The huge and spectacular Lago Atitlan was quickly to become our home away from home. We had been on a quick time limit to reach the town of San Pedro, as we were booked in for a few weeks of Spanish lessons, where we would stay with a local family and attempt to blast ourselves through to fluency in the shortest possible time.
The lifestyle was a drastic change from the one we are used to, with set meal times and obligations beginning at 7am every morning, instead of our regular lifestyle of zero commitments and doing whatever we wish, whenever we wish it! The Rolma family that put us up, however, were incredibly friendly and good people, they welcomed us into the family, catered for our vegetarianism, helped us with repairs to our things and even took a special shine to Frankie, allowing him too into their home.
At the end of the two weeks, whilst not fluent, our Spanish had improved leaps and bounds, myself especially, who already had a decent base knowledge has now gotten to a level where I can communicate my point in almost all scenarios.
Across the water from San Pedro, was San Marcos, another cool little town with a vibe that met somewhere in the middle of local and hippy. Here was also home to one of the famous campsites of the Pan-Americas, Pasaj Cap, with great facilities and a stunning view across the water and volcanoes that are synonymous with the area. Here, we spent three weeks, working from the campsite, enjoying the nightlife in the towns and making many good friends with the other overlanders that rolled through the campground.
Semana Santa, or ‘week of the saints’ is one of the most important cultural events on the Guatemalan Calendar. A tradition left over from the 15th century days of Spanish colonialism, the countries catholic population still celebrated this with a week long celebration that fills the already vibrant streets with elaborate floats and murals, processions and art. We were lucky enough to be able to spend a day enjoying the crowds, sights, and smells of this unique cultural phenomenon.
Our travel and adventure is a lifestyle made possible by the fact that we can work on the road. Sometimes, this is from a house or hotel room, sometimes it is from a coffee shop, but it is finding little places like this, where the weather is not too hot, there are showers and wifi that are my favourite. You can feel fresh when you go about your workday, but you are still outdoors, still living the overland lifestyle, you are meeting new friends, enjoying your morning coffee with a killer view and drinking a beer under the stars in the evening. This is what makes for a truly unforgettable way to make your money!