Day 243 – 247. Thurs. 2nd April. Guatemala.

People are getting restless, us included. However there’s not a lot we can do.

A couple of days ago Jen & I went to town to buy some more supplies. What an experience that turned out to be. The property is located on the side of a hill between the road and lake. We don’t want to cause concern to the camp owner, who wants to limit people leaving the property to avoid drawing attention to our presence. The concern is that the police will try and extort money from him on trumped up charges, like lack of separation etc.

For this reason we took the track that runs below this and a number of properties, just above the lake level. Somehow we missed the stairs leading to the road above and ended up scrambling, on all fours, up a steep, dirt track. Reaching the end of the path atop a promontory there was an amazing view of the lake. It was occupied by about 6 Turkey Vultures who were not in the least concerned about our presence and just hopped around within a metre or so of us. The feeling was that they were waiting for us to sit down, before commencing a stringy meal..:).

It’s about 2 k’s into town, which couldn’t be seen from the vantage point and there was no way forward. Eventually retracing our path, we found the steps up to the road. What had taken us an hour, should have been 15min.

Amazingly the town was calm, as if there was no crisis. A number of europeans were out shopping and the locals were relaxed with our presence. Comforting. This was our first foray out of the camp and it was most enjoyable. Food shops and stalls were open for business and well stocked. With a big bag of shopping we caught a Tuk Tuk back to the stairs we came up, well short of the camp gate.

Jen here now..:-

I have done some reading about San Marcos La Laguna, the town we are in. We knew nothing about it before we came here. It is considered to be a spiritual place and so a magnet for ‘seekers’ from all over the world who believe in its spiritual energy. They come to learn and practice meditation, holistic therapies, massage, yoga , Reiki and other spiritually oriented activities.

Against a back drop of incredible natural beauty, one can find evangelical Christians, self-styled shamans, Kaqchiquel farmers and all sorts. These ex-pats and visitors congregate on the flatter, jungly land along the shoreline, among banana, coffee and avocado trees. The Maya community mostly occupy the higher ground.

Last night we had the most amazing natural entertainment. An incredible electrical storm. Thunder rumbled around for hours, but the most impressive thing was the continuos lightening flashing all around the volcano. Really spectacular.

Today has been overcast and thundery as well, although nothing like last night. It has been quite rainy this afternoon and the forecast for the next week is for a lot more rain. The rainy season must be starting early.

We had an email from the New Zealand Embassy in Mexico City. This embassy is responsible for Mexico and all the Central American countries, including Guatemala. They advised us that they think this is going to be a long term issue and if we want to leave, we should consider leaving quickly while commercial flights still operate to New Zealand. In a couple of weeks time they fear this may no longer be an option and as there are few Kiwis in this part of the world, there will not be repatriation flights.

This has made us start the process of considering what to do again. We can still fly from Tapachula, in Mexico, to Mexico City, then to Los Angeles and onwards with Air New Zealand to Auckland. However, we will have to overnight somewhere, and it is dependent on the Mexican and US borders still remaining open. Our fear is, are we more exposed to the virus by doing this?

We are trying to find out if we can leave the vehicle here with Pierre and if he can arrange a driver to take us to the Mexican border. Also from the Guatemalan Customs Department, if we can extend our Temporary Import Permit online, or if they will waive the penalty for overstaying the permit. I can’t actually find out what the penalty is. Just dire warnings not to let your import permit run out.

What to do???????? We will let you know our eventual decision, eventually..:)

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  1. Hello !! I caught up with the blog after writing to you !! Stay put is my advice for what it’s worth !! Loved seeing the photos – I watched a show set in that area and then an international real estate show – fascinating area- whatever you decide be safe lots of love kelly n Stacy – Marsha and Scott send an elbow bump !!

    • Hi! Kelly & Stacy, thanks for the good advice. Have just been talking with sister Liz and she has been saying the same thing. After much deliberation including flying to the UK, we have pretty much come to the same conclusion. To stay and deal with whatever consequences result. I wrote to Mum but have not heard back yet. Trust they are OK, you too.

      Best to all.

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