Sunday, July 25, 2010

guatemala, day 3

we woke up at beautiful lake atitlan (ah-tee-tlahn). i love that place.

growing up, in each house i've lived, was a stained glass window of this lake- a quetzal bird in the forefront. the window moved with us 3 times. i think loving it is

in my genes.

it's a lake 1,000 feet deep surrounded by volcanos. 84,000 years ago it was itself a volcano. now it's the volcano's caldera, filled with water. pretty cool.

after breakfast we rode the bus into town and took

a boat out on the lake. i still can't get over the weather there. lovely. it did rain a little, but i was cool with it. anything beats the heat.

the driver found a secluded little bay that was tucked away from the enormity of the lake. being at the base of the volcano was different than looking at it from a distance. green trees, bushes, plants, and grass covered it. it was very quaint here. i guess others agreed because there were some summer homes and maybe permanent dwellings as well. i waited to see the anchor. i like anchors, they intrigue me. i was surprised to see him walk toward me with a rope in his hands. he tied us to a tree branch just to my right. and that was that.

we anchored to a tree and had a devotional as a group. it was peaceful out on the lake. i liked singing and reading together. it felt good to leave the bustle of the city. it felt good to slow down and enjoy. even our transport was slow and allowed us to drink in our surroundings. again we talked about the history of this place. i was happy to be the benefactor of mom's preparations. it was a great devotional. (mom, could i get new copies of the devotionals? the humidity/rain really did a number on mine. i'd love to add them to my binder.)

out on the lake, dad talked to us about an ancient city (or a couple) that lay below us. it was submerged about 40 AD, give or take 15 years. i thought of pompeii in italy. this too was a city frozen in time, as it

tasted earth's furry. people lived here, did the things we do. work for food, for a roof over their head. they had forms of entertainment. children played outside. they shopped daily or weekly markets where they traded for goods and services. what were their hopes for their future? what were their daily worries? it's all buried underwater. their history and their secrets.

it was called chukumuk. in the 1950's, waters receded and some fishermen found what looked like a submerged city. we visited

the lake atitlan museum and saw pottery and other findings from different time periods. this pot dates back to the pre classic period.

some have attempted exploratory dives. but because it's an endorheic lake (doesn't drain into the sea) there are strange currents and suction underneath. i imagined a drain and whirlpool at the bottom of the bathtub. in 1997 jaques cousteau was scheduled to come dive in atitlan, but passed away that june.

we walked around the street markets of panajachel.

charisse found magnum ice cream bars. yum! garrett almost found his elusive diet red bull. but no dice. in fact, i didn't see 'diet' anything

while enjoying my magnum, i asked him why he didn't indulge in a regular rb. he let me in on the secrets of red bull~ i guess i've been in the dark all these years. it has to be diet. the fake sugar makes the taste even more biting. then you know it's working. (i think it smells like sweet gasoline.)

i took pictures as we walked.

speaking the language would have been nice, a couple of times, i just wanted to say, 'could i please take your picture?

and would you please look this way? here's a dollar for your time.' instead of holding out a dollar bill and saying 'photo, por favor?' to them. they were such sweet people.

the beautiful pool and gardens at hotel atitlan.

some went on the zip line. we spent the late afternoon back at hotel atitlan napping and sitting out at the jacuzzi. dad happened to be there. it was really cool to chat with him and listen to his stories. gar and i commented that this was another one of our favorite things. at dinner people were talking about the awesome zip line.

it sounded really fun. when i told
our dinner companions that we sat in the jacuzzi and listened to dad's stories, he asked warmly, and a bit incredulously, 'haven't you heard all your dad's stories?' i smiled and said no. i think i will always love hearing dad's stories, and i have a feeling he will never run out of them. it was a perfect afternoon.

during dinner we went back to rest in our hotel room. spending all morning on a boat caught up to g, who has severe motion sickness. he was a real sport traveling as much as we did, in as many different ways as we did. (truthfully our trip to this point looked like this to one who suffers from motion sickness: take a bonine pill, drive to airport, fly to dallas, drive to rob's, bonine pill, fly to guat, car ride to hotel, bonine pill, motion sick patch on ear, bus all morning (bumpy, windy roads),not nauseous- but drugged and tired, bus to hotel, bus to town, two bonine- ditch the patch, boat all morning, walk for an hour, bus to hotel. after just writing that i'm queasy too.) we came back later, just the two of us and had dinner in the lounge area. it reminded us of a lodge. very cool. it had stone walls, dark carved wood everywhere, ambient torch lighting, a massive fireplace and mantel, and really cozy, unique sitting arrangements. the bar was on the opposite wall. the icing on the cake was the lake/volcano view right outside the huge wall of windows. the vibe was very laid back. very comfortable. we sat on the sette and talked and ate. wish i would have taken a pic, but i was too busy enjoying and relaxing.


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Amy. This is the best "THANK YOU" you could give us. Love hearing that YOU loved all the details. LOVE your pics! They truly capture the experience. And YES, I can send you an e-copy of the devotional or bring you one. As you wish. (and you know what that means!!)

connie s.miles said...

Ames - You should print your guatemala adventure in a book! The photos are beautiful and your description is so exciting, thought provoking, lovely, etc.

Cassie and Chad said...

Oh I am loving all of your photos. What a wonderful trip, it makes me reflect on our trip to Guatemala and the warmth of the people, the bright colors and all of your details. Thank you for sharing. Your parents look great! Your mom is just as beautiful as I have always remembered her being.

Rhonna Farrer said...

we loved lake atitlan, too. i love your photos so much! wow wow wow!