Thu

05

Sep

2013

Guatemala City, Panajachel and the alarm clock

It wasn't a good idea to leave Antigua on a Sunday to head to Panajachel. Anyway we thought that we can just take a chicken bus as usual and drive all the way to Lago Atitlan (that's were Panajachel is). Unfortunately, we had to change the bus for four times and changing a bus in Guatemala is an adventure itself. The locals grab your bags so quickly that they are already on the next bus before you recognize it.

We were so happy when we finally arrived in Panajachel after this extraordinary bus ride. It is a touristy little town which is directly located at Lago Atitlan. Three volcanoes adjoin the lake and Panajachel is the perfect spot for incredible views.
After the long trip we just wanted to eat something and take the next ferry to San Pedro, a small backpacker village on the other side of the lake. While we were waiting, we opend Lars small backpack to grab some cookies and were surprised that our netbook was gone. Of course we first thought that we left it in our hostel in Antigua. But no, when we arrived in our hostel (we stayed in Panajachel as we had problems with the ferry) Liane opend her backpack to grab her cell phone for calling the hostel in Antigua but surprise, her cell phone and the folder with her credit card and her passport were also gone. SHIT! Lars now had a closer look at his backpack and his cell phone and his small camera were also stolen.
How could that happen? BoB and we had no idea first but you can imagine that we were extremely pissed off.
So what should you do when someone steals your passport, credit card, and cell phone?
Keep cool. . . sounds easy but it's not. Anyway we tried our best and the first thing we did was to call an international number to block the credit card. (As we recognized later, it was already too late.) Also we called the German embassy in Guatemala City because of the passport and we wrote emails to our cell phone companies for blocking them as well.

Our time at Lago Atlitlan was over very quickly as we took a shuttle back to Guatemala city on the next day to report to the police and to talk to the German embassy.

But how did it all happen? We are pretty sure that it must have happened between Antigua and Chimaltenango. We put our small backpacks above our heads in the chicken bus because it was so packed. As the bus was getting more packed, the backpacks were moved a bit away from us so that we couldn't see them anymore. The thieves could open the backpacks very easily and grab what they wanted. They closed the backpacks again so that we wouldn't recognize it. Lucky for us, that Liane had her big camera in her hands the whole time and that they did not find Lars folder with his credit card and passport.

We are sure you ask yourself, how could we be so stupid to put the small backpacks up in the storage!? Well, to be honest that's the same question we ask ourself and we hope we learned from this situation and are more careful now. All in all we lost more than 2,000 euros. :(

When you lose your cell phone you also realize that you don't have an alarm clock either. We definitively needed one and you can't image how difficult it is to find one, even in the capital of Guatemala. But then we got one. Unfortunately it is a kid's alarm clock we bought in a chinese store and it doesn't just look pretty bad, it also has such an annoying sound that BoB was really mad with us when we bought that thing. :)

Guatemala City itself is a typical big city with different districts, but definitively worth a visit. We liked the main square, Plaza Mayor de la Constitucion, very much with its fountain, relaxing people, interesting buildings, and hundreds of doves.  
Our hostel "La Coperacha" is a real recommendation. Looking quite ordinary from the outside you find a lillte oasis as soon as you enter. Beautiful paintings and pictures on the walls, plants and flowers, and comfortable rooms make you enjoy your stay. The included traditional breakfast is delicious and Lucien is an awsome host who helped us a lot with the police. Special thanks to him!

Thinking about all the happenings we have experienced we are of course a bit disappointed but we are happy that we three are fine. We know that we will always be the 'Gringos' and that we attract attention but we will move on and continue our journey together with BoB. :)

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Travelled kilometres: 2600

Lars mosquito bite counter: 168

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