Staying with the Wizard

—–>This is a backdated post. Currently, I am in Iztapa, Guatemala  sleeping surrounded by the ocean on three sides. Life is good.

My first week at Lago Atitlan was spent in Panajachel. Two nights I slept in a half-built casitta belonging to a friend of a member of Pedal South. The third night I camped at Hostel Sotz. The fourth night I slept on a volcano and the fifth I once again camped at Hostel Sotz.

A bouncing boat whisked me and my bike to San Marcos where I was told to find the white bearded wizard. Merlin turned out to be easy to find. We needed only to ask a man with dreadlocks. He lives there too and guided us to the house on the hill.

Merlin’s house and the people who stay there are quite interesting and not the type of folks your likely to meet in ordinary life. Unless you happen to be a social worker or rehab counselor that is. Kidding! Please don’t hate me 🙂

My body calls forth begging me to move. The urge arises from deep within my spine. Primal in origin, my brain fights to resist wishing to remain in the comfort it has found. Often does my body request only to be denied by my brain out of laziness or fear to set forth.

And so I sit on my makeshift bed on the straw strewn floor of Merlin the White bearded wizard’s yard. Music drifts from the house; a pile of hippies cuddled, spooning on the floor singing to the tune of the guitar played by a nearly naked girl dressed in a see through dress with nothing underneath. —-Journal Entry 4/03/2015

My time at Merlin’s, over two weeks, was well spent. For days I lounged in my makeshift bed on the straw strewn floor of his yard devouring one book after another as I recovered from the tortuous descent from the volcano.

After recovering my strength, things became more interesting. I hiked to distant villages, climbed hills for sunsets and sunrises, stayed up an entire night with Jess Farmer to run to the farthest village for sunrise on our last day together. I swam in the crystal clear blue waters of the lake and lounged in the sun on the dock surrounded by naked hippies. I participated in drum circles and hid from rain under the deck of a cafe while watching a movie projected on a white screen. I rode my bike on rough roads and I trained. I trained a lot performing series of intervals: squats followed by push-ups followed by sit-ups followed by mountain climbers and finished with burpees. I’d complete 50 of each exercise before moving on to the next. A workout Jess taught me.





Sunrise on top of a hill in San Marcos, Guatemala with Jess Farmer.


Updating the journal atop the hill in the early morning light.




I captured these photos on a bike ride to the neighboring city of San Pedro. San Pedro is a party town while San Marcos is a chill Hippie town.


Celebrating Cato’s birthday inside Merlin’s house.



Merlin makes fish tanks out of broken panes of glass. He cuts the glass to shape and seals the seams with paper mache and silicon.



The yard is full of handmade decorations attesting to the hippie nature of the house.



Merlin opens his house and yard to anyone desiring a place to stay.


The activity board at Merlin’s.







With Rio I hiked to Santa Cruz, the furthest village on the lake. By the end of my time here I completed this hike multiple times. There and back. There and back by boat. Running there with Jess before returning by boat. Hiking is the ultimate cross-training workout for cycling.


Yep, my shirt is about to die. It’s been repaired with needle and thread many times, but the thread is no longer holding. The shirt is just too worn away by the sun.


Rio plays the guitar.





Did I mention San Marcos is a hippie town?


2 thoughts on “Staying with the Wizard

  1. Man, You are Living! I met Mary Ann here in Baldwin & she thought I might appreciate your blog: boy, was she right…(+ she helped me walk again!). I’m inspired by your vibe, writings and images. Irie vibe flowing thru U & Ur crew is a pleasure to witness. I’m wandering thru Pittsburgh now and preparing to return to Baltimore ASAP. Have a great trip Man. I’ll keep reading … Just followed ya. Peace Brother.

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