El Mercado, San Marcos & more scorpions

And the D is gone!!! It actually has been gone for about 4 days, so that is just fantastic. 🙂 I do love all the different terms for it, though… Montezuma’s Revenge, Delhi Belly(love that one, Steph!) and so on. Makes it seem a bit… er… cuter?

After recovering from the sour tummy, we had a night where the power was completely out, and with the help of a match to light our gas stove and a bunch of candles, I made a delicious potato, mushroom and garlic soup! Other than that, the week was fairly normal, with a night of trivia at the local bar with a few friends from school. We had the intention of visiting Xela over the weekend, the second largest city in Guatemala, and staying Sat. night, but discovered that the price of the shuttle was quite a bit higher as it is low season and we would likely be the only ones going.

This past weekend was a great one. Friday night we made some delicious mac and cheese at home(hehe) and went out to see a bit of live music. First, we randomly stumbled upon a band at a bar/restaurant called El Jardin that was playing bossanova, so we went and grabbed some cuba libres and watched them for a bit. Next, some people at our school told us about a gypsy reggae(?) band that was playing at the Buddha Bar, so we went and had an appetizer and a giant beer and watched them play for a while. I ended up seeing a Scottish woman named Tara that works at one of our favorite restaurants, Clover(Irish-style restaurant in the touristy area) and talked to her for a bit. She randomly came to San Pedro on a trip and ended up staying here for a year and a half! Seems to be a common story around here. We then went to a bar near our house called El Barrio and met up with some friends from our Spanish school and talked it up for a bit. We then headed back to Buddha for a bit, but by that point it was full of drunk tourists, so we decided to head home.

Saturday was fairly uneventful. Lex had classes as his teacher was sick one day during the week, so I took myself out to breakfast and had an amazing meal by the lake and wrote in my journal. After Lex was done with his class, we went for a long walk around town and checked out a few different parts of town, including an area where you can see that the water has risen so much that it’s drowned crops and houses. Yup, definitely no such thing as climate change, as the water has risen about 12 meters in 3 years and maintained the last 50 years before that.

Sunday, we woke up early to head to the local market in the center of town. They have a market there every day, but my teacher had told me earlier in the week that Sunday’s were the big market days, where people come from various towns on the lake to sell their goods(mostly all edible). We bought potatoes, carrots, avocados, peanuts, onions, a lime(for our cuba libres), eggs, zucchinis – all for the whopping price of about $3 U.S.!

After dropping our goodies off at home, we then decided to hop on a boat to a nearby town called San Marcos, known for it’s yoga, meditation and tranquil vibe. After about a 20 minute boat ride and $2 U.S. each(the guy actually totally overcharged us which we found out later) we were in the peaceful land of San Marcos! Everything was incredibly green and… quiet! We walked up what we thought was the only path into town and found a restaurant called La Paz(vegetarian friendly, as are most restaurants here due mostly to the foreigner-hippies that have settled here) and ate a delicious veggie-filled burrito and a tofu sandwich. The owner of the restaurant, a Guatemalan man named Benjamin, sat down with us and talked to us for a while about Occupy Wall Street and other various hot topics. He was very sweet and kind, like pretty much everyone else we’ve met from here.

We then walked around San Marcos for a while, and found ourselves walking through leavy, beautiful, cobble-stone paths. What a contrast between San Marcos and San Pedro – San Pedro is quite a bit louder(turkeys, dogs, random fireworks, women selling things, restaurants and bars) and San Marcos was incredibly quiet, green, and peaceful with very few shops, restaurants, bars, or even people. We were there on a Sunday, though, so that could have been part of it… We walked past some interesting mediation centers, one called Las Piramides that had pyramid shaped buildings and signs, some puppies and a building painted like an elephant that I believe was an artist’s commune of sorts.

As the clouds started rolling in, we decided we should probably head back before the rain started and waited on the make-shift deck(as the rising water level has basically consumed what used to be their dock, as well as the front barriers to keep the water out of the buildings near the dock). We then caught our boat ride back home and walked back from the Panajachel dock to our apartment. We then rested at home for a bit and again headed out(in the pouring rain, with our ponchos on) with our ukuleles to a nearby bar/restaurant where a friend had asked us to meet him and a few others for a jam session.

We were the first to arrive so we drank a few cuba libres, then started talking to a Hungarian violin player that plays some amazing violin at various bars around town. We then decided to play on stage with her – Lex and I playing uke and her playing violin. We ended singing Faith by George Michael, and then it was time for another jam group to go on. Our friend Jerrod played the bass, while a Guatemalan couple played the drums and the guitar and a French rapper/beat-boxer took the mic… it was pretty sweet! After they were done playing, our group took turns singing, playing guitar, ukulele, etc. It was a very fun night – finally got to play some music a bit, other than uke in our apartment!

Oh yeah… both Saturday and Sunday evenings we found a scorpion crawling around the ceiling and used a broom and a book to bring the little fellows to their demise. We’re wondering why we are having so many when most people we’ve talked to haven’t seen one… superstition has it that when you kill one, another one returns in it’s place – AAAHH!

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