Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pana, Pana, Pana

Yes, we went back again! One might think we are becoming Lago Atitlan junkies...sort of like those Euro & American hippies who have set up shop on the streets of Panajachel. There's sun, fun, and of course the lake....we can't seem to stay away. Really, Lago Atitlan is a great, easy place to get away to for the weekend. It's only two and a half hour via direct chicken bus (20Q) and there is tons to do. This time we had an agenda....Christmas shopping! We haven't really purchased much during our time here in Guatemala because we haven't wanted to haul it around with us, but our departure date is soon approaching and Pana has the best shopping around!

We weren't quite prepared for the change in the climate at the lake! The last time we visited (about a month ago) the weather was warm and we dressed the part. This time it was quite windy, and downright uncomfortable in the evenings....at least the afternoons were still warm!
We took a side trip (in pickup) to San Antonio Palopo to do some shopping at the women's co-operative that we visited with the school during our first excursion to the lake. There we spent some time chatting with the women and appreciating their work. We also put together a little holiday surprise, but I can't tell you about it....yet!

We also got to spend a few hours hiking around the Reserva Natural Atitlan (also known as the Biosphere), just a few miles outside the center of Panajachel. Now home to a giant eyesore of a hotel, this place used to be the biggest coffee plantation at the lake. We hiked over swing bridges, past waterfalls, and visited a butterfly enclosure. We even got to see a spider monkey swinging from the trees above us!

Look out ladies! He's got legs and he knows how to use 'em!

Mom, this one isn't for you....it's a long way down!

Our friend the Spider Monkey!

...and the other spider monkey!

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