I take a full day off the bike at the lake. Morning swim at sunrise. The water shivers golden. Beautiful views of three inactive vulcanos surrounding the lake. Very pleasant scenery and the campground is away from the scene in San Marcos. I make a little walk through San Marcos and get groceries but this is it. At the campground I meet some other travelers and it´s interesting to understand their ways of and reasons for traveling. Otherwise the day is pleasently uneventful. I really do enjoy sleeping outside in my tent again, going for a swim every few hours and eat home-cooked food for a day.
Initially I could have imagined staying a few more nights but to be honest, places with tourists don´t really set me on fire. So I decide to go on towards Antigua but stay another night at the lake in a different location. There is a hiking trail going to Santa Cruz on the edge of the lakes´ cliffs. I ask a few people whether it is possible by bike. Everybody says: No! Which brings us back to the bike travelers arrogance. Or should we call it "can-do mentality" as you would read it in the requirements section of fancy start-up job advertisements? Of course I go for it!
Just before the trailhead I meet a group of Swiss travelers who just finished the hike. Who else should be able to judge it better than SWISS people who just finished the hike? I can convince the group to a point where half of them still say it is impossible and the other half deems it possible if I am able to carry Klaus. Needless to say, that I count on the latter half!
I make a long story short. I manage 6 kilometers in 5 hours over the midday heat. It has been a very, very gnarly little side adventure. Countless steps and one very steep rock section that you have to scramble down. I tuck Klaus on one shoulder and hold myself on the rock wall with one hand. Pretty sketchy but with lightweight Klaus it is surprising what you can do. Nothing is impossible, right? It definitely gets me fired up. Did I enjoy the weird looks I got from the few other hikers? Maybe! Would I do it again? Hell no!
I do have some legit partners in crime, though, as there are quite a few of the crazy strong indigenous women who I last saw in La Huasteca, Mexico carrying huge piles of wood over the trail. We enjoy some good laughs accompanied with bad Spanish on both sides as it isn´t their mother tongue either.
I also have a very sweet moment on the very last and steep flight of stairs. As I take a quick break to recuperate for the last effort a little girl sees me and runs up. She asks if she can help. How cute is that! I unload my water bottles and food bag which she carries down to the village. Some construction workers watch the scene with pleasure and welcome me with the words "tu eres loco" - "you are crazy" to their village that has no road connection at all. What a worth-it adventure!
After a break in the village I take a boat to Panajachel where I plan to camp tonight. The boat ride itself is another one of those adventures. As it is afternoon by now the lake is pitched-up by the wind. It is a very bumpy boad ride. No problem if Klaus wouldn´t be laying up on top of the roof of the boat completely unsecured. As everybody bounces up and down from the waves so is he. As we arrive in Panajachel I am very happy to get him back in good shape. I know he is capable of many, many things. I doubt that he can swim, though!