Friday 07th Oct – Visit to San Marcos La Laguna

After work on Friday we set out to San Marcos across the lake to view a new apartment to stay in for the next 7 weeks!  The reason for coming to this part of Guatemala was essentially to have a working area with a fantastic view!

Our journey began with a walk along the dusty roads, over the slightly dodgy river bridge and through town to the docks.  On our way we noticed some shoes thrown over the power lines – why does this happen everywhere in the world??!

Today, we were determined not to be ripped off by the boat captains and after reading lots of articles about the public ferries (as opposed to an expensive private boat hire) we determined the fare should be a maximum of 20Q each.  The trouble is that on the docks there are no signs or information anywhere, just dozens of private boats with local captains all shouting ‘Boat Publico Aqui!’ to the tourists.  The first one wanted 50Q each, a second further down wanted 30Q each, but we settled on 25Q each with a guy who promised to take us straight to the private dock we wanted. As this worked out to be £2.50 each we boarded the small boat.

Just before we left, the vendor boarded to collect his dues and told us we were going straight to San Marcos (and not the private dock) and demanded 50Q each. Emma bolted. The guy reduced the price to 35Q. Emma started scrambling off the boat. “Okay, okay, 25Q each” relented the salesman. Emma sat back down. San Marcos was the closest town to where were wanted, so not much of a loss. The aggressive sales techniques really sap your energy!

A small group then joined us who were a (new age) family who had paid 150Q each for a trip to San Marcos followed by a trip to San Pedro and a return. Hence the reason our destination had changed!  The trip across the lake was beautiful and there are so many houses and hotels dotted along the shore which must be fantastic to stay in!

After about 20 mins we reached San Marcos and wandered through the main street to find beer and food!  We found a beautiful place just set off the track slightly and had a delicious brunch with some Bock bier and a gin and tonic!

After brunch, we took a tuc tuc over to the apartment we were viewing as we didn’t know the way from the dock we had been brought to!  This was 40Q but such a long muddy road it was worth it!  We were shown into the complex by the groundskeeper and were then met by the owner, Pierre who is a fashion designer who retired here some years ago.  There are 6 lovely properties which have all been designed with the main living areas and shower areas looking out onto a fantastic view of the lake.  They are all different sizes but all have good facilities (fridges, microwaves, coffee machines) and private gardens.  After looking around, we agreed to stay with Pierre until 26th November and will move here on Sunday (another post to follow).

We flagged down a passing ‘boat publico’ from the private dock to take us back to Pana and were not surprised to find that we arrived at a different dock to the one we had left from!  So this is where you catch the public boat!!  We decided to have a couple of beers at the lake front before heading home so we stopped off at a lovely bar and tucked into a fruit platter.  After this, we headed back for a home cooked meal of rice, pineapple, onion, egg, chorizo and smokey tomato sauce whilst watching the Bourne Identity on our projector!  Awesome day.

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