Pedal & paddle
Later, on a cycling trip, I found myself back in San Juan with Juan Carlos, one of Hector’s trainees. We set off from tiny Tzununa and followed an up-down road via the hamlets of San Marcos and San Pablo – saints seem to own most of the laketowns. Long climbs and a hot sun made it a workout, but the views were glorious.
At a beach called La Cristalina – so named due to the volcanic dust in its water, which glows like gold crystals – we hired a double kayak and paddled out to where fishermen were bringing in black bass and tilapia. Juan Carlos told me a story about a lost city in the lake that was the final home of anyone who disappeared: they didn’t drown, they just went to a better place.
After dropping off the kayak, I had my first swim in the lake – it was cool, calm and refreshing after the exercise. But by the afternoon the powerful sunlight had heated the water and filled the air above the crater with turbulent low cloud, which later flashed with silent lightning.