Guatemala Sunshine

Sunshine is a good thing after days of rain. I got a late start this morning. I went to sleep as the sun was rising, so it felt fine to sleep in. Trouble was, I missed most of today’s beautiful sunshine.

In the afternoon I needed to go shopping. As soon as I left the house, the rain started. It has been raining for hours. It is a sleepy time.

I made it down by the Pannachel dock as it began pouring. The street water had a good flow as it headed for the lake. The rains wash the San Pedro real well, and then send all that down the streets and on in to the lake.

It was the wrong time for leather shoes, and the ATM wasn’t working. We locals affectionately call the dock area the “Vortex.”

The satellite connection to the Internet has been slow most of weekend. It held through our tropical storm, and now that the weather is returning to a more normal pattern, Hughes Net is sputtering. That can be life in Guatemala.

For a week or so, I have mentioned the rain here in San Pedro Laguna on Lake Atitlan. You think, well, it is Rainy Season, and you are right. But when you are here for awhile you learn a special secret about our wet days.

Our rainy season usually begins shortly after Easter. It normally starts with heavy rain for several weeks. This is about the time the “winter” storms start coming in from the oceans on either side of Guatemala.

The weather gets snotty, the airlines lower their fares, and the tourists disappear. I smile because I know all the gloom and doom about the weather is going to be old news real soon.

Our Rainy Season started late this year, and that was especially noticeable with an early Easter in March. The timing has been different this year, but the usual pattern is here.

Our Rainy Season begins with heavy rains which become days with afternoon showers. The afternoon showers become less intense and shorter. Then we enter a magical six weeks of beautiful sunshine and warm days.

So this summer while you are baking in the heat and humidity, we will be enjoying warm sunny days with low humidity here in the Highlands of Guatemala. The airlines will have their focus on the storms in the Eastern Caribbean, and still have low fares reaching here.

Possibly a summer vacation at Lake Atitlan just might be financially possible this year, and a welcome relief from your own weather. It is a possible dream.

Smiles. ET

The R51 Has Arrived

This morning I set the alarm clock. I don’t use it very often, but today I wished to take the early launche to Pannachel. My IBM R51 is on its final leg of a very long journey.

And it did arrive, carried on a chicken bus by a friend who was coming to the lake for several days. He traveled three and a half hours from Antigua and was here by mid-morning. We headed back across Lake Atitlan shortly after mid-day.

The wind had come up and we began smacking bone-jarring waves. Our Captain stopped the boat at one point, so a mother and child could sit more safely, further back from the front of the boat. He kept in the lee of the volcano as we neared San Pedro, and the crests became more settled.

Those wave crests seemed to be literally the frosting on the cake for my R51, as it finally approached its new home in San Pedro Laguna on Lago Atitlan, Guatemala. It had begun its trip to me the beginning of April, and it is now almost six weeks later.

Quite honestly, I don’t know where my new laptop has been for all that time. I was going to blame the delay on Customs, but my receipt from them says it hasn’t even gotten to them yet. Go figure.

Knowing the pounding the laptop went through crossing the lake, I little concern over what else it might have experienced before it arrived. The shipping box looked great when I got it, but the trip across the lake would tell what this laptop could handle.

Actually, my eBay seller had packed the IBM computer in bubble wrap, a box, inside another box, filled with a whole bunch of newspaper. I plugged the R51 in to a power outlet at Casa Cortez the moment we arrived, and it worked like a champ.

The ThinkPad series laptops from IBM, were built extremely strong. They were also very expensive.

The “R” series laptops were made after Lenovo entered the IBM scene. They were made for a different market and concerns were expressed they wouldn’t be made to the same high standards as earlier Thinkpad IBM laptops.

The R51 is designed for less travel, but it has shown it handles the rigors of travel very well. The basic R51 keyboard, and touchpad, look the same as on the T23. The R51 has a “bigger” feel to it, but that may have a lot to do with the fact that it is one inch bigger than the T23.

Give me a couple of days to play with my new toy, and I will be better able to make a hands on comparison of the “T” and “R” series IBM laptops. That will be the rest of the story.

As time extended when the R51 was lost in International limbo land, I would get reassuring smiles and the statement, ”Relax, it’s Guatemala. No problemo.” Darn, if those folks weren’t right, though it was hard to see at the time.

Smiles. ET

Published in: on May 21, 2008 at 1:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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