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The journal formerly known as ...Latin America

woah...this will be tough

GUATEMALA | Wednesday, 28 July 2010 | Views [7941] | Comments [1]

tough to write about how incredible the last few days since our last post have been. Here I am in a different country, trying to learn Spanish and at this moment I only wish I had a better command of English to attempt to explain to you the beauty of what we have witnessed. I suppose, I will can let the pictures-video do the talking. I will begin with our last day in Antigua and finish with the El Perrico the lakeside hostel we currently reside in.

You may remember my complaints about the cold showers in casa beatrise...we´ll turns out, you can get hot water and just no one (until the last day) felt the need to explain this to me. I think some travelers are to nervous to explain some things to you for fear you already know. I think that's stupid, so I make it a point to explain all pertinent details to those following behind us. And for those you who are, let me explain how the hot shower works. The shower head itself, heats the water! you can see 2 wires feeding this device and if you read it, you will see it runs on 5500 watts and 50amps! Does anyone else see the problem here¿! electricity in your shower! So...I did enjoy the hot water...but was thoroughly freaked out by device. So, 3 days later, over dinner I bring out the shower head with our new Israeli friends, only to find out that he was badly shocked by one of these shower heads only days before!

Anyway...there is a line of people behind me waiting to use the 1 computer in the hostel, so I´ll get to the good parts. Sunday morning, we got picked up to travel to Lanquin (near sumac champey) the drive was out of this world. The whole way we were winding through lush, green mountain peaks, with such huge elevation gains that the tops were in the clouds. I have never seen so much green in my life! Plants that people pay ridiculous money for in states just grow wild everywhere! We arrived in lanquin with no reservation and only our guide book for ideas as to where to stay. One hostel´s description claimed to have 2 swimming pools...only to discover that they had been converted into swimming pools for fishes. So we left there and ran into a nice guy named Ettgar that drives the bus for a place called El Portal(click here for el portal video), in Semuc Champey. He showed us the brochure for the place and it looked great, but we had our mind set on staying in lanquin so passed on his offer. After inspected the other hostel´s in Lanquin, we quickly changed our mind...and just in time as Ettgar was driving by with a few people headed to El Portal. The people, were folks we had met earlier as well, Ida and Ida from Denmark and Sebastian and his parents from Austria. We tossed our bags in the 4X4 truck and preceded down the rough road to Semuc. We arrived in place were there are no phones, only electricity from generators and an amazing hotel, built from completely natural materials situated high above a beautiful river. Rather than explaining more...just watch the video.

There are 2 main attractions here...the Water Caves and a Limestone bridge with 8 or more naturals spring pools. After a great night chatting with our new friends we went to the cave first. Our guide greeted us by tying our sandals to our feet with string and giving each of us a candle. Rather than going with the large tour group, we had gone on our own, Sophia, me, Sebastian and his father. The caves were unlike anything I´d ever seen. We were climbing up, down everywhere, we were wading through pools, and when the pools got deep...we were swimming...yes candle in one had for light and doggie paddle with the other! Only problem, havana sandles...not great for caving...mine broke, so I did most of cave barefoot...no cuts, only bruises. We climbed through a waterfall (some go around, I went through)...at one point the ceiling was 20 feet high. We were able to climb the wall and jump off a small cliff maybe 10 feet above the water...doing it in the dark was awesome! At the end of cave (deepest part) the guide had us blow out our candles and just chill out in the water...yeah, scary!

After making our way out...it was time to grab tubes and float down the Rio Cahabon...amazing views and the huge trees hang over the river and shade us most of the way down.

After lunch, we headed to Semuc Champey, national park...I guess. This is where pools are. Honestly, I had dreamed we would find something like this, somewhere along this journey...I never would have guessed it would have happened so soon. Again, rather than me explain it, just check the pic´s and videos. (hopefully, I can upload a lot before everyone here freaks out). We ending up at a clear blue lagoon...and because the rain earlier in the day...we were completely alone...seriously like something out of a movie!

Next day we got a shuttle to Lago Izabal and Rio Dulce...we were packed, 15 people in a mini shuttle that was built for 12...sophia and getting last meant, yup, I did not get a seat, for a drive down a dirt road for 5 hrs. That was not so great. But, I did get a nice chance to stretch when our van got stuck in mudslide.

Between the 15 of us, we got it through....but it got real dirty. After, to cheer up we through some michael jackson...and there we were, 6 israeli´s , 2 brits, 4 americans and 1 Guatemalan rocking MJ, cruising through the jungle covered in mud! It was awesome! And when I say jungle...were talking women carrying fruit on their heads and breastfeeding everywhere!

We made it to Rio Dulce, grabbed a boat across the lake and are now as El Perrico, a swiss owned hostel with a very eclectic crowd, great food and nice little bungalow for Brett and Sophia! Today we went to Finco Paraiso...another natural hot spring and waterfall, great for relaxing in the natural sauna and cliff jumping off the waterfall...see video...hopefully.

That´s all for now...I´m feeling the pressure to finish...Love ya´ll...Brett



Finally had a chance to read some and catch up with what you guys have been doing. I'm SO SO happy (and almost equally jealous) that you are having such an amazing time and are staying safe and healthy!!! Love you tons!

  Mieke Sep 1, 2010 2:44 AM

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