Retirement; like your parents, but way cooler
In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
Lake Atitlan Christmas Day Pig Roast
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
one of the most gorgeous places on earth,
Atitlan, Guatemala, is a real discovery.
People are friendly,
weather is good, price of living is affordable, and the natural beauty is
stunning. All around the lake are Mayan towns that dot the coast and go up into
the volcanic hills. Each town is different for a variety of reasons and they
will all capture your heart.
Christmas Day was coming up
and we heard that Nestor from
Smokin' Joes BBQ
was going to do a
Christmas Day Pig Roast.
Well, we just HAD to go.
We collected a group of
friends, hired a private lancha and headed to San Pedro for the feast.
Our friends from Holland,
Peter (who is stepping into the boat) and Renzo were looking forward to the BBQ
as well. Our boat driver, Andre, is ready to take us.
Billy bargained with the
Captain for several days to get the right price. We ended up paying 400Quetzales
for him to take us across the lake, wait for us, and take us back. We also promised
to buy him lunch from Nestor's. So with the lunch included, the price came to a
little over $63USD which was divided by everyone on the boat.
Pulling away from Pana
The day couldn't have been
The whole week before
Christmas, the winds blustered across the lake and through the town of
It was invigorating, but chilly, and it would make the lake choppy when we
crossed. We were all hoping for a break in the breezes for Christmas Day.
The three volcanoes of Lake Atitlan are
clearly seen here, Toliman and Atitlan on the left (one behind the other) and
San Pedro on the right. We are headed to the town of San Pedro at the foot of
the volcano, a little more to the right, outside the photo.
The rugged hillsides
85,000 years ago, the
volcano that used to be right where we are boating, exploded fiercely. Magma
chambers under volcanoes collect lava before the volcanoes blow, and this
particular chamber was so big (about 18-20 kilometers in diameter), that geologists found
ash as far away as Florida and Panama. A total of 270 cubic kilometers of
volcanic debris was thrown out of the caldera, blanketing Guatemala with ash and
rock, 200 meters deep in some places.
The eruption has been named
the Los Chocoyos event after the birds that now burrow nest holes into the
The Captain and the Kid
Billy has always made it a
point to know the Captains of boats, the owners of businesses, and whomever
might be in charge of any project. In this way, he knows who it is that makes
the decisions about anything, and he begins there, at the top.
Andres left his family for
the mid-afternoon to bring us to
and would return with a fine meal to share.
Leaving Pana in our wake!
Panajachel is right in the center of the photo. To the left you will see
three tall buildings known as
The Riviera of Atitlan. Two of the buildings are
hotel rooms, and the third building on the furthest left is a condo high-rise.
There are manicured gardens, a swimming pool, and excellent views of the Lake.
A Motley Crew
Suzanne and Greg are up
front on the left, Ron is speaking to Renzo, Peter is sharing the bench with me,
and Diane is sitting right behind me. Of course, here I am pressing an
acupuncture point on
my wrist for seasickness and keeping my eye on the horizon! I have already
used some special
natural motion sickness drops behind my ears.
Hey! Whatever works!
Blue, blue, blue.
Everything is either blue or white.
Greg waves from the bow of the lancha
Having the time of his life, Greg is holding
down the bow of the lancha as we motor across the lake.
Volcanoes Atitlan and Toliman, a closer
The double peak of Volcano Atitlan, then
Volcano Toliman behind it. The foot of Volcano San Pedro begins to the right,
outside the photo.
The lake water sparkles from the sun. You can
see how calm it is at the moment, but on our ride back in the lancha it was like
riding a bucking bronco!
Billy driving the lancha
Billy loves the water and any chance he can
get to drive the boat out on the lake, he does. Knowing the Captains, helps!
Entering the town of San
We are entering the town of
San Pedro. Over the years, the Lake has been rising, and here in the center of
the photo you see a home
that is partially under water. This is visible all around the lake - boat
houses, what-used-to-be-a-restaurant, sidewalks... all under water. This rising
and falling of the Lake happens cyclically.
Supposedly, the Lake drains
from a large fissure somewhere in the bottom. Due to regularly occurring
earthquakes, sometimes the crack closes and the Lake rises. The natives just
wait until a particular earthquake opens up the fissure again, and the water
Meanwhile, during the
rising times, floating docks are put in, and structures are halfway under water.
First stop, LuAnne!
We have arrived at the BBQ,
and the first stop is to order our meal from LuAnne, Nestor's wife. The meal
includes your choice of sides. It's a delicious and excellent deal!
A neighboring table in the shade
It was a hot day with a lot of direct sun.
SHADE was at a premium.
As a comparison to Panajachel, San Pedro is
filled with a younger crowd of Gringos. Usually tatted up, with a variety of
piercings and lots of stylish and colorful dreadlocks piled high on their heads.
Nestor with the roasted
The Roasted Pig was the
favorite of the day (and was only 65Quetzales, just under $9USD per plate), but
you could get pork ribs, beef ribs, filet mignon, grilled chicken breasts with
different marinades, hamburgers, pulled pork sandwiches and even grilled Dorado,
a local fish.
Nestor prepares and ages
all of his meats, so they are tender and delicious!
A variety of side orders
are available also
Eggplant Parmesan, baked
beans, and steamed green beans are some of the choices of sides you may have with
Corn on the cob with butter, steamed
potatoes, and either corn bread or grilled garlic bread.
You definitely don't go away hungry from
Smokin' Joes BBQs!
Roast Pork plate
Eggplant Parmesan, Cole
slaw, potato salad, and roasted pork with BBQ sauce.
For more stories about
To learn more about
Guatemala as a retirement destination,
About the Authors
Early Lifestyle appeals to a different
kind of person – the person who prizes their
independence, values their
time, and who doesn’t want to mindlessly
follow the crowd.
and Akaisha continue to journal and photograph their world travels.
Retire Early Lifestyle Blog
About Billy & Akaisha