Having a bit of money left over I decided to visit Guatemala before starting work in Honduras the following week (Honduras and Guatemala are neighbours). Starting off Guatemala City, which is, I must say, far nicer than its reputation. After 2 days enjoying Guatemala City, inducing a very last minute nightclub session and a hammock shopping session I decided (along with a traveling buddy of mine: Myron) I decided to head up to Coban, Coban is a central point in Guatemala to go to other places such as Tikal and Semuc Champey. After wandering around Coban in the morning desperately trying to find a shuttle to Lanquin, I was lead down a somewhat foreboding alley way to a shuttle park..... which fortunately turned out to be genuine.
Lanquin is a local town and hostel hot spot for people wanting to visit Semuc Champey. Lanquin is positioned up in the mountains of Guatemala and the hostel I stayed in (Zephyr Lodge) was slap bang in the middle of these mountains.
I then visited Semuc Champey which is a limestone river network, with may caves and falls and bridges etc. The tour started off going through a partially flooded cave with only a candle as a light source. This candle went out many times, fortunately the guide was a dab hand at keeping his dry! Next was a huge rop swing which left many of the tour group battered and bruised from trying to pull of flips in mid air. To further this battering we had a 10m plunge of a bridge into the river (this was optional, but I obviously did not turn down the chance). After lunch was a trek up to the view point, which resulted in me seeing a Coral snake (very venomous!). Apart fro snakes.. there was also a fantastic view down onto the numerous pools of Semuc Champey. Which I then got to swim in! Absolutely fantastic experience!
A days travel from Lanquin brought me down off the mountains to the flat wetlands surrounding Guatemala's biggest lake: Lago de Izabal. Here I managaed to secure myself some "interesting" hostels for the two nights I was there. 1st was a hillbilly hostel which looked like it was straight out of the everglades... with Burt Reynolds flying around on an Airboat... unfortunatly not present. I was the only guest in this VERY isolated hostel where the only means of...escape? were via a small boat. The 2nd hostel was basically a floating shed for £2 per night. Once again I was the only guest in the hostel, which is a peaceful but odd experiance. A short trip across the border the next day concluded my week long adventure in Guatemala! A beautiful country and g