Just passing through

The view from our old Hotel
Although it was off the main street and really loud, we slept pretty good last night. The hotel,

however, wasn’t the one that we were looking for, so I woke up early and headed out to look for the one we had originally spotted in Lonely Planet. I can’t really speak for Alisa, but I get really nervous walking down a lot of these small streets that I’m unfamiliar with. When I got to the part of town where the Hotel was located on my map. Everything was closed. One thing that’s really different between hotels here and in the U.S. is at night all the places lock their gates. There is no way in or out until the person running the place unlocks it. Having not gotten any information, I headed back toward our hotel and walked for some time trying to find a coffee shop that had a decent cup and WiFi. Both are hard to find here and especially harder to find together. After searching for a while, I finally found one about a 25 min walk from our hotel. I ordered an americano, sat down, and wrote a blog.

people everywhere offer
boat rides
I retuned about an hour later with a cup of coffee for Alisa and then ran back out toward the lake in order to see if the hotels had opened yet. I found a couple that were Q250 with lake side view, but thats a little out of our budget since we still have about three weeks to go here. Finally, I found a gem close by called El Sueño Real which doesn’t have lake views but has an amazing terrace open to all the guests that’s quiet and has access to decent WiFi (for almost half the price). I went back, picked up Alisa, and got a room. Most of the morning was spent orientating ourselves with the city. This city is kind of a tourist trap. There are tons of local shops where they sell trinkets on every block, and the venders here a more aggressive than in Antigua. Often they will walk with you for a long time and not leave you alone even if you tell them you’re not interested. That goes double for all the people who own small skiffs. Everywhere

you go they offer you rides to different cities that surround the lake. It happens over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. It’s really annoying after the hundredth time, but after a while a lot of them start to recognize you and then you start waving hi as you cross paths. We ended up purchasing a couple of tickets on a tour boat that would take us to several different cities so we could get an idea of what is around us. We leave tomorrow at 8:30 in the morning. 

The view from the roof of our new hotel
We used the Lonely Planet guide to locate a few shops and a gallery that we thought would interest us, but in the end we decided that this city really doesn’t have anything for us. However, if we were interested in shopping, this would be a great place. We decided that we would only stay one night here in this hotel and then head over to San Pedro La Laguna tomorrow where there are a lot more hikes and different outdoor activities. 
custom stitching the shirt for Alisa
Having looked around at different shops, Alisa finally spotted a shirt that she really liked however the lady wanted Q250 for it. We didn’t buy it right then and there. Instead, we walked toward a part of the market where everything looked like it would be really cheap. We were wrong. People wanted the equivalent of 800 dollars for a lot of the items, and then would cut the price down to 200 if we would walk away. It was a little crazy. We returned back to the store which had the shirt Alisa really liked, and we managed to get it down to Q230 plus repair a bag that Alisa bought from another vender. We also bought a beautiful textile thingy which I imagine Alisa will do something cool with in our apartment. We had diner in a really sketchy looking restaurant where we had tacos and a quesadilla. Alisa hasn’t had any luck getting good cheese since we arrived in Guatemala. A few days ago we ordered nachos in Antigua and they gave her some nasty 7-11 cheese with questionable meat. Today, she received a quesadilla served with the equivalent of the highest quality American Cheese. I enjoyed my tacos with a pineapple and milk liquid thingy. 
After eating, we headed down toward the lake and found some little wooden jetties. We walked toward the end of one of them and it was apparent that they were crudely made. However, that really added to the charm. We decided to call it a night early because of our trip tomorrow. I’m writing this blog from the terrace of our hotel in Lake Atitlán. Oh yeah, in our new hotel we have to let the owner of the hotel know 10 minuets before we take a shower, so she can heat up the water for us. 

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