It was finally time for me to learn some Spanish (or so I was told) so we headed to San Pedro on the shores of the beautiful Lake Atitlan. The drive down to San Pedro consisted of hair-raising switch backs and steepness, we had the unfortunate timing of meeting a Chicken Bus on one switch back and we were forced to take a much tighter line that included a bit of missing road, after a thunderous bang, we somehow managed to keep driving even though our back tire had briefly vanished into a hole. Our bumper at the back is no longer flat and our exhaust is no longer a perfect circle but that was ok with us considering the other option was driving into a school bus. Once finished the switchbacks we relaxed, only briefly though as now we had to navigate some ‘road works’. We were too big to get around so one of the crew moved their pick up truck (laden with rocks) forward, as we inched our way around the driver of the pick up decided to try to move forward some more except when he removed his foot from the brake he rolled back, into the side of us. Dan and I remained completely calm through it all, the rest of the workers started freaking out and yelling at the driver and managed to push the truck off us, The Hulk has a flesh wound just behind his passenger door but is otherwise ok. That was enough to inspire us to park up for a week.
We decided to study at the Corazon Maya school as they had parking for The Hulk and we could stay in a little cabin near the lake for the week. We studied in the afternoon for 4 hours a day, about 3 hours too long for this brain of mine. My teacher was nice but really stuck to the script even when I asked about learning some stuff that I felt was more practical for the way we are travelling, so I feel like I spent a week conjugating verbs and learning words that I probably didn’t need to learn quite yet. We did get to do a cooking class one day, which was tasty.
We also had the opportunity to climb the Volcano San Pedro with some of the other students AJ, Kat and Alex (aka Dog) who are also driving in a big truck. The climb was fun and very, very beautiful.
There was also a lot of non-school fun too be had, San Pedro is known as “Gringolandia” which we didn’t really get until we arrived, but you quickly realise why its got that nickname. Most places seemed to be owned and run by ex-pats and you could find just about any food your were craving for cheap, also the drinks were cheap and there was always a bar showing some sort of sporting event, we kind of felt like we were at home, except beside a pretty lake and surrounded by volcanos.
Surprisingly I do feel like a learnt a bit, but I still have a long way to go, thankfully a smile goes a long way in any language.