When we started researching Lake Atitlan we knew we were spending one month in a cottage at Pasajcap, however with our friends Pete & Natasha still residing in our cottage rental for a bit, I reached out to the San Marcos Facebook page in search of lodging for the beginning of our time at the lake. We needed a dog friendly apartment with secure parking, a potential deal breaker in tiny San Marcos.
Enter Carlos Funk the owner of both 7 Volcanoes and Blind Lemons restaurant and quite a fixture around town. Carlos is a gem. He and his lovely Mayan wife Cata found us safe parking near the footpath to the house and warmly welcomed both ourselves and Aspen. After our challenging border day compounded by the sketchy drive down into the lake such hospitality was exactly what we needed.
With Jim’s worsening cold and our lack of local funds, Carlos then invited me down to Lemons to get some dinner take out put on our tab further easing my mind as exhaustion, rain, and darkness were rapidly approaching.
To say we fell in love with this place is an understatement. Our initial two weeks was a little slice of heaven in the comfortable apartment complete with tiled bathroom and deluxe locally woven blankets on the bed. The entire compound, where Carlos also resides, is securely fenced and we simply left the apartment door open the majority of the time so Aspen could wander and play at will.
We fell in love with wandering the footpaths zigzagging through the surrounding hills hiking (always uphill…why, why was it always uphill???) several times each day with Aspen scampering off leash in total sniff dog heaven. It was an easy walk to the lake or grocery and when some delightful neighbors moved in upstairs for a bit even more fun. The lush garden was a constant delight with ever evolving vegetation.
Our two weeks ended far too quickly and we moved to the Pasajcap to enjoy some of the most visually stunning scenery we have ever been blessed enough to enjoy. Our month there whizzed by as our social life skyrocketed with so many overlander friends in attendance.
And then, back to 7 Volcanoes. Three additional weeks turned into one month and then a couple of more weeks for good measure. Not only had the magic of the lake drawn us in, but so had our cozy apartment.
Hours were spent on our front porch talking politics with Carlos, attending movie night at the restaurant, and best of all Friday night Blues sessions with an array of additional characters thrown in such as our friend Matty.
Overall, I can honestly say our time here was one of our favorite experiences in a life lived out in the world. Certainly it is based on many factors including having so many friends come through town as well as meeting new faces, but so much of it was the genuine feeling of friendship generated.
As our visas expired we reluctantly said our goodbyes but never fear, Carlos, you haven’t seen the last of us!