Rambling Robert's Travels

This blog chronicals the travels of myself, Rambling Robert, on my next adventure to South America.

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I am a world traveller. I do not work as such. I have been homeless and unemployed since 1October 2003. I worked as a chef for 30 years in America.

Friday, February 12, 2010

travel update from guatemala

Hola Amigos,
Well, I am in Guatemala. I arrived in San Marcos on Lake Atitlan, 31 january. i am really enjoying this "peculiar little place". So let me back up a bit, I was having an ordinary day in Oaxaca when...
Time to go time to hit the road. i took an over night OCC bus from Oaxaca to the border town of Tapachula. We left on time at 7 at night. My bus was half hour ahead of schedule. we were supposed to be there at 7 morning, but arrived at half six. Whoa great luck i get to take the 7am Tica bus to Guatemala city and have them drop me in Xela, which is on the way. well, kind of, sort of,
Okay, so I get on the bus. they dont sell tickets to Xela so i have to pay the driver directly. okay I pay 200 MP, I know this is a lot but I dont care. It is so much easier than going to the border in a collectivo going through aduanas and then finding a chicken bus or a collectivo to where i can get to a chicken bus. i just dont need to save the 5 dollars. Tica buses are way nice. I always like them and so it was a no brain decision, except, they didn´t drop me off in Xela. They dropped me off in... well in ... nowhere! Just a fork in the road, and a sign that said Quetzaltenango (Xela) 90km the other way.
So I read the names on the buses which is a little tricky at first and then figured out which bus I needed to flag. this only took me about 2 minutes and then I was on the next chicken bus to Xela. From there I took another bus (maybe the most crowded bus i have been on ever in the last 6 and a half years! Aye Caramba!) to ...well...a different nowhere, this time I got on a collectivo (like a little mini-bus) then on another collectivo then standing in the back of a pick up truck standing and hanging on going down the inside of the now extinct volcano and the beautiful and sacred lake se llama "lago atitlan". Then a took tuk-tuk and here I am in San Marcos at 2 in the afternoon after leaving Oaxaca at 7 at night. Normally there is a direct bus from Xela to here but not on Sundays. Well at least i had an adventure travel day!!
so all this took place on 31 january. I met up with the South Africans Neal and merryl, and we resumed our friendship which we started in Peru and Vilcabamba and Colombia, and we hung out and humado mucho verde sin semilla heacho local. ow they have a visa issue and so they must travel for a while. they have gone to Costa Rica for a month and i am renting the house they stay in while they are away. so I will be here at least until 5 march, when they are expected to return.
I attended a ceremony marking the new year for the maya people. Most of the people here on the lake who are not gringos are maya.These are descendent of the once mighty mayan empire. they have a well constructed and well preserved mysticism and religion and calendar which most of them still adhere to. Okay but this ceremony was all done by gringos and it didn´t seem very authentic to me. In fact it is hard for me not to be negative about the whole thing. so I wont go into it anymore.
Maya means children or people of the corn. Maize is the staple food of their diet, and it is taken in the form of tortillas everyday. The tortillas here are smaller but fatter than in Mexico. In Mexico these would be called gorditos or chalupas.
So, life around the lake...This place is certainly beautiful. the writer Aldous Huxley called Lake Atitlan the most beautiful lake in the world. it is really nice. the water is rather warm not as cold as one may expect from a lake at this altitude. it is fine swimming temperature and it is quite clear and refreshing. Here in ¨San Marcos I am staying in the enlightened gringo area. There are all these healers working here. dozens of yoga classes, psychic healers. Aural healers, classes in all kinds of hippy dippy arts crafts and therapies. Need your tarot read? how about your palm? tea leaves? aura? dreams interpreted? ¿Que Quieres? ¡Lo tenemos!
It is an area of foot paths. There are no cars. There are tuk-tuks to take you to where you can get a collectivo to a bus or you can cross the lake to San Pedro or Panajachel, and from there you are "back in the real world". I am drinking lots of the local organic coffee, costs about $2.50 yanqui dollars the pound. and chowing down on the locally grown produce, all from small farms here. Great avocados, chayotes, onions, papaya, and pineapple to only name a couple of the local goodies.
I have found a nice spot under a tree right on the shore of the lake to sit and do my meditation thing each day. Mostly I just hang out and dont do much. I am BEING in San marcos. I am the sacred lake.
so I will leave you with some quotes and thn I will continue on my day.
I hope this letter finds all of you happy and healthy
"The man who goes out alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready." Henry David Thoreau

"For much of my life there was no place where the things I wanted to investigate were of interest to anyone." Benoit Mandelbrot

"I always distrust people who know so much about what God wants them to do to their fellows." Susan B. Anthony


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