After our two nights in San Juan La Laguna, we had to say goodbye to Kris and Marina, who headed west to the Pacific Ocean. Elliott and I were sad to see them go, but we were glad we were able to convince them to travel with us for a while through Guatemala.
Elliott and I had booked three nights at an Airbnb in the neighboring town of San Pedro La Laguna, but before we temporarily parted ways with Paul and Lauren, the four of us went into town in San Juan to check out some of the shops that we hadn’t been into yet. Our first stop was at a store run by the Asociación de Mujeres en Colores Botánico, a group of women who offer traditional Mayan products that they’ve handmade with cotton and silk thread colored with natural dyes.
One of the women who works at the shop demonstrated how they spin and dye the thread by hand. She also showed us around the shop and pointed out products to us.
The woman asked me if I wanted to model something and I said of course, so she tied this beautiful scarf around my shoulders like a shawl, and I ended up buying it because I couldn’t help myself. She told me it generally takes a week to prepare the thread and another week to make such a scarf.
Then we checked out some of the other shops that line a steep hill leading to Lake Atitlán. Since I was so hooked on the Guatemalan textiles at this point, I was on the lookout for something nice for my Mom, and I found it inside a shop owned by this sweet woman, Ruth, who had a young daughter.
Elliott even bought a cool long sleeved shirt for himself on our shopping adventure.
Then the four of us headed back to the hostel so Elliott and I could grab our stuff and move to our new accommodations. We walked out to the road and hailed a tuk-tuk, a motorized rickshaw, to take us to San Pedro.
Our tuk-tuk was named Emerson, which I thought was cool because that’s the company that my Dad works for.
When we arrived at our Airbnb, located on the outskirts of town away from the bustling tourist area, we were blown away by the place. We got the room at the top of a three-story guesthouse that overlooks the lake. We had our own bathroom, small kitchen kitchen and patio with a hammock. We were even able to settle in more than we have anywhere else by putting out clothes in dresser drawers.
The family who rents out the rooms lives in a house on the same property, so we got to know them really well. Our host, Stephen, grew up in Maine and moved to San Pedro when he was in his 20s. His wife, Maria, is a Spanish who’s from San Pedro.
On our first night, we walked a little ways into town to grab dinner at a random restaurant, which served burritos made with pizza dough. Then we grabbed a tuk-tuk back to the Airbnb because it was downpuring. The ride reminded me of Harry Potter’s trip on the Knight Bus because it fairly terrifying as we sped along the bumpy roads, splashing through puddles and sometimes stalling on our way up steep hills.
The next morning, I woke up early and enjoyed the view of the lake while laying in the hammock. A few hours later, Elliott and I went to the market to get fresh vegetables and other supplies to make breakfasts and dinners.
Before noon, we went with Stephen and his son, Brady, to the private beach owned by the family even further away from all the touristy stuff. Along the way, we got to see large swath the land where they’re growing a ton of different fruits and vegetables, and met some of the guys who work for the family. Then we swam in the lake at the private beach.
After we showered and changed, Elliott and I went to check out the area where most of the shops, restaurants and bars are located in town. We ended up grabbing some food and drinks at a popular cafe and hung out there for a couple of hours until we met up again with Paul and Lauren.
We brought them back to our Airbnb to make rice and vegetables for dinner and to try some cacao, a euphoric chocolate, which we bought at the cafe. Then they headed back to their hostel and we went to bed.
The next day, the rain stopped us from going to San Marcos, so we hung out around the Airbnb for a while in the morning and then went to another coffee shop in San Pedro for a few hours. While we were waiting for the rain to stop, we ate lunch, planned some of the forthcoming days of our trip, worked on the blog and read.
Then we retuned to our Airbnb with the intention of making pasta and going back out for a couple of drinks, but it started raining again and we felt so lazy after eating, so we just stayed in and drank a couple of beers.
The next morning, we hopped in a minibus and went to Antigua for the second time to spend the night before our flight to San Jose, Costa Rica.