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Where the Rainbow gets its Color

Is that not beautiful? I’m no photographer and the tuk-tuk was moving on down the road but even with those handicaps, even a quick snap shot shows why Lake Atitlan is known by the Mayans as the place where the rainbow gets its colors”. Oh yeah, in my last post I was in excruitating pain [...]

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Shot from Tuk-tuk on trip from San Marcos to San Pedro

Is that not beautiful? I’m no photographer and the tuk-tuk was moving on down the road but even with those handicaps, even a quick snap shot shows why Lake Atitlan is known by the Mayans as the place where the rainbow gets its colors”.

Oh yeah, in my last post I was in excruitating pain in Little Rock and now I flying down the road in a tuk-tuk in Guatemala so I guess I’ve got some catching up to do so here goes… Flashback to Little Rock:

There I am, sitting in one of those slippery plastic chairs they put in airport waiting rooms. I used to think someone somewhere had made a terrible mistake when they designed those thing. Now I realize they were built that way deliberately. When you finally get out of it and on the plane, the comparison between the plastic chair and the seat in the plane makes you forget how horrible the plane seat actually is.

Anyway, the plane loads on time. By  5:45AM when the plane is supposed to take off everyone is on board and we are ready to go – we think. The plane backs up from the loading ramp and then stops.

Did I mention there is about three inches of snow and ice on the wings? Well, there is. So the pilot announces about about a ten minute delay to allow for de-iceing. So… an hour later, the plane is finally de-iced and we take off.

We hit the ground in Atlanta an hour late. My plane for Guatemala has already been boarding for ten minutes, then I find out it is about a mile run from where I am so I start running – at least as best I can with my loaded pack and my un-ibuprfened and un-coffeed body. I make it just before they close the door. But I do make it. 🙂

Unfortunately, for some unexplained reason, that plane sits there for another 45 minutes past take-off time which puts us into Guatemala City about an hour late. I grab a shuttle to Antiqua ($10 and about an hour and a half) then another shuttle to Pana ($15 and another three hours). This puts us into Pana just minutes before the last launcha leaves for San Marcos at 7:30PM. But I make it. 🙂

The trip across the lake is gorgeous. It is dark but the sky is clear. The stars are bright and shining. The lake is fairly smooth. I can see the lights from all the little cities around the lake. The volcanoes and mountains loom on the shores. In San Marcos I get a nice room of $10 and lay my tired, aching body down. Tomorrow will be a beautiful day. And I will tell you about it later.

Filed under: Guatemala

About the Author:

Gar Williams liquidated his former life, sold all his possessions that wouldn’t fit into a 46 liter backpack, and left it all behind at age 63. He is now traveling the world, and, in his words, is finally doing what he wants to do. Gar stops by at VagabondJourney.com from time to time to offer his wisdom and advice on the Senior Vagabond series. has written 65 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Gar Williams is currently in: Ecuador

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  • Sis December 15, 2011, 7:50 pm

    Well I am glad you made it safely. Am also glad because it sounds like you might have found some sort of contentment at least for the moment.—–Sis

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    • Gar December 16, 2011, 9:16 pm

      Hi, yeap. I’ve been here for over a week now. Just trying to get the blog caught up with real time. If my net connection holds out I’ll try to make another post tonight. :-0

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  • Nancy Taylor December 16, 2011, 1:40 am

    Wow, what a way to begin your adventure, glad you have made it there and the place sounds so serene and peaceful!!! I absolutely love the water, so any lake shot to me is the bomb! Can you swim in the lake there? Is the water warm? I am so curious to know about this lake, sorry, I am an Aquarius, can’t help but love the water!!! Anyways, we miss and love you! Hope your contentment continues throughout your great journey!!!

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    • Gar December 16, 2011, 9:20 pm

      Sure you can swim in the lake. People do it all the time – but I don’t think I will. There isn’t much sewage treatment around here and there are thirteen towns around the lake. I’ll leave it to your imagination as to where the effluent goes. It is a beautiful lake though – and over a thousand fee deep!

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  • claptona1 December 16, 2011, 7:32 am

    Hey Gar,
    Was just thinking yesterday that it had been awhile since you had posted, wondered if you were doing all right.
    Glad to hear your trip started off on a good foot!
    Interesting traveling with all the delays, all the timing problems and the “comfort” of the chicken busses.
    Good pic of Lake Attitlan!
    Enjoyed my stay there too. Nice little towns along the shores.
    Going to go to the semi active volcano, try the hike?
    Do that for a week, and you might get back into shape quickly, or find out where you’re weak points are!
    Glad to hear you are alive and well.
    Play nice and travel safely, my friend.
    John D. Wilson

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    • Gar December 16, 2011, 9:24 pm

      Hi John,
      Glad you dropped by. I’m staying off the chicken buses unless it is necessary. So far I used shuttles. So far I’ve been too busy with Spanish lessons and painting to do much of anything else but I do hope I get the time soon to hike up that volcano. You are right. I could use a week of that.

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  • Rob December 16, 2011, 3:48 pm

    G-Day Ed, What a magnificent location to start your adventures?? In my limited travels I have also found that nervous tension at airports is the price we pay for a great time at the destination. Enjoy…ROB

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    • Gar December 16, 2011, 9:27 pm

      Hey there Rob,
      Sorry I missed you on FB last night. My internet connection is not reliable right now so having some real problems staying connected sometimes. Hope to catch you next time.

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