Imagine if you will, a sleeping Maya man. See arrow if you need help. From left to right is his eye, then nose, then mouth. We were headed for the nose.
My journey started at 5:30 am, in which time I left my hostel (home for the moment). Luckily the outer gate was unlocked so I didn't have to either a. jump the fence, or b. wake up the lovely family to unlock the door. I met my guide outside of the BIG FOOT guiding company at 6am and we waited 15 minutes to see if anyone else showed up. No one did. It was just he and I.
We began our journey in the back streets of San Pedro. We made our way to one of the larger streets and headed to west through the smaller town of San Juan. (San Pedro is farther away, while San Juan is the the right of the photos.) The path up the mountain began just outside of San Juan.
San Pedro and San Juan are huge coffee growing communities. Most of the trails were surrounded by coffee plants...all organic. That's where the money is. And they know it's better for their communities.
This is the spot that is considered El Mirador...or the lookout. It's where he stops with most groups. We were walking fast. Usually groups arrive around 9am. We were there by 7am. The view was spectacular. The encroaching clouds were welcome. Now, the lake is kind of shaped like a bird with a tale. This is the tale portion. It's a big, beautiful body of water.
It was my choice to continue on. Hey, why not. I was there for the hike. And the rain wasn't going to stop me.
The trail up didn't seem to daunting. Until we started going down, down, down. Which meant we would need to go up, up, up. It was all very intense. And only about 10 minutes from the top it started dumping rain. We hid under the trees and ate banana bread and talked about the importance of saving the Tzutuhil language and culture.
The above photo was taken after we began our return down. It was my call not to push it to the very top. It was so socked in and dumping rain. Even after eating the whole loaf of banana bread, it was time to head down. Neither of us had raincoats. I had no hat. That didn't bother me, it just didn't make any sense and the experience thus far was was worth it for the day...or more.
Happy, wet and sore. Nothing like putting a big smile on my face.
No, no, but really the lake it lovely. It makes my shoulders relax and puts a smile on my face:)