Well my friends, I have arrived. Well, arrived in Guatemala, which makes me happy because I am sick of forgetting what country I am in. And I am sick of trying to remember what to call things, regional Espanish has been kicking my ass.
I am now in San Marcos, on the shores of Lake Atítlan. Where I am warned it is very hard to leave.
I came by chicken bus, crammed in with my knees pressing on the seat in front of me, making faces at the little kids in front of me, crowded by women wearing indigenous textiles alive with flowers and animals. We were held up by construction for an hour during which another ten vendors loaded themselves on to the bus with fruta, papas fritas, agua pura, a veritable market marching down the aisle of the bus that was already full of people. Finally I was dropped off at high speeds at the cross roads of two highways only to find out that I had two more buses to take. On the bus to Solola I met a local who hable ingles and appointed himself as my guide to getting to Pana.
I only saw Solola at the beginnings of sunset, long light hitting the cathedral, woman grilling corn on the corner next to our bus. Then we rolled down the hill to Atítlan, the volcanoes swinging in and out of view, wearing scarves of orange clouds. The hills painted in various shades of gray blues carving silhouettes on the horizon. I jumped off in the middle of Panajachel and wandered down the street lined by vendors selling an infinite number of same same but different crafts. And I was finally, thirteen hours after leaving San Salvador, on the shores of Atítlan.
Yesterday I suffered through a bumpy boat ride to San Marcos, the spiritual center of Atítlan, where I now reside, at least for another day.