We decided to spend our last few days at the lake back where we started, on the property of an old Mayan man named Don Pedro, a.k.a. Donny P. The language barrier was somewhat serious because, just like us, Spanish was his second language. We still greatly enjoyed our time with him, and found that a little corn liquor is great for taking down barriers of all sorts, including the language ones. We ate and cooked with their family, and went on fuelwood collecting missions in the steep, dusty hills that ring the town. Our time wasn't completely authentic, we found time to eat chilidogs and drink bad beer by the buckets while watching the superbowl.
From there, our mission was to make it out to the coast of Guatemala, a more difficult feat than it first appeared. Depending on who you talked to, there were either no more buses for the day, there was going to be a bus in 2 or 4 hours but it would have to make so many stops we couldn't make it all the way in one day, or they had no idea. There was only one man we could trust, the taxi driver who told us the only way to get out to the coast was by taxi. Anyhow, we ended up taking two days to get out to Monterrico, and are counting our blessings that we chose this to be the setting for our language school and our next two or so weeks.
The only thing that doesn't move slow here are the waves, which are some seriously BIG water. A strong undertow and a near vertical crest-to-trough gradient make it hard to swim, but sometimes it can make you feel like you are walking on the moon (source needed). This works in our favor because the black sand beach is, for all intents and purposes, vacant, and lined with royal palms. The beach spills into the bar at our hotel, and from there it is a quick walk past the pool into town, which seems to exist solely to sell coconuts, fruit, ceviche, and cheap beer.
We are not restricted to lounging and beach life, because Monterrico is right next door to a few National Protected Areas which are great for exploring. We started off today by touring mangroves by moonlight in a small row boat. The wake up call at our hotel (from a one-eyed Spanish speaking parrot named Pirata) helped get us out of bed at 4:30. The mangroves we toured were filled with cows, four-eyed jumping fish, pelicans, caimans, turtles, iguanas, and seemed equal parts Wyoming, the PNW coast, Vietnam, and The Land Before Time.