San Pedro is a nice place to be. I find myself just sitting, enjoying the moment for many moments. I don´t do this often enough at home. Here I get up (get this) at 6:30 am (yes, Nancy, voluntarily), get ready, and just hang out until breakfast. During my two-hour lunch break I rest, actually rest, for half an hour or so before eating.
Today I wandered around for 45 minutes before the afternoon class. Now I´m sitting at a little cafe that plays a deliciously random mix of American music: rap – 50s classic – disco – Jimmy Buffett – Beatles – Metallica – sappy love song – do-wop – Rod Stewart. The courtyard is filled with banana trees (with real bunches o´ bananas!), orange honeysuckle-type flowers, and several bushes with varieties of deep purple and fuchsia flowers.
For half an hour I have been trying to convince myself to start my homework, but it is more important to stare at the volcano on the edge of town. It´s ancient, the mountain worn down to rocky folds, the whole covered by a rich carpet of trees. You can book a guide to climb it, if my knees and I can agree on the wisdom of such an excursion. I´d like to do it.
Classes are from Monday to Friday, so the weekends are free to explore. There are many towns on the lake, so I may wander around this weekend and see what they´re like. San Marcos is described as a hippie town, and Santiago is artsy. The roads between the villages are either nonexistent, physically dangerous, or rife with banditos. There are launches to various towns at two docks in town, which are easy to use, and fun. For about $3 you can bop around. The captains crowd people into the boat — locals, touristas, and Mayans in traditional dress. Everyone gets soaked, and you´re lucky to scramble off the boat before it leaves the dock. The skiff captains are the only people I´ve seen hurry here, and it´s not really a rush, just efficiency. The longest ride, from Panajachel to San Pedro, is about 45 minutes. The water is a crystal-like blue-green and calls one to jump in.
Which I would gladly do, but for knowing that mudslides a couple of years ago destroyed sewage treatment plants along the lake, and now everything, use your imagination, everything dumps into the lake. I will enjoy it from above, gracias. There is a place to rent kayaks on the other side of town, so I may try that this weekend.