The Crack of Doom


With yesterday’s excellent sandwiches still on our minds we find our way back to the same place for breakfast. Today we return back to Guatemala, heading for lake Atitlan up in the highlands. It’s a long winding road with very nice views. Passing through the capital Guatemala City I remember reading about this place. It’s not a very nice town and through the middle of it runs a huge fissure with a river at the bottom. So what do you do with a convenient bottomless pit in the middle of town? You throw all your trash down there of course! This was what I had read about, all the poor people who make a living scavenging among the toxic rubble at the bottom of the crack…

Leaving the depressing capital behind we continue on excellent roads and make good headway. The road side is usually steep clay walls dotted withdrainage pipes, I imagine they would have a lot of landslides if they didn’t. We make a lunch stop at a roadside restaurant with excellent food and an equally excellently annoying mariachi band playing at full blast the entire meal.

Nearing our destination in the late afternoon we have to drive through a village with very narrow streets. This is where our driver Hugo really gets to show off his skills when successfully navigating our huge bus with mere centimeters clearence on each side! The road snakes down to the beautiful lake with the sinking sun and old volcanos framing the view.

Being so high up it’s rather chilly here and for the first time we get to break out our warmer clothes. We go down to the shore to watch the sunset and a comically inept water skier. The town, Panajachel, isn’t very big and pretty soon we have a good handle of what’s in it, so we find a restaurant and sit down for some dinner, beer and stories.

When it gets fully dark we get an unexpected treat, there is red lava showing on the side on one of the volcanoes! We make sure to take a bunch of really long exposure pictures of it before going to bed, very exciting!

Breakfast: 100 hon
Snacks before lunch: 42 quet
Lunch: 150 quet
Latte: 12 quet
Beer and snacks: 52 quet

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