I am presently on a shuttle from Guate to Pana for Christmas week. It is my first time to visit the lake and I am really looking froward to it.
We left Guate at 11:00 to go Antigua with the driver Carlos, a guy from Australia presently living in Seattle and a girl from Ireland ,presently living in Nicaraugua. She was going to Earth Lodge just outside of Antigua a place I really want to visit. I was theo second one on and got the front seat with Carlos which definitely turned out to be the right decision. On the way to Antigua Carlos would slow down and show me the coffee plants and the volcanoes so I could take some pictures. He made sure I was able to get good pictures.
Once in Antigua, we took a break for about 20 minutes and then we began to go around and around Antigua picking up the other 10 passengers going to the lake. That took about 1 hour and 15 minutes. There were some ruins we went by four or five times but finally we had our 14 people in the shuttle, our luggage all on top and we headed off for Pana. We should be there in about 2 hours.
Our shuttle is packed with one Canadian (me), one Guatemalan (Carlos), three Aussies, one South Korean and the rest Americans. I am really glad I got the front seat because it is packed back there. Everyone seems to be reasonably happy and are seasoned travelers. All told, I think this is a great way to get to Panajachel only costing $25 US.
We are climbing up the mountains on a very decent road. Of course, the fumes from some of the vehicles might aphixiate us though with the choice to breathe bad fumes or closing the windows in a nun air con shuttle there was no real choice.
It is beautiful, green trees all around us with Agua rising in the distance.
We continued to climb and climb through the mountains. All along the road were children and women waving at the vehicles. It was great to see that children are the same the world over. They find excitement and happiness is the small things. Suddenly we feared to the left and took off on a two lane highway that would lead us through many small towns and and eventually begin our descent into the lake region.
Lake Atitlan is beautiful. Panajachel is also a nice place. I look forward to exploring it. After dropping almost all the other passengers off at the different docks, picking up passengers who were heading back we arrived at Porta de Lago. Checking into my lovely suite was great and for the first time I saw the view from my balcony. Just beautiful. While not feeling guilty I do feel for my family and friends back home who have had to endure a huge ice storm right before Christmas.
Made contact with a friend who is also staying here and my Christmas trip begins. I wonder where I will be next year?