No-Drive Getaway Weekend

If you are looking for an low-stress and inexpensive weekend getaway, here is a possible option. Take a public bus to San Antonio Palopó, have lunch in town, watch the sunset, have an early breakfast here, take a boat to the Sunday market in San Lucas and then return to Guatemala City via public bus.

It’s an easy way to get away for the weekend. Not yet the busy season so we have space available. The photo at the left was taken a bit after noon from our soon to be hot tub area (details below). Yeah, clouding over but still a great view. Here is how it can work:

  1. Take a bus from Calle 41 (where all the west-bound buses leave from) directly to San Antonio Palopó at 0830.
  2. Have lunch in Comedor San Francisco (right next to where the bus stops), Hotel Nuestro Sueño (across the street) or Terrazas del Lago (a few hundred meters away).
  3. Walk (total of about 1km) or take a Tuk Tuk (Q3/person) to our hotel.
  4. Chill out, chat, wait for the sunset.
  5. If you want, have a light dinner (pre-request as we normally don’t do dinners), drinks, …
  6. Watch TV, use the WiFi, view the lake and its surrounding villages and turn in early.
  7. Have a great breakfast any time after 0700.
  8. Walk (or TukTuk) back down to the pier and take the 0800 or 0830 boat to San Lucas — a really pretty cruise at Q7/person.
  9. Check out the huge Sunday public market. It’s not touristy but it is big.
  10. Take a public bus back to Guatemala City.

Obviously there are other choices but this is the “don’t have to think about it or drive” option. Guaranteed to lower your stress. Total cost including transportation, meals, room and all for two should be between Q500 and Q1000, depending on your food options.

Hot Tub Report

The photo above was taken from where we are starting to build a hot tub. (The solar panels on our roof currently run the computer equipment.) Here is the area where the tub will be located. We have just moved a couple of trees and leveled the area. Coming next will be a retention wall and some stairs plus a “wall” with all the electrical stuff. Why a wall? Because there is a lot more to this project than just a way to waste energy.

The roof over the whole area (the tub, a patio area and a bathroom) will be made of solar panels. The panels will be connected to a grid-tie inverter. What this means is that when the PV panels are producing more electricity than we are using, the excess is sold back to the electric grid. This gives us a credit for the times when our demand is more than we are producing. So, as long as we produce more than we use, our electricity cost is zero (as well as our environmental impact).

The other piece of the picture is that we are building new stairs up to the hot tub. Where there is currently a path to get up there it is a bit too “rustic” for our plans. Having the stairs will also make it a lot easier to get the construction materials up to the hot tub area.

No estimate on when it will be done yet but all the pieces we need to import are on the way and we know where to get the local stuff. It’s a big project and even once the construction is done we need to get approval from Energuate so they can change the electric meter to a bi-directional unit. We’ll keep you posted.