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Friday, 6 February 2015

Guatemala: Panajachel & Lake Atitlán

Day 9

We started this fab day with breakfast at a beautiful place – if you’re in the area, visit Jasmine Deli, it's a lovely garden cafe/restaurant. 


 
I opted for fruit and yoghurt – though it was difficult to pick just one thing from the healthy and yummy sounding menu. The area has a lot of coffee and avocado orchards as well so of course I went for a delicious coffee too.

The best way to get around the town is on foot or, further afield, a tuk-tuk - so we clambered in and headed off to Atitlan Nature Reserve for zip lining.


This is definitely worth doing!


We opted for the Cables X-tremos package and met our guides. 

They pilled the equipment and helmets on us…

…and then we had to practice! There are no brakes on the zip line – only your glove-covered hands so we needed to ensure we could safely stop when the waved the red flag at us!



But before zip lining, we first had to hike up through the reserve (in our sexy harnesses!) to reach the top of this old coffee plantation. 





And not just hiking – we also crossed a few hanging bridges, canyons and waterfalls…



…and checked out some of the local widelife - spider monkeys and coatimundis.

Reaching the top we had the most stunning views of San Buenaventura bay and the bright blue lake.


Then it was time to start flying! First of the eight zip lines was “Eye of the Stone Flight:…


The lines reach up to 320m at a maximum high of 60m – you can pick up some speed on these!

A couple of the longer lines had spectacular panoramic views over the lake below.



In words of Miranda’s mother “such fun!”

After zipping around for a couple of hours we finished up with a mini-obstacle course!



Before headed back to Panajachel for lunch and a shopping session.


A street-side bar!
We ended up at Llama de Fuego (the sister restaurant to the organic café we’d been at for breakfast) which revolves around an African tulip tree (hence the name).

Where I had a tasty house with chicken salad…

…followed by an ice-cream to wander the streets with. My first ice-cream of the holiday!


We walked the length of Calle Santander, checking out the market stalls…

…and buying presents for others (and ourselves!).  I bought some coffee (well it is the area!) and a bracelet.

We ended up down at the lake...



...and continued walking along the front where there were lots of food stalls…




…before cooling off with a fresh fruit juice overlooking the sparkling lake.
 
 



Panajachel has a lot of foreign visitors, since the 1960s, and is very reliant on tourism so there are plenty of people encouraging you into their bar / restaurant / stall!

Then I had a little downtime in our sunny hotel courtyard – making blog notes and sorting through my photos so far!


The evening rolled around and we headed back to Calle Santander for dinner at Guajimbo's restaurant, complete with live music.  Where somehow we managed to resist ordering the 'plump and obese chicken'!

Lisa and I split some tasty kebab dishes – one beef and one chicken! A really good dinner with lots of meat!


We finished off with some more shots and dancing. Another great day.





Central America
04.01.15



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