After lunch that day, we got ready to leave Panajachel in boats for our campsite on the other side of Lake Atitlan.
In retrospect, the boat ride to Lake Atitlan was pretty dangerous. Not only because the waters were slightly rough during the time of day we were on the lake, but because of the amount of stuff and people we had on two small boats.
We made the mistake of loading the first boat with most of the luggage into the bow of the boat in addition to about 12 people. When I stuck my hand on the side of the boat, the water was halfway up my forearm. The second boat held the rest of the group and almost no luggage. I was pretty nervous the entire boat ride—which took maybe 45 minutes (but felt longer!), because I didn’t feel comfortable with how much the tiny boat was carrying.
Even though our boat wasn’t as fast as the other since we were carrying more weight, the other boat didn’t get to the campsite before us. That’s because they ran out of gas and had to wait for us to catch up and pass them an extra tank of gasoline. It was literally a handing-over of a gas tank between boats in the middle of the lake! lol
As soon as we got to the campsite, we unloaded our gear and started setting up the tents. I am usually really good at putting up tents, so I wasn’t expecting it to be too difficult. But when I opened up the bag and took out all the parts, I was shocked to discover that I had no idea how to put it together since the type of tent was one I had never encountered before. There wasn’t even any instructions or anything—there was just a whole bunch of disconnected metal rods and a huge wrinkled, folded up tent that I didn’t know what shape it was supposed to look like. After a lot of tries and confusion, we FINALLY were able to get it together…
We stayed at the campsite for two nights. We swam in the lake, took boat rides to visit the other villages for dinner, stargazed (I saw 2 shooting stars in one night!–more than I have in many years!), toasted marshmallows by the fire and just bonded.
There were also a lot of huge scary spiders, no electricity and no running water. I shared a tent with 4 other girls, and all of our luggage. But each night, I slept so well since I was so tired from the long days.
Camping by the lake was a wonderful experience! It was so peaceful and the view was breathtaking. More pictures to come in my next post!
As I write this blog, I’m sitting on a grassy knoll on Pomona-Pitzer’s campus. It’s the last match of my final season of tennis here at Caltech. It’s definitely a bittersweet feeling to be done with my college tennis career (unless I decide to use my final year of NCAA eligibility, granted to athletes affected by the COVID-19 pandemic). Being a part of the women’s tennis team here has been a defining part of my identity and where I met my community on campus. In this blog, I want to discuss a bit of the process of becoming an NCAA athlete, the Caltech experience of handling schoolwork and a sport, and my take on how it affected my growth here.
A few days ago, I wrote a blog post for recommendations of boba around Caltech. This follow up includes a far more comprehensive list of boba shops in the 626/SGV area. Now, I’ll admit that I have a rather extensive spreadsheet of boba stores and drinks that I’ve tried and enjoyed or disliked. However, I’d rather not bore everyone with a full spreadsheet, especially when it reveals just how much boba I’ve had each year. However, if I attempted to write about all of the shops I’ve tried, this post would get too long, so it’s instead compressed into a much more easily digestible format: a Tiermaker list. Obviously, this is the most sophisticated possible presentation of this information and 100% objective. Definitely tested via the scientific method and not subject to personal bias whatsoever.
In the past few years, boba or bubble tea has exploded in popularity, with stores opening up all across the country. As a very avid but picky boba drinker, this has been a blessing for me, as I’ve been able to try drinks from so many new stores. In the past four years, I’ve been able to try what might be conservatively called a fairly significant portion of boba stores in the Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley area (otherwise known as 626/SGV).