Sailing Bailando

Lake Atitlan – San Pedro

February 2013

San Pedro is at the opposite end of Lake Atitlan than Panajachel is. As such, we travel westward along the northern coast on a lancha bus, making stops along the way at various towns, some of which we’ll come back to visit later. We get a good first taste of the lake and of its general coastline character. San Pedro turns out to be an earnest town with areas where locals live and work outside of the tourist trade. And there are other areas that are wholly laid-back, where many of its foreign transplants resemble Jesus in Bethlehem, bearded, braided, clothed in drapes, sandals, glassy eyes, rosy cheeks, staring into the distance.

The charismatic town droops from the mountain shoulder, gently unfolding into two separate coastlines divided by a hilly promontory. We find a surreal landscape along the water’s edge. It is here where we first feel, up close, the terrifying, sudden rise in the lake’s water level – 12 feet during the 2012 rainy season. No one knows why it isn’t draining as it always has following heavy rains.

We spend a few days and nights here, navigating the fine line between fine dining and just fine.