and airport shuttles. The shared areas are beautiful and I enjoyed the traditional breakfast (could also have picked pancakes).
During the full day in between those nights I hired a driver, Elmer, to take me around Guatemala City. It was the 1st time I'd done more than sleep a quick night before heading to the airport in GC since the 1980's.
The ancient viaduct
High end area
Favela (Elmer's word). He pulled over on an overpass and asked if I wanted a photo. As I got out of the car to take the photo he yelled out, "10 seconds - no más!" because it's not a safe area. Oh.
Here is one of my favorite photos of the trip which I call 'Nothing a Little New Paint Can't Fix".
The Central Plaza was more about construction than romance but I enjoyed a few minutes' stroll and a visit inside the Cathedral. I didn't tour the Palace, below, because there was nearly an hour wait before the next guided tour and I hadn't the patience.
I snapped this photo of Elmer snapping a photo of the Cathedral and an incoming jet.
I also visited 2 wonderful juxtaposed museums on the campus of Francisco Marroquín University, the Maya textile museum, Museo Ixchel
and the beautiful history museum, Museo Popol Vuh.
The next morning I headed to Aurora airport, GUA where I took this photo for son Carlos
and on to DFW in Dallas where the high use of steel was culturally shocking.
Over the gulf
Hello to Eastern Oregon
and beautiful Mt. Hood.
How lucky am I, to head out year after year on what would be a trip of a lifetime for most travelers, and come home to the natural beauty and best beloveds in Oregon? Very lucky.
This post is for a group of photos that represent different aspects of life - for me and for others - on Lake Atitlán, photos that didn't fit into other posts.
The Cooperativa Spanish School has been my home away from home in San Pedro since 2007 and the school is moving to new digs this weekend (mid April 2013, photo collection here); the 1st 8 photos and some of the flowers photos later in the post are from the original school.
My last trip up the lane leading to the school, with Andrea and Lencho.
Andrea and Lencho
Elena and Rocky
Delfino, garden artist
Anna from England - so happy to meet this photography professor who facilitated a photography project for Beca students.
Housemate Jon, all tuckered out after San Pedro volcano hike
View from the school
Another view: El Barrio owners' wedding at Mikaso
Garden by Mikaso
Favorite taco stand
Toilet paper in a middle class home (really)
There were a lot of funerals while I was in San Pedro, streets full of them.
This old guy was a favorite of mine. He passed away a few weeks before my trip this year - 2nd and 3rd photos show memorial displays.
Dogs on my routes
Bella Vista Futbol
View of San Pedro from the road to San Juan
School kids clean up along the lake
On market days this man works insanely hard. I met him later - a Beca father.
The banana pancake sisters
The cinnamon bun/banana bread lady
Beautiful park, lovingly tended by a group from the Catholic church
Lights across the lake
Last view of San Pedro from the lancha
I spent a few hours in Panajachel before heading to Guatemala City, people watching and shopping for souvenirs and used textiles.
Kids' sports parade
Happy ending story: I dropped my little coin purse (sentimental value, a few dollars' worth of quetzales inside) and retraced my steps an hour later. This man saw me looking and ran out of his stall to ask if I was looking for the coin purse he had found on the walk outside. Yes!