The morning after the whole volcano climbing expedition thing, we were up at 5.45am and downstairs at 6.45am, as requested by Arizona Boy. However, it turned out that Arizona Boy had his watch set about four minutes fast, and would get cranky if we weren't there on "Arizona Boy Time"... We piled into minivans, and headed off. After an hour or so, we hit Guatemala City. And Guatemala City delivered us our first dead body of the trip - some poor bastard who'd been run over by a chicken bus. O.o
From there, it was five or so hours in a minibus with broken air conditioning to the docks of Rio Dulce, where we caught boats across to our hotel for the night. The hotel was...interesting. It became known to our group as "The Kevin Place", because a) it was run by a weird American guy named Kevin, and b) in order to buy drinks at the bar, you had to buy a stack of "Kevin dollars" from the front desk, and use those. Conveniently, I nicked one and shoved it in my travel diary, so I can show you exactly what I mean:
Like I said. Interesting. I spent most of the afternoon sitting at the bar by the pool. A decent chunk of it was with (my now BFF) Sara. We spent a chunk of it making fun of this dude:
Yes, that's a pith helmet. Because apparently he's an archaeologist from the 1930s. I also went crazy from the insane heat and decided that I needed a beer. That decision lasted all of 3 sips before I'd gagged repeatedly, given my crappy Guatemalan beer away to one of the boys and was downing handfuls of popcorn to get rid of the taste.
The following day, we were up stupidly early again, this time for a boat trip to Livingston. We started off with a wee jaunt around Lago Izabel, the largest lake in Guatemala. There were a couple of protected bird colonies:
And Castillo de San Felipe, which was built in the sixteenth century, then destroyed, then rebuilt in the 1950s to ward off pirates. BUT OF COURSE:
|It had cannons.|
From there, we headed down the Rio Dulce towards Livingston. Shortly thereafter, it started POURING with rain. And almost no one had rain gear with them. So we ended up cowering under tarps that did absolutely nothing to keep the rain out. There's nothing quite like sitting on a boat that's driving INTO the wind when it's pouring with train... Upon arrival in Livingston, we drowned-ratted our way to a cafe, where half the group decided that 10.30am was the PERFECT time for Coco Locos - a coconut with the top cut off and rum poured in.
By the time we'd finished our drinks, the sun had come out and it was stinking hot again, so a bunch of us headed down to the Caribbean just for the hell of it. Sadly, it was less pirate filled than I had been led to believe:
No Captain Jack Sparrow to be seen! *sigh*
After wandering around Livingston a little more, it was back to the mainland and onto a bus for the three and a half hour trip to Flores. Sara and I were sharing a room with a
We didn't get to see much of Flores, because we left first thing the next morning. But what we DID see? Included a pretty spectacular sunset:
Next up, things get FAR more exciting when we visit the first of the Mesoamerican city ruins: Tikal!!