Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Goodbye San Marcos

After nearly two weeks we realised it was time to move on. We left Atitlan on Friday, passing through the amazing Friday market on Solola, a small town above the lake that is home to perhaps the most ornate embroidered traditional Mayan clothes, both for men and women, in the immediate area. I wish I had known about the week before to go for a day`s photography!

We also left our great hostel mates – Marieanne, Paul and Tracey. Marieanne and Paul are two Canadians, she an English language lecturer, he an investment advisor, travelling around Central America after looking after students on an exchange in Nicaragua. We had lots of good conversations about novels and films, as well as sharing pancakes on Shrove Tuesday and firing up the hostel’s sauna. Tracey is an American singer-songwriter. We heard her new songs, nearly one every day, come through the walls, catching segments of lyrics such as ‘…clean sheets and fancy underwear on…’ She stormed Blind Lemon’s open mic with songs about men. The open mic is something of a San Marcos Friday night institution and about as rocking as it gets. Some people stay until after 11pm! The entertainment was mixed but mostly of a high standard, from the Mitchellesque poignancy of Rose, the gutsy and thrusty country-blues of Tracey to the comical, hunching, shirt tails-flapping Rob with his cigar box mandolin and Poncho-wearing, Catweasle-bearded Yassi bravely covering Mano Chou’s King of the Bongos.

Overall, San Marcos is a place to relax, to experiment with a course in mediation or holistic therapy, to read a book sipping a coffee, to meet other travellers or to eat a taco in the village street. We’d certainly go back again.

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