On to San Pedro
Luis at Xamanek recommended a bus line to take to Pana where we could catch the boat over to San Pedro. We had a choice, we could wait for a first class bus at 10:30 am or catch the "chicken bus" at 9:00 am. We chose the chicken bus which meant we had to gather up our stuff and bug out in a hurry.
We got to the bus stop just a few minutes after the bus had left. (the bus left early). Our cab driver offered to take us across town to catch up with the chicken bus, or we could wait. We chose the chase. Off we went in true "Bullit" style. The driver really knew his way around Guatemala City. We saw neighborhoods that may have never been seen by tourists. Eventually we caught our chicken bus. We thanked and tipped the driver and we were off to Pana!
Panajachel is a fairly touristy place, and that is not all bad. There are stalls on the main drag down to the boat docks that sell handicrafts, clothing, T-Shirts and the typical tourist stuff. Also there are vegetarian restaurants and some really fine dining places. We stopped in at (I have to look up the name, sorry), which is recommended in the Lonley Planet, where we had a great meal in a peaceful tropical garden just off the busy street.
We stayed a few hours in Pana and then caught the boat over to San Pedro, our destination for a few days stay before heading off to language school in Xela.
In San Pedro we first stayed at Casa Elena which is near the boat dock. We had a room on the street and it was pretty noisy, but fairly cheap at 60Q for a triple, shared bath. I have to say, Casa Elena doesn't really have much to offer except location and price. It is not like some of the hostels we've experienced where fellow travelers interact trade stories and compare notes from the road. Casa Elena is not bad, but I really can't recommend it. We did, however, find Jarachik, which is along the path between the Pana and Santiago docks. Jarachik has great food, a bonfire every night when there is no rain, 4 rooms on the second floor and a pair of roof top rooms with a great view.
We stayed on the second floor in a triple with bath for the same 60Q we were spending at Casa Elena. Jarachik has a great vibe to it, really great food and it is located just across the path from the best internet we found in San Pedro.
Next: On to Xela