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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Semuc Champey

GUATEMALA | Monday, 20 February 2012 | Views [1515]

I rise up this morning to take a test of my true adventureness! Whilst El Retiro boasts a beautiful setting, I regret staying here. They're nice enough to let me store my bag as I stuck 50 quetzales (price of admission to Semuc Champey) in my pocket. With me I have my camera and my bathers. As I walked up the dirt and gravel road I realized that hitching wasn't going to be practical and the only vehicles coming were buses or paying-passenger trucks. Then I told myself "if I'm gonna get to Semuc Champey, I'll have to do it the hard way!" It would be a walk of 11 km (7 miles) but I felt that it would make the experience that much more rewarding. Over various uphill and downhill stretches, I walked, jogged, and ran the (mostly) gravel road. When I saw a sign that said "Semuc Champey: 2 km" my heart started beating faster. Over a bridge I walked, hanging over an emerald-green river I make it to the entrance!

I walked/ran 11 km in less than two hours. Wearing a black shirt and long, black pants I was sweating bullets. When I paid 50 quetzales it left me with only 1 quetzal in my pocket. Walking fast with tired feet I was ready for a dip (or a dive) into magical Semuc Champey. Taking off my shoes and camera I didn't even bother to change into my bathers; instead I dove in head first, fully-clothed. Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!! Yeahhhhh! I could see the fish, but it didn't even matter. I took a few sips of this magical water to quench my thirst as I gaze at the mountains and the trees around me; I can feel they're calling out my name! All soaked, I opted to walk up to the Mirador. The sign says to allow an hour and 15 minutes but it didn't take near as long! Though very steep, it took me only about 20 minutes although I was thirsty with the combination of the 11 km I walked earlier. The view from atop is so colourful!

Enjoying it with a Guatemalan couple, I stayed up there for about 10 minutes before I was ready for some more swimming. Thirsty on the way down, I quickly made my way back in for another dip and another drink. A fellow traveller took a photo of me in midair jumping off of a rock into the pool and said "your Facebook friends will be impressed."

Afterward I was looking for a safe way (with my camera) across the pools so I can get even better pictures. A few other people there had waterproof cameras; I could really use one of those. This June I'm going to the Dominican Republic and I'm thinking of getting a new camera before then. I've had my current camera for almost 4 years and it's taken quite a beating on all my travels. Eventually I did find a safe way to get better pictures and I got some really good ones! Swimming around for awhile longer I was really enjoying the magical moment of being in these magical waters. "Magical" is a one-word description of Semuc Champey!  It was almost 2:00 PM and I wanted to get to Antigua tonight. All in all, I had almost three hours at Semuc Champey, and the 11 km walk to get there made all the more worthwhile! And riding in a van to back to Lanquin took almost as long as it took to walk there!

Tags: water


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