I don´t really know the history of the lake we went to, lake Chicabal, but I assume it is sacred because it is really beatiful and really freakin´ hard to get to. I think the same logic applies to Maccu Piccu.
Well, maybe it´s not hard to get to if you are Mayan and are used to hiking up dormant volcanos, but us TV watching Gringos find it to be quite a challenge. Basically we took a bus to a town called Chile Verde (because that´s what used to grow there a lot) and walked straight uphill for about 2 hours.
Chile Verde and the area around are really rural and it was nice to finally be in non-polluted air! All around people were growing potatoes (very small ones), broccoli, and other vegetables.
Potatoes (before and after):
Bessie and her broccoli:
Anyway, even through the town, the hiking was almost all uphill and with the thin air, things were much more difficuilt.
Here´s a perspective from uphill (it was much steeper than this most of the way). We were going down at this point which was much easier:
Apparently the idea of switchbacks hasn´t reached Guatemala, yet.
In any case after several hours of hiking and our guide half lying to us by telling us "The hard part is over", we finally reached the view point where we could see lake Chicabal in all of its glory:
In Spanish, they say "Vale la pena", which means worth the pain, and it definately was. As you can see from the photo, the lake is in the cone of a dormant volcano. We were there in the afternoon, so the fog and clouds were slowly creeping in and causing quite the fluctuations in temperature.
Of course, we weren´t done hiking yet (sigh), and we hiked down to the lake iteself. From lake level, it looks like so:
At the lake the guide told us that the lake has actually taken the lives of several swimmers (swimming is prohibited now). He thinks there might be some wierd currents, but I think it is due to a monster. I think my explination is better. Anyway, we had lunch there and I made a video showing how the fog comes in:
Hooray for sacred lakes!