Did I mention that we were a little hesitant when we saw that we were staying at the end of a unpaved road, and stopped in front of a steel gated entrance? Our hostess at Jenna’s River Bed and Breakfast, Jenna Bigaman had been very helpful via email and one phone call before our arrival. She came out through the man door, greeted us all warmly – including the driver, and escorted us in, explaining the steel door within the steel gate on the way in. Inside was a carport and garden area, and a lovely structure painted in warm yellows. It all looked like something one mind find in Naples, Florida, save for the observation that there were outdoor furniture pieces made of fabric (these would mold and quickly rot in Florida).
We were shown into our room, which is the one pictured here, on Jenna’s website:
We parked our things, then, as invited, headed outside to sit on the couch and enjoy some extraordinarily delicious, freshly squeezed mango juice. We visited for a good while, then inquired about where to go for dinner.
Jenna provided us a local, one page map which was quite helpful, but not extremely detailed. She suggested we walk Calle Santander and recommended a few places. In all, Jenna was a terrific tour guide in our time there.
So – despite its being quite dark (even at 7 pm), we walked out and turned right and turned right. Being Saturday night - and on many nights – the street was quite busy. Here’s a video which we found on the internet (not ours) – but which seems to reflect the street’s activity:
We walked around the hustle and bustle at night. At first, we were not plagued with street vendors – women hustling fabrics or children selling post cards. The street place was very multilingual – lots of English, some French, I think I heard some Russian.
We even heard what sounded like drunken sorority sister on College Ave in State College. Drunken or not, this was more serious. A very angry young woman was pushing against another man, trying to get at a six foot two, 200 pound muscular looking man. And it appeared he was interested in her. The woman was losing things left and right, and the muscle man was shouting back. It made no sense.. The man in the middle was pleading with the young woman, saying “your going to get me killed”. The woman lost her flip flops, but never found her temper. Eventually, her friend corralled her to one side of the street. I returned one of her flip flops. As we walked along, someone pointed out that her cell phone and purse were left at one of the street vendors – who did not immediately try to conceal this – a pleasant bit of honesty. We returned those to the woman who continued to shriek that the muscle man was trying to have sex with young girls, while the muscle man say he would readily ‘do her’. I suspect drugs – perhaps of different type – might have been in use by both parties.
After all that excitement, we went on to eat a the Maya Vietnam Fusion restaurant. A Vietnamese woman from Quebec had moved to Panajachel and opened the place. As one of Jenna’s recommendations, we ordered Sopa Camarones (my Spanish is mostly self taught, and I didn’t remember that Camarones is Shrimp – not one of Nancy’s favorites). The soup was delicious, as were the accompanying vegetables! Definitely worth a visit. The place, like most, was open to the street – no screens, no apparent door. Indeed some young boy walked off the street to our table to try to sell us some post cards.
Here’s a photo of where we ate dinner (not our image)..
When we got back, Jenna was watching TV (Downton Abbey), and had a lovely fire going in her fireplace. She had that fireplace custom built into her B&B – for only $300!