11. April (Wednesday): Panajachel, book sailing trip
Annewien was cajoling me to book the significant rest of our trip at a travel agent. She is a sailing fan, and although (probably because) I had never tried it before, I was eager to try it out.
We also wanted to go to see Tikal, a large great Mayan Temple complex located in a remote area and surrounded by jungle, a unique highlight. It took a lot of reading brochures and the LP to come to a conclusion how, where and when we should combine these trips. We went to a number of travel agents are compared their prices, knowledge, schedules and possibilities.
We also gave two plastic bags of clothes to a laundry shop.
At last we settled on the following: to take a sailing trip which was to start day after tomorrow from Rio Dulce, actually on the other (eastern) end of Guatemala, take a bus onwards from Rio Dulce to Tikal, stay the night in Tikal to hear the howler monkeys at dawn, take the bus back to Guatemala City and stay one night there in order to catch the flight to Costa Rica the following day.
A travel agent called Miguel made us an offer which sounded the best to us. Somehow he seemed to know what he was talking about as well.
The main problem we had was how to get to Rio Dulce at an affordable price, since tomorrow we had planned a 1/2-day outing to the town of Chichicastenango (called ChiChi for short). We would be returning in the evening and because of this, there didn't seem to be any standard means of transportation which would guarantee that we would be in Rio Dulce the following day at 13:00, which was the time at which we had to catch the boat.
I decided to check out some more travel agents while Annewien went to have something to drink.
I managed to find an agent who would put us in Rio Dulce at the scheduled time for 90$ for the both of us. This sounded great!
Once we had the transport to Rio DUlce booked, Miguel's whole schedule seemed
doable, so we booked
the remaining trip with him. He had quite a tough time booking the components and it took
what seemed like ages. He had to fix the following:
- the sailing boat trip strating from Rio Dulce
- the bus ride from Rio Dulce to Tikal
- a hotel in Tikal
- Tikal to Guatemala City by the 'Linea Dorada' company
- a hotel in Guatemala City
It always seemed to us that something wouldn't work out at the last moment making the whole trip impossible to take. Amazingly enough, everything did fit in and at the end of it all we had all our vouchers and we were all set for the amazing trip!
We decided to have some more Gallo Cervezas watching the people on Calle Santander, which was exceptional entertainment. There were so many strange characters, freaks, hippies and whatnots looking wierd cruising the main road, up and down, that it was quite a bit of fun to just sit there and watch.
We then fetched our laundry which was ready. In the room I discovered that some of it smelled revoltingly of lard! I suspected that it had been hung up to dry in a place where some smoke of lard had been wafting in the air. Ugh!
We decided to extend our stay in 'Larry's place' for another day.
We had dinner in a nice place having two restaurants in one enclosed area on main street, one a Chinese and the other a Pizzeria. Afterwards we walked down to the other (non-lake) end of Calle Santander which had a small concentration of bars. We had a coffee in a small restaurant with hardly any people and wrote our diaries.
It was probably hereabouts that I lost my original travel-diary. I can't really imagine where exactly it happened and consider that it might have been pinched from our hotel room a genuine possibility. There was nothing else missing, however.