Went to Santa Catarina with Julie the Painter. At the market near the bridge that crosses Rio Panajachel, we bought a ride in the back of a dusty pick up truck.
The road out of Pana runs along the north shore of the lake and is unpaved. Crossing the river, it passes through groves of trees in JucanyŠ and into open, mountainous landscape. Then it rises and falls, hugging the mountainside, offering superb views of the lake. Santa Catarina Palopů is four kilometers down this road, and San Antonio Palopů is five kilometers beyond that.
For outsiders, there is really nothing much to do in either Santa Catarina or San Antonio. Julie and I chatted with a few people, explored a bit, had lunch, and she took a swim. The water was unbelievably clear. It was simply a day of relaxation in beautiful weather away from the activity in Pana. In the peacefulness of towns like Santa Catarina and San Antonio, just sitting on the shore of Lago AtitlŠn and soaking up the view takes on qualities of a rarefied experience.
We finally wandered back to Pana and Julie guided a tour through the garden-like pathways of JucanyŠ, where she lives with her amante, Sergio.