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Quick Update - Stuck in Lanquin Guatemala!

posted Mar 27, 2010, 8:33 AM by Paul Gareau
I think I've been here 8 days now, but I've lost count. If there is such a thing as fate, it definitely doesn't want me to leave. First there was rain, then I got the stomach bug that seems to be plaguing every traveler in Guatemala. Finally, today I was planning to catch a bus to Antigua, but it's the day that only the small bus comes through town and there was no room for my bike. I'm here for ONE more day maybe, but I've been saying that for at least a week now. I've packed up four times now intending to leave.

If this place wasn't so freakin' perfect I might be a little more upset about the situation. I'm staying near Semuc Champey, a famous series of pools and waterfalls that many consider to be the most beautiful part of the country. The hostel here is on a river in a grassy green valley, and across the river there are cows grazing in the hills. Sometimes they come across to visit the hostel and to keep the lawn trimmed. The hostel is a real busy place, with up to 50 young travellers passing through each day, and there are two places to eat on site, as well as a small tienda (store) just up the hill.

So why am I trying to catch a bus anyway? If I had been able to stay on schedule, I'd be at either Lago de Atitlan or Antigua by Semana Santa (Easter Week). Like Carnaval this is one of those cultural "can't miss" celebrations in Latin America. I'm feeling better today, but I figure I'd need today and one more recovery day before I got back on my bike, since I've eaten very little for the past three days. Factor in the long, insanely steep hills that Guatemala is known for, in addition to 90+ degree heat, and there's no way that I'd make it in time. 

Tomorrow the bus will take me directly to Antigua, where I'll try to get some lodging at a Spanish school, where I'll study for a week during Semana Santa. If this works out it should be perfect since most hostels and hotels will be full on account of the holidays.

I have my notes for Belize and the first part of Guatemala all typed up, so check back for them soon. I posted some new pics just a few minutes ago. All I can say about Guatemala for now is that it's totally blowing my mind - the scenery, the villages, the people - it's almost too much for words... Stay tuned for more...

Ciao for now.