Friday, September 5, 2014

Iguana Perdida

When we listen to the universe, it rarely steers us in the wrong direction. On the day I finally felt well enough to leave Panajachel, we’d planned to take a boat to another lakeside town of San Marcos. It promised eco-lodges and yoga and organic restaurants and holistic healing, just the kind of hippy-dippy place to recover and regain my health. We hoped the afternoon rains would hold off long enough for us to find a place to stay once we’d arrived. They didn’t.

It started POURING while we were en route. Our bags were getting drenched and we were hanging on tight while rough seas tossed us about violently. As waves splashed into the boat, we both silently began developing our plan of action should the thing sink. I contemplated the reliability of the life vests tied to the roof, and wondered if I could swim all the way to shore.

At the first stop along the route, I noticed a hostel/dive shop right off the dock whose name sounded familiar. Iguana Perdida... I think I read that place is nice. Should we just get off here? We didn’t want to walk around San Marcos in the downpour looking for a place to stay, and were happy for the opportunity to get back on solid ground. We made a swift decision and grabbed our bags and jumped off the boat before it sped off towards its next destination, hastily paying the guy more than necessary on accident in a rush to find shelter from the storm.

Since our arrival all we can say is - Thank God for that rain. We are absolutely in love with this place, and are going to have a really hard time tearing ourselves away. Our initial plan was to spend a few nights each in a few different towns around the lake. Now we figure, eh, we can see everything via a daytrip from the Iganua. Or, not see anything at all. Other than the INCREDIBLE view from the many couches and hammocks dotted about the property. We’re staying in a tiny little private room overlooking the water for $12 a night. Well, $8 when you consider every 3rd night is free.

The vibe here is indescribable. It’s low season, so there are about a dozen of us here (including staff), giving us the opportunity to grow tremendously close in the few short days since we’ve checked in. The owners have refrained from providing wifi, to promote the bonds we’ve so quickly been forming. In fact, electricity was only installed a handful of years ago. A small restaurant and tiny convenience store share the lakefront location, and beyond that it’s a 30-minute walk up the mountainside to the nearest village. So, we have lots of quality time together.

By day we float in innertubes. Or walk into town for lunch at the local culinary school. Or take a boat to an amazing wine and cheese restaurant in Santa Cruz. Or hike to the infinity pool in Jaibalito. Or gorge ourselves at the awesome weekend BBQ in Panajachel. By night we sit together at a long table and share family-style dinners while lightening storms illuminate the volcanoes surrounding us. We watch movies. Play games. Sit on the floor around a cluster of candles, taking turns telling jokes, singing songs, swigging from the tequila bottle. When the moon is full, we strip down and jump off the dock together after being doused in beer during a cross dressing party. But that’s a story for another blog.

The staff here are all volunteers, working in exchange for free room and board. If this were after the holidays when our travel is open-ended, I could definitely see us enjoying that arrangement. But alas, there is more of Guatemala and Honduras to see in the five weeks we have left. So, we’ll eventually be moving on. Just don’t ask us when…

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