A short flight from Managua and we were in Guatemala City. We had a driver arranged to meet us at the airport.  He was busy getting his shoes shined as he’d driven through the night from Honduras to meet us so we had to call at his house first to pick up his clean laundry and meet his rather charming, if extremely younger, wife.  Slightly more unusual airport transfer than we’re used to!
Although this place looks wonderful you do have to be aware of where you are. We saw a shop selling “Glock” semi automatic machine pistols (the weapon of choice for your local mafioso, terrorist or kidnapper) and several shops had signs asking people to leave guns outside… That also included the banks, but we couldn’t understand why anyone would even think they could take a gun into a bank!
Another thing that we noticed was that all people on motorbikes had to have the registration of the bike on their helmet and also a high viz jacket with the number on there as well. This was not for safety but to stop drive by shootings by people on motorbikes….

We headed off for Lake Atitlan but got horribly stuck in some kind of demonstration and didn’t move for appx an hour. Eventually our driver tried to take a short cut which involved him driving rather erratically down very narrow, packed back streets, which took us past dens of iniquity where scantily clad ladies were displaying their wares behind billowing curtains – certainly not a place you’d want to be on your own at nightfall.  At one point we almost drove into someone’s living room and all the time we were conscious of the fact that the driver hadn’t slept all night and kept yawning his boiler off, so we felt obligated to keep talking to him to try and keep him awake – all in all a rather eventful journey.  A while later we arrived in Panajachel, what a stunning location with a blue lake surrounded by three volcanoes, one of which is active. Then again when is a volcano not active as Mount Sinabung which has been dormant for 500 years has just erupted 50 times in one evening! The good news is that the hotel information booklet gives very clear guidelines as to guest procedure in the event of a volcanic eruption, flood  or earthquake so barring plague and pestilence they have everything covered as well as a no guns policy, therefore it’s very safe.

Below is a video of the Lake Atitlan

From here we went onto the market at Ciccastenanga