Hermit Hole

We’re not quite sure what we did to deserve it, the travelling Gods must have been smiling on us – on the 11th we were upgraded to an amazing apartment. Open kitchen and living room, 2 bedrooms, flat screen TV, brand new. Incredible views from the living room and bedroom out to the garden, the lake and the mountains. Its bigger than our flat in London. The Manager (Matt) did us a massive favour so we could stay for a month overall. I’m led to believe we qualified because we’re “not dicks”.

I almost cried when we moved in, it was a bit overwhelming. Then I promptly made use of the loo to vomit. Not so much overwhelmed as under the weather. We’d eaten street food the night before (plus drunk a fair amount of rum) so the first bout of gurgling stomachs ensued. Nothing like your own apartment to speed recovery, however.

“Do you want more ron (rum)?”

“More ron – that’s what you should have called your blog!”

A backpackers diet can be heavy on the carbs – you can get salad and fruits as extra sides but we tend to stick to a main course only to keep to budget. Lots of bread, rice, beans, tortillas, pasta. So we headed to the local market to stock up on fresh veg, salad and fruits now that we can store it and cook for ourselves. I’ve been hoovering it up at every opportunity. We’ve had a couple of big cook ups – pasta, curry… all good to last a few days.

Found some other interesting food. There isn’t much good meat around, unless you’re up for a live chicken or freshly caught fish from the market, or you like spam. But there is a guy (Nester) who produces some good stuff (bacon, sausages, steaks etc).

“Let’s go gander at some sausage.”

And I never expected to be eating this while travelling …..

“I have never had to pay for that before!”

The days seem to roll by in reverie and leisurely routine at the ‘Hermit Hole’. Fresh bread for breakfast, learning Spanish in the shade on the lawn, reading, cooking and watching movies. Chilled out Heaven. Matt asked us “What have you been keeping yourselves busy with?”. Erm, nothing!

Watched a fire roaring up the mountains opposite us one night at 2am (from our bed!). Enormous, lighting up the night sky orange, we were concerned that villages were being taken out. As it turns out, we took a couple of boat trips to towns around the lake and close up you could tell it was very well controlled – of course they know what they’re doing.

We got a lancha to Santiago (basically a town full of market stalls, armadillo skin anyone??) and Panajachel (where most tourists stay). Views back to the three volcanoes from Panajachel were incredible – had some obligatory “marvelling” beers.

Jim has developed sweaty ‘knee pits’.

“Sounds like something you could have with haggis.”

Watched some paragliders gliding and landing, pretty cool.

Otherwise not much else there, other than great street food stalls and loads of ‘artisanas’ approaching you to sell you stuff. Journey back from Pana was the best bit – into the sun setting, along the lake edge past village after village, admiring the magnificent houses clinging to the mountain edge – there is some money here after all. San Marcos looked to be the most ‘modern’, with nice properties on the lake edge, bars with terraces lined with big white sofas etc. Its odd, San Marcos is supposed to be a hippy town:

“Well Emily, if you can live like a hippy you can probably afford to.”

Jim has finally succumbed to testing me on my Spanish. He randomly selects a phrase in English in my notebook and I have to translate to Spanish. “Why don’t you do it?”. “I’m leaving right now”. “What are you doing right now?”. “What are you saying?”. “Why don’t you speak Spanish with me?”.

“All this time, have you just been learning how to moan in Spanish?”

Had a quick trip to Smokey Joe’s BBQ (Nester’s weekly meat fest) on Sunday at the pool… massive plate of food and delicious spicy bloody mary in the sun.

Also finally got out on the kayaks to have a look around the (very grassy) lake shore. Had some fun trying to record a Christmas message 😉

And over the last few days our minds have turned back to itineraries and research and how much I can put on the credit card and transfer to 0%. Its amazing and exciting thinking of the incredible things we’ll be doing, but still doesn’t mean we’ve missed the organising part, the moratorium has been appreciated. Still such a lot to do, and time is dwindling fast. The next few months will be busy, moving every few days.. and a lot heavier on the wallet than our last month in Super San Pedro. Hold tight!

Other important conversations:

“I need to become a surfer I think”


“I don’t know.”

“How would that work?”

“Yep, exactly. I wouldn’t work.”



2 thoughts on “Hermit Hole

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.