Reserva Natural Atitlan, near Panajachel, Guatemala

So I went to the nature reserve today. Amazing! Spider Monkeys, coatis, views, flowers, waterfalls. I did the zip lines which was great. Reserva Natural Atitlan. Also I did some little gymnastic walking across a tightrope, swinging stairs, that kind of thing which was so much harder than it looked! I was exhausted when I finished. Tomorrow I´m going to head to either San Pedro de Laguna or Santiago. I don´t particularly care which, since I intend to go to the other one afterwards.
It was an overall amazing experience. Watching wild monkeys swing from trees & coatis scramble under them. Walking under coffee & banana trees, through a jungle canopy. Suspension bridges in front of waterfalls and views of volcanos…. not to mention the amazing fun of the zip lines. I am really glad I did it.

Chichicastenango & Panajachel, Guatemala

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Well, it´s been a while since I posted so I´ve done a lot. I finished my month at the language school. I can sort of have conversations in Spanish, with a very limited vocabulary. I also went to the Chichicastenango market, and had a fabulous time. I bought quite a few things, but had a lot of fun just gawking as well. They had ducks, geese, and turkeys in baskets and just held them by the wing to sell them. It was funny seeing baskets of live ducks tucked under peoples arms. They had both full sized and duckling. They had piglets on leashes, and more blankets than you have ever seen. Also table cloths, etc. The girl in the picture above charged me 5Q for the photo. Another boy, angrily, charged me 5Qs for his photo right afterwards.

I´m now in the lakeside town of Panajachel. It´s breathtakingly beautiful here, and my plans are to sip a fruity drink in a restaurant with live jazz with a view of the lake for the evening. Then tomorrow I head to the local reserve, which I hear has such fun things as zip lines, tons of monkeys and a butterfly garden. Then either one more night here, or off to one of the other lakeside towns for tomorrow. But we skipped a little bit fast over just how amazingly beautiful it is here. A gorgeous, clear, blue lake. Soaring volcanos behind, cliffs all around, verdant greenery everywhere (especially the cliffs), waterfalls that don´t even draw notice despite being the size & aspect of the more famous falls in Yosemite, and flowers everywhere. Actually there are flowers everywhere in all of Guatemala, but it doesn´t make it any less pretty here. The town is touristy, but I get the feeling quite a few of the tourists are Guatemalan. There are tons of hippies here – soy&vegan options available at most restaurants, dredlocks and macramae. Many seem to live here. Overall, I definitely like this place. It´s still an easy travel spot, but breathtaking. I did have to speak Spanish more than in Antigua, though many people seem to speak English very well. I had a begger boy demand a kiss, and when I said no and tried to shoo him off he called me what sounded like some pretty tough names, but in Spanish.