Saturday, 19 December 2015

Settling into it

Now I don't want and certainly don't expect to get any sympathy but this travelling malarkey takes a bit of setting into. If you've done it yourself then you may understand what I'm talking about. You may also think (especially if your time away had been limited to 2 week holidays) that I am either a moaning Minnie or "what's his problem, all that exotic land, foreign food, sunshine and no worries".

Well a 2 week package holiday this is not. One challenge on a longer term trip is limiting your daily spend to make the coffers go the distance. In Asia that is quite easy, here the dollars seem to disappear quite a bit quicker just on the basics. You have to be more mindful before buying yourself a little slice of niceness as in a fancier hotel or eatery. 

We're at Lake Atitlan.  Google it, doesn't it look/sound great?
 Mountain bike trips in the jungle, kayaking, diving, hiking.... Yeah great but they all need to be paid for on top of the necessary accommodation and food. I also slightly object to doing these things as they fall so squarely into  'tourist activities' and I am still in semi denial that I am a tourist....
Anyway, here are some photos of the place. 

We're beginning to get back into the swing of things. Checking the guesthouse rooms before committing. Lugging the gear up the stairs. The discovery of whether or not you have a lumpy bed with super cheap thin sheets and chopped foam pillows. Are arses are becoming accustomed to the uncomfortable chairs in the restaurants. Our ears are relearning to block out the dogs barking at night and the roosters at dawn followed by our neighbour coughing his guts up. 
Oh, here's our roof terrace by the way

And some old motors

This the reality of it. Sound grim? In some ways it is but its also fun. What's missing so far though is an element of the 'pay back'. To be fair, we haven't actually put much effort in or really got out amongst it yet. I expected all of the above, it's unavoidable.  But previously we've had more in return without doing much. Maybe that's the magic of Asia, maybe I've got rose tinted glasses. I can't quite work out what's missing. Maybe the riding here is a bit too hard to make it enjoyable? The worry of bandidos or petty crime? Are there less western travellers to chat/interact with? Lots of the tourists are more 'local looking'  It's a busy time of year so logistics are harder as we feel we need to book ahead which puts pressure on? The food is a bit bland? It's all more expensive? I just can't put my finger on it. Maybe we were expecting/wanting too much? Maybe we've done a bit too much of this type of thing and are 'over it'.
Don't get me wrong, it's not all doom and gloom it's just not 'there' yet.

We've taken a boat across to another town which is more chilled and hippy dippy/backpackerish. 

We've taken a 4 berth room for the 3 of us in what is reputably the flashiest place in town. Everywhere else was pretty rank. You get to our suite across a little private bridge. The identical room downstairs is empty. Oh except for the fact it is half full of water. The room in front was abandoned a few years back....

It seems they can't use the water in the lake quick enough and its claiming the land back.
There's a wind whipping up and the lake has choppy waves on it that are lashing at our building. Don't worry though because we can drown (should I use that word?!) the noise out by playing our private piano. Yes, for some bizarre reason our room has its own piano in it. From now on I'll expect nothing less!
The room is £12 each per night. To be honest it's a bit skanky around the edges. Sound cheap? Well in Asia when we paid £8 a night each we got pretty swanky digs with fluffy white towels folded into the shape of swans. No piano though, I've never had a piano before, this could mark a turning point.....

1 comment:

  1. You'll get there, just give it a bit of time. Room sounds very unique - I doubt you'll ever get that combo again! Great photos - especially Kate on the jetty and the rainbow over the lake. Keep blogging - love hearing all about it!