Waking up to roosters again, we were all greeted to a breakfast of fried plaintains, beans, and more delicious coffee. From breakfast we had an early start to meet the shuttle to drive to see some mayan ruins! After about an hour and a half of perilous driving on the winding road we piled out of the shuttle at Ixemche, the late ruins of the mayan culture. We were lucky to have Roberto, a tour guide/archaeologist/Olympian/comedian to guide us. He walked us past the ruins, hid so we could climb them for group photos despite the signs requesting that we NOT climb, and showed us the museum. After experiencing a taste of ancient history we continued onward to go zip lining!
As we rolled into the beautiful Atitlan nature reserve you could see why it was labeled as a wonder of the world. Majestic volcanoes surrounded the vast shimmering lake, and people were awestruck at its beauty. The reserve itself was beautiful and as we hiked to the zip lines we were able to see some spider monkeys in their natural habitat. Zip lining was exhilarating, and the highlight of most of our days, if we could go back for a second chance to zoom through the trees like monkeys we would have.
At the conclusion of the eight lines, everyone was more than happy to take off the restrictive full body harnesses and grab a bite to eat.Perhaps the most interesting meal was Lisa's quesadilla, a tortilla filled with only a square slice of American cheese!
Full from lunch, Roberto informed us that he had a surprise planned. We drove on to Panajachel, down to the docks of Lago Atitlan where a huge boat was blasting pop music. This was our surprise...a 45 minute tour of the lake and surrounding volcanoes complete with dancing and singing. At the end of the ride, several folks braved the cold temperatures and jumped into the water.We finished the day with another round of shopping, and headed back to Antigua for a final dinner at everyone's favorite place, the Whiskey Den, where we said our final goodbyes, and went home to pack in tears.
Overall we all had the most amazing time, and a few of us are already planning our return trip. The shuttle arrived early, so please excuse our hasty exit, Guatemalan time...unpredictable as always.
More to come when we return home to the US!!!!