Bye Bye Pana, Hello San Pedro – Day 19

Mon 19th Feb

Sign of a good night – wake up fully clothed, a mouth like Gandhi’s flip flop and a banging head! Brush teeth, take 2 tablets and go back to bed – was only 6am!

Feel much better awaking the second time round, join Carlos and Gerson for breakfast and fill them in on last night.

Go for a final stroll around Pana before saying my goodbyes to the guys at ABU Hotel.

I would highly recommend this place to any backpacker looking for something cheap that isn’t a hostel/dorm. It’s clean, rooms are sparse but spacious and I had my first hot shower in well over a week! From previous posts u will have seen the guys that work here are fantastic and very welcoming.

Carlos being easy on the eye is also an added bonus!

Having only taken over 6 months ago, they are planning and looking into many things to make improvements to the place. A double room cost me 244Q for 2 nights.

Head to the embarcadero and get on the boat to San Pedro (25Q). I sit at the front thinking it will be nice to sit in the sun and get some great pictures of the stunning landscape. OMG I forgot how bad these boats are and how much it hurts ur ass sitting at the front….thrown up in the air and down with a thud constantly as they rip across the lake. Not a cat in hells chance of taking any photos! Brings back memories of Bocas del Torro where we sat on our life jackets rather than wearing them to ease the thud of ur butt on the seat!

Manage to get a quick snap as we pull in to San Pedro….

Rucksack on I decide to walk to my hotel filled somewhat with trepidation as to what awaits me….this place was ridiculously cheap and when I get there discover it’s for a reason!!! I was paying £35 for 6 nights for a single room – cheaper even than most dorms! The plus was I was put in a room with 3 beds so was slightly spacious and that’s where the positives end. It smelled slightly, the blankets I didn’t want to peel back and when I saw the shower, knew I’d rather smell than get in it!

The sun is out so let’s just get out and go for a walk. Within minutes I pass a nice looking hotel with a fantastic view of the lake and walk into reception to take a picture

I see the receptionist and think there’s no harm in asking….thinking it’s quite pricey I decide to mull it over.

Within seconds I realise I’m quibbling over £5!!! I walk back in, ask for their WiFi password and see what I can do about cancelling my god awful booking. A minute later it’s cancelled, I run back up, grab my stuff and return to my nice big clean room!

The receptionist scoffed when I told her where I was staying, saying ‘no está limpio allí’….that I now know!

Give Hotel Paraiso the swerve and instead pay the bit extra – Villa del Largo is lovely and only £42 for 6 nights!

Relaxed and happy, time to explore San Pedro. I was here last year but only a flying visit as part of a day trip.

San Pedro is liveliest of the towns around the lake and definitely has that hippy vibe – dreads, elephant pants and piercings aplenty….I’ve got the piercings but that’s where the similarities end!

Everyone seems to go to Hostel Fe. I didn’t want to stay here but thought I would go take a look and suss out the bar. Great location

overlooking the lake but by god everyone here seems off their rockers! Friendly enough but most seemed on a different planet to me. After one guy joining me and chatting shit for 20 mins I finish my beer and decide to vamos! Bet it’ll be banging of a night time so will give it another whirl but might need to get a few beers on board first!

I do think at times I should stay in more backpacker type places to meet more people but personal space and clean rooms are slightly more of a higher necessity.

Despite private rooms costing only between £10-12 per night, I do seem to be spending money at the rate of knots, having gone through £400 in just over a week in Guatemala!

Really need to take stock of this and wind it in a bit (can’t see it happening whilst I’m meeting people for drinks and will have the mother of all reunions next week!)

Dinner tonight however only cost me £3 – less than a pot of yogurt I bought in trying to save money by eating breakfast in!!!

José sent through details of friends he has here too so am meeting Julio tomorrow and will drop by on another friend who works in a bar here. Also best check out the 2 gyms that are here….I can feel the carb fest and beer effects already just 3 weeks in!

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