Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pana-Rocked! ♫

Hey party people! 

Helllloooo! I just got back to the home-base from a great weekend at Lake Atitlan. It may just be one of the prettiest places on Earth, and you shouldn't be surprised if I frequently mention that I will live there one day. Anyways! I know I haven't said much about work lately but I will update soon about everything new going on up at the hospital soon. For now - I just want to share with you how awesome of a weekend I had. 

Rocking out in Pana :)
Thursday night Lili and I ended up going out with Clark and Matt (our roomies) last minute and I'm really glad we did. Mostly because they are a funny, extremely easy going group of guys but also because Matt's last day was this weekend so I'm glad I got to hang with him for a bit before he leaves us. We went to an area about 20-30 blocks from the house where they have a ton of different bars all in the same area. We met a group of guys from Minnesota/Canada and ended up joining tables with them. They are in Guatemala doing a documentary and they were really cool people and great conversation! There was also a "local" Guatemalan dude that would not leave us alone for the longest time. Apparently he wanted money or a beer and was making up so many different stories as to why we should give it to him. Since I speak the least amount of Spanish (like zero) I really had no idea what was going on and wasn't saying much. All of the sudden he decided he was in love with me out of no where and wants my phone number and is trying to give me kisses on the cheek. Lili and I decided he probably likes the "strong-silent" type so if he really knew me he most likely wouldn't have been interested lol. He left for a bit and I was relieved but he came back about 30 minutes later with his guitar and some crazy outfit wanting to play music for me. Lili got him kicked out (thank goodness for her) and then we went on with our night! We ended up at Tacos and Tequilas, which is owned by one of the CCS guys best friends. They hooked us up with free tequila shots and it was a good time had by all! 

 Panajachel/Lake Atitlan
Friday morning was a little rough because there was a lot of blood at work and I realized that I don't do well with large amounts of blood. After work I had 1 hour to shower, pack and eat before we left for the Lake.... somehow I managed that but it was a close one and my packing job was questionable. It's about a 3 hour drive from Guatemala City and the whole thing is very curvy.... so I took some Dramamine and passed out for most of the trip or else I would have been puking everywhere. 

We arrived in the city of Panajachel (just one of the many towns on the Lake) around 5:30ish. **The town of Panajachel is located on the Northeast shore of Lake Atitlán, and has become a center for the tourist trade of the area as it provides a base for visitors crossing the lake to visit other towns and Mayan villages (Wiki info).
You can see the town we stayed at in yellow.
Once we got checked into our hotel (it was very cute and located on the main street with everything was going on) we got situated and ready to check out the town! We went looking around/ shopping in the market and I bought some awesome jewelry so I could fit in with everyone else. It was all so cheap.... that's still blowing my mind. After that we grabbed some dinner at Pana-Rock which is one of the most popular restaurants/bars in the area but we didn't know that when we went there. The owner was super nice to us and we were happy to find out that it was happy hour! We made friends with our waiter and had a freaking legit meal. It was a great way to start off the night. Oh, and they were playing music videos like Incubus, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Third Eye Blind so I was obviously enjoying myself.
After Pana-Rock we headed ended up trying a couple of other bars until we finally found The Allegre Bar in a hostel called La Palapa. This ended up being our favorite hang out for the weekend! It was basically only Gringos and we met so many cool people. We met the owner and became friends with the bartender (common theme of the weekend) and they were both so much fun. The owner is a chick from Arizona that got bored in the US and came down and opened up a hostel/bar. They had good mojitos, margaritas, plenty of beer, live music and a really awesome atmosphere. We had a blast .... to say the least :) 

The bathroom had bottle caps for a door - awesome!
Natalie and her BFF for the night.
We covered for the band while they were taking a break, no big deal.
The next day we were up by like 8am so we could get ready and go find a tour of the other towns around the island. It wasn't hard to wake up because I was already wide awake by the time the alarm went off. It is so loud around here. We got some breakfast and found a nice guy that took us down to the water to find a private boat tour. We wanted a private one because they don't rush you on each Island and there is more room on the boat. We went to 4 different towns and I will break them down so it's easier to see the small differences in each place. But before that here are some pictures of Panajachel on the way to the boat:

 San Marcos
First stop of the day was in the cute little town of San Marcos. It was very touristy and I would like to dub it the land of the hippies. This was probably the most beautiful out of all of the four villages. We stopped by a hostel down by the shore and met some people that were staying there from Alaska... we said we were from Texas they immediately were like AUUSTINNN!??! and they were all about peace and sunshine and yoga. It was pretty awesome though. 
Pulling up to the dock

Not sure how well they follow this rule...

Here's a little video so you can see for yourself how amazing this shore side was!

San Juan
This city was probably my least favorite of them all but it was still really cool. It was very arsty... there was an art gallery on every corner and the paintings were amazing. All of them were oil based and most of them were of local people and scenery. There was a lot of steep streets so walking was tiring but we found a couple of local shops and stopped by to check them out... and we got ice cream!! This town was definitely the least touristy so I liked that aspect of it but it was also a little bit sketchy because of that same reason. We stick out like sore thumbs in situations like that and that worries me a bit... the town was safe though and overall it was a good stop. 

Pulling up to the dock.

That was some dang good Ice Cream.. and only $1.25!
Restaurant on the lake

San Pedro
Welcome to my favorite stop of the day!! This place had it all... the scenery, not too touristy, cool places to go, fun things to see and a laid back atmosphere! We saw a bunch of people doing laundry and swimming down by the water. After walking around, doing some shopping and checking out the town we stopped and got something to eat and one of the local restaurant/bars near the water. It was owned by a guy from Scotland and he was easy going (just like everyone else in this area!) and he sat us up where the view was the best in the restaurant. This bar was exactly what I would want in a bar/restaurant if I ever opened one. It had three stories and on the 3rd story it had a big movie screen for movies, pool table, great lookout over the water, good view to the street and it was decorated really cool. Well hey.... you can see for yourself!
Right outside the dock area
Outside of where we stopped for lunch.
View from our table
You cannot smoke inside in most places around here


This was the last town we visited and it was the most intense Mayan village. It seemed to have the most poverty and the second we ventured off the main touristy road we immediately turned around and went back the other way. It was mainly all markets and it was pretty overwhelming. Although there were still a lot of gringos in the area... the people weren't as friendly to tourists as the other places. It was still fun and it had some good shopping! And of course another amazing view .... 
Coming into the Village

Video of the market:
The boat we took around all day!
The boat ride back a little intense because it was getting later and the wind was so bad it made for an extremely bumpy ride. The waves were intense and the boat driver found it funny that we were freaking out... but we were freaking out. 

I cannot stress enough how beautiful this area is and it was such a treat to get to visit it and walk around the communities for the day. I recommend the area for a vacation to anyone/everyone... and everything is SO cheap! And of course [still my favorite part of this entire experience so far] the extremely awesome people you meet along the way. It's a beautiful, small, friendly place to relax and/or let loose! 

ChiChi Market
Sunday morning we packed up and headed out for Chichicastenango - a little town with a BIGGG market. It is the biggest market in Guatemala! We stayed there for about an hour and a half and all made some pretty awesome purchases. I'm starting to look more and more local... you may not recognize me soon! Just kidding, but seriously. 
Some of my purchases this weekend:
So as you can tell this weekend was action-packed and tons of fun. I am sad that Matt is leaving us but also happy I had the chance to meet him! He is off to Peru next to do another volunteer trip. We actually got 8 new roommates yesterday but we haven't met them yet because they took a day trip to Antigua. This should be interesting with this many people in the house, but it looks like we still have just 3 people in our room and I am beyond happy about that. I will let you know how that turns out soon haha. Anyways as usual... thanks for checking in and I hope you got a feel for my weekend through the blog!

Have a great night ... Miss ya'll! 
Purpose is the place where your deep gladness meets the world's needs.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome pictures Abbey! The colors there are so intense. I am really enjoying reading your posts too. I am so grateful that you are there with Lili, and I know she is too. You guys take care of each other. Hugs!

    "Jehova es me pastor nada me faltara" (written on the side of the restaurant/bar owned by the Scottish guy) translated means: "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." Perfect for what you guys are experiencing.

    Have a super day tomorrow!