Waking up early: we jump in our pants, put on our sneakers and grab our backpacks, towards Lake Atitlán. Don Cesar drives the green, noisy and shaky minibus on the winding roads to the west of the country. After more than two hours, we take a last bend before the landscape opens onto a huge expanse of water, the most beautiful in Central America. The lake is surrounded by three volcanoes – San Pedro, Tolimán, Atitlán – whose peaks rise to more than 3500 meters and combine to block the clouds. A small shop borders the road; hats of all colors, hanging on a thread and agitated by the wind, stop us. The landscape is breathtaking – itself already very limited by altitude. The lake fills a large caldera excavated more than 84,000 years ago by a volcanic eruption.

We take the path towards Panachavel, a small tourist town that borders the lake. While we are in “full winter”, the sun is generous today. We walk in the small city, looking constantly in search of details and elements of the landscape not to be missed. A feeling of serenity is invading us for the first time since we arrived here. The last days have been intense emotionally, intellectually and humanely.

We return to a small pontoon that lies on the lake. This time, our taxi will be a small boat that crosses the lake from one end to the other, with fragility and fleetingness. We arrive at San Pedro, a small tourist town, built on the edge of the lake, on the slopes of a surrounding mountain. Dressed in shorts and flip flops, it is mainly Western tourists who bask in the sun. We move away from the most popular lanes, and fall on a small restaurant whose backyard is none other than the lake itself. In front of the restaurant, a man cooks chicken legs, sausages and fish on the embers. We cross the curtain of smoke, to enter the premises, and decide to settle on a thin table located just at the edge of the terrace. The sight is striking … And even more appreciated when flavored with a braised chicken, avocado and some tortillas …

And presto, it’s already time to retrace our steps … The volcanoes have let some gray clouds pass, an omen of stormy weather ahead. We take the small tub, which tries to avoid the waves of the lake now agitated, sometimes stopping, sometimes accelerating. After 45 minutes of eventful crossing, we arrive (finally) at Panachavel. Barely time to do some shopping and it is already time to find Don Cesar, our driver of the day, to return to Tecpán.

Rested from our trip the day before, we decide to start the last day of the week with a “meeting” in the small veranda of our house to plan the program of the days to come. We only have one week left to film the last shots of the city, to carry out the missing interviews and to write the main frame of the documentary. In short, we have something for the week ahead! For the rest of the day, we go to the “Cafe de Aqui”, which has become, over the past three weeks, our favorite place to work while sipping a local coffee. The afternoon is well occupied, between the writing of articles of the blog, the frame of the documentary and the screenings of the interviews of the past week. We end the day with a small appetizer with well-earned guacamole …