We just celebrated 12 years of marriage and to commemorate the joyful event, we stayed the night at La Casa Del Mundo on the shores of Lake Atitlan. I love this place. Excellent food, quaint and very comfortable lodgings, delightful gardens and unbeatable views (from every room.)
Taking the boat from Panajachel toward Santa Cruz, we asked to be dropped of at the hotel dock (expect to pay no more than Q10 or 15 per person.)
This is the view from the dockside cabana.
Then we climbed the steps up to the office. La Casa Del Mundo is built right on the side of the mountain which juts out of the Lago, and contains plenty of rock stairs. Be prepared to climb!
Greg checked in at the oficina which is also the cafe. Isn’t it lovely?
Then we chilled at the Descanzo located below the cafe.
These are their ‘World Famous Smoothies’. Make sure to get the orange juice, banana, strawberry (fresa), berry (mora) mix. It’s not on the menu, but they’ll make it upon request. (Smoothies are Q18 each.)
They served our lunch here as well. I ordered the Nacho Grande (Q40) and Greg got the Chicken Burritos (Q38). Both were excellent.
After eating, we were shown to our room.
First up the stairs that lead out of the oficina/cafe.
Then up more stairs to our lodgings – Number 10 (they must have known it was our anniversary, which is the 10th of March. ). This room was Q490 a night.
The view from our balcony.
Isn’t it so cute? I could just take it home with me.
Inside it looks like this…
We… ahem… relaxed together for a bit, then spent time in our favorite activities — reading and discussing great ideas (and now we could do it without a million interruptions by kids, thanks to our great friends who babysat for us.)
My current read is Walden by Thoreau, and Greg is reading Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. We shared our favorite parts, and philosophized, theorized, moralized and pontificated on ‘the world as we see it’.
Too many people are living ‘lives of quiet desperation’, and what they call ‘resignation is confirmed desperation.’
“It appears as if men had deliberately chosen the common mode of living because they preferred it to any other. Yet they honestly think there is no choice left… The incessant anxiety and strain of some is a well-nigh incurable form of disease…We thoroughly deny the possibility of change. This is the only way, we say; but there are as many was as there can be drawn radii from one centre.”
“It is so possible to live as to gain all the advantage (enjoyment) of life, and none of the disadvantage.”
How passionately we believe this! It burns inside, so that we want to shout it to the world!
Too many are ‘endeavoring to solve the problem of living by a formula more complicated than the problem itself… we are all poor, surrounded by luxuries… Our houses are such unwieldy property that we are often imprisoned rather than housed in them.’
Soon it’s time for dinner. Cena (dinner) is served family style, with a single multi-course meal (with a vegetarian option). Tonights dinner is tomato soup, chicken chimichurri, vegetables, rice and cheesecake for dessert. (Dinner is Q90 per person.)
The table is set up family style, and by the time dinner is served (6:30pm), the only light is by candle.
During dinner we chat with Germans and Americans, sharing travel stories and other fascinations. After finishing our cheesecake, we head back to our room, and by 8:30 pm Greg is fast asleep. Walden kept me awake until almost 10pm.
In the morning before breakfast (which is served from 8:30 to 11:30 am), we go for a little hike into the village ‘next door’, Jaibalito. (Just FYI, the hotel suggests that guests do not hike along the trail from the hotel to Jaibalito or Santa Cruz without a local guide, but we knew better. )
We walked down the trail and then into the streets of town…
Past kids going to school…
And this old man who was hiking up into the woods. Where was he going and what was he doing??
We did a loop in the canyon above town, then came out on a trail through the Vulcano Lodge, which looked like another nice place to stay.
We hiked back to the hotel, then explored the grounds before going in to eat.
There you can see the hotel boat dock.
And this lovely place is lakeside next to the dock
If you want, they’ll fill the hot tub for you. It’s an additional Q230 for that experience.
Here you can see how much the lake level has risen in the past few years. The lake level has gone up at least 1 meter (3 feet) just since we have lived here the past year.
Rachel Denning is an unassuming mother of five who never really did any international traveling until she had four children. After a second honeymoon to Playa del Carmen, Mexico, she and her husband decided to sell most of their belongings and move their family abroad.
Driving from the United States to Panama, they settled in Costa Rica for a year, until the U.S. financial market crash in 2008, when they lost their location independent income. Returning to the United States to look for work, they knew they’d be back ‘out’ again, having been officially bitten by the travel bug!
Despite adjustments to living a simpler life (or perhaps because of it), they were able to save enough money to move to the Dominican Republic in 2009. After six months they came back to the States once more, where they were offered employment working with a non-profit organization in India.
They spent five months living in Tamil Nadu, then returned to the States once more (to Alaska) so they could have baby number five – Atlas.
From there, they set out in April of 2011 to drive, in a veggie powered truck, from Alaska to Argentina, visiting every continental country in North and South America.
Travel is a part of their life now, and they can’t imagine doing anything else. Rachel photographs and writes about their incredible family travel adventures on their website, and they also have resources that encourage others to live a deliberate life.