Hello idyllic on all levels – name a cliche and this is it.
The sun is streaming into the windows to Casita Blanca as if I have never experienced sun streaming before. The birds are chirping and the waterfall next to our house is gushing. The lake off in the distance is glistening and we are alone in the jungle, deep in the mayan mountains 15 minutes to the nearest building or house on foot. We have a small yard, maybe an acre all around, and it is very well tended. The walkway to the house is serious hiking with no other access route and when you open the gate to the garden it is like paradise unfolding. The lack of access means our little house is a gem, and just as we wanted, very remote. You can’t hear cars, trains, buses or boats. In fact, you wouldn’t know anyone else existed on the planet unless you stood on top of the roof and looked out at the world below.
Iza is playing just inside the door while I sit on the veranda writing. She is so happy… toddling around and playing with new things in the cracks, little leaves which have blown onto the porch, a piece of grass and tugging at my pant leg. She is finally able to spread out and be in 1 place. We are so happy to know that we can give this to her for a little while.
We forgot to bring food with us yesterday when we got to our new home, so we had to venture out to the hotel at the end of our trail to Isle Verde Eco Hotel. “Isle” I have found out is pronounced like Isla Fisher, not “Aisle” as I had learned in French. The restaurant at Isle Verde is wonderful, and very accommodating. This space is by far one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. The grounds are astonishing and again well cared for. We knew the woman who owns Casita Blanca also owned the hotel and her vision was richly positioned in the planet. It appears she wanted to give the earth back to her guests in a well-designed and comfortable fashion. She accomplished it and then some.
From the new owner of the Hotel Raleigh (who has the name of one of our friends son and who is actually from Pensacola, FL which is where we have our mail house – in all our travels we have collectively only ever met 1 other person who is from there) we find out that in the last 4 years he has been on the lake the water has risen 20’. In the last 2 weeks during the rainy season it has grown 5’. This has taken out his beach and now is heading up and into his main reception area and kitchen. It is terrifying to hear, but interesting to understand from Raleigh that the lake works in an 80 year cycle in which the water grows and then it will fall (we didn’t ask where we were in the cycle). The Mayan calendar is very calculated and in some ways historically accurate. He mentioned that he thought he would have another year before he would have to build a retaining wall, but it looks like he will have to do it now.
There is seldom strong internet in any of the towns around the lake, but the ones that do have it use a satellite ping. There are no hard lines. When the clouds are in the way, the internet goes out. Great. Not really ideal for me, and especially now knowing that we are in a true eco house with only solar panels to power it and being here in the rainy season, we have pretty low expectations for a successful working opportunity. But rest assured – there is this incredible water taxi transportation system and I can go about 45 minutes on a direct boat or 1 hour on the slow boat to San Pedro (the cool hippy town with tons of great cafes and hard wired internet) or to Panajachel which is only 30 minutes away. I have begun looking for an office which is looking like we will rent a whole other house for around $500 a month. Kind of nutty, but worth it to know we can work.
More to come, but this is the start of our very great new life in Santa Cruz de Laguna, Lago de Atitlan.