So let’s continue where we left off. I was at Tikal and had just climbed all these amazing temples. They were steep and high and somewhat slippery, but I didn’t have too much of a problem. I finished the last temple and walked to go buy water. BOOM! Down I went. Not climbing a steep ruin where it is likely you would slip and fall, but just plain strolling along. I scraped both knees and my hands, but I was okay. Luckily I wasn’t with the whole group so nobody really knew I fell, well except everyone reading this now I guess.
We had lunch at this place with an amazing view and some fun feathered friends.
Then it was more time in the car next to my smelly amigo, who always seemed to be nearby. Seriously, it was rough. We made our way back to the Rio Dulce and took a boat ride to Livingston. Livingston is a pretty interesting place. The people there are part Guatemalan and part Caribbean. They are called Garifuna. It’s the only place in Guatemala you will find them.
We arrive and are herded into the back of pickup trucks to be taken over very bumpy roads to our nice hotel on the beach. We get dropped off in the dark and are told that we need to walk the rest of the way because the trucks can’t go over the bridge. Here is the picture of the bridge in daylight, but at night, when it is pitch black and you come to a creaky bridge in the middle of nowhere, it is a little disconcerting.
From the bridge we walked about a third of a mile to our hotel. Some of us had flashlights and as soon as we pointed them to the sand we immediately saw about a 100 crabs crawling our way. I felt like I was in some kind of horror movie with the worst yet to come. We get to the “hotel” and I use that term very loosely. As promised, it was right on the beach, but when we were taken to our rooms it was not quite the “nice” place we’d been told. The view was great, but that was about it.
I’ve traveled quite a bit in Guatemala and stayed in some questionable rooms, but nothing like this. It was about 1,000 degrees, had bugs everywhere, a fan that was the most filthy thing I’ve ever seen, and a roof that was high over all the cabins so you could hear everything, including every time anyone went to the bathroom. It wasn’t even the room that was that bad. It was the bathroom. We shared it with 8 people and it was the most disgusting bathroom I had ever seen in my life…ever. It was so bad that after hours of walking and climbing in the 100 degree jungle and sweating more than I ever had in my life, I chose not to shower. I strategically only used the bathroom one time the whole stay. Camping would have been 100 times cleaner than this. (Mom and Dad if you are reading: This place made the Days Inn in Orlando look like a dream!)
I somehow slept all night and swam at the beach in the morning. Again, much cleaner than using the bathroom there. We got back on the pickups, spent some time in Livingston and headed back on the Rio Dulce.
Right in the middle of the river there was this random restaurant we pulled up to in our boat. They offered a tour of caves there and I’m not one to turn a chance to see something new, so it was down into the caves I went. It was nothing too unusual, but still pretty cool Just your typical stalagtites and stalagmites. I also got to add a layer of dirt to my already filthy body.
We finished off our ride on the Rio Dulce, passing some awesome looking lilly pads, ate lunch by the river, and took the very long, very smelly ride home, where I could finally shower.
What a trip!
“Truckin'” -The Greatful Dead