Livingston-the one main street town & coral snakes

Trip Start Jul 12, 2012
Trip End Sep 21, 2012

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Flag of Guatemala  ,
Friday, July 27, 2012

Decided to stay at the Finca tonight, definitely glad I made this decision! Livingston is nice, really chilled. It's also REALLY small, it has one main road that you can walk in under ten minutes, it's seriously tiny. From what I'd read in the Lonely Planet I was also expecting a Caribbean/Jamaica style vibe as it's where the shipwrecked African slaves settled after being given Livingston by the government in centuries past (originally they were on Roatan-one of the Bay Islands but it's not very fertile so they petitioned for their own land, little history there for you). It doesn't really have that vibe at all, sure it's balmy here but the population is part Spanish and part African so that's really the only difference to anywhere else in Guatemala. I don't dislike it, it's quite cool but I'm glad I'm going to be at the Finca. 6 hours is more than enough time here!

There's also some seriously malnourished dogs with terrible mange here. It's really sad. I tried to buy one some food earlier but couldn't find anything, and I wasn't sure that if you gave a starving animal/human proper food that it didn't make the iller or not... On another note the tourist shuttle (that needs 4 people to run) currently has 3 so I may be able to get to Honduras the easy way tomorrow!

Going to be sad to leave Guatemala tomorrow, it's seriously awesome. I wish I'd had some more time to explore. I definitely want to come back here with more money too as there is SO much I couldn't buy but loved.

Did meet some cool people though, including some local garufians. One of them was an older gentleman who told me all about the segregation between the Spanish population and the black population and that they had taken all the jobs after they came here in the civil war despite the fact the land was given to them. He told me how they had no representation (accounting for only 2% of the population in Guatemala) and that the younger generation had no opportunities. It was pretty interesting to be fair, but sad for them obviously. I then ran into some of the younger
generation who were very cheeky and offered 'something special', I assumed they were going to go with something like sex or drugs and it was the latter. They left a smile on my face though despite pestering me for hugs and kisses! They also thought I was from holland, I think that's a new country for me to belong to-slowly working my way round the worlds population. No one ever thinks I'm English unless they here me speak. Good or bad thing?

I then waited to get picked up by the Finca Tatin boat and instead of listening to some music whilst enjoying the scenery, I got the pleasure of an extremely drunk man who kept showing me his raw crab and asking me if I wanted it instead. I was thankfully rescued by Chris from Finca! We did an ice run where there was a small girl with these bleeding sores all over her leg, she seemed sweet but it reminded of Seb from Asia who had a kid with similar sores on his face transfer it to him. So I chatted to her but kept a distance in case!

Got back and finally got to swim in the river via a good entrance via the rope swing. Tried to persuade some new people to do the difficult Bay Islands trip with me tomorrow rather than go on the shuttle, unfortunately they decided to stay another day at Finca. Fair enough really it's awesome. Then my standard nature drama began. I went to shower and just after I had put conditioner in my hair I noticed this small thing just under my towel. I had a better look and realised it was snake. Not only that but I was determined that it was a baby coral snake. I had absolutely no idea if they were poisonous at that age or if they developed it later so I slowly reached around (so it couldn't see me), grabbed my bikini and left. I headed down to the hotel and asked if baby coral snakes were poisonous to be told, "very", foooooooook. I took them back to the shower with most of the staff in tow, plus a camera, plus a stick, to find it had vanished. Paulo said that apparently coral snakes can't climb walls and that he'd never seen one as small as what I had seen. So basically, like the tarantula, which I was right about, no one believes me! Paulo later said maybe I'd mistaken it for a crab?! Pah! Sorry but I definitely know the difference between a crab and a snake and I've seen more than enough poisonous animal programmes to know what a coral snake looks like (although it could have been the faux coral snake that looks exactly like it-hopefully!). Either way I wasn't risking it so went and washed my conditioner out in the river.

Crab! Come on! Anyway I have now come to the conclusion that I am not the bug lady but the nature lady because apparently all nature loves me. Sometimes this is cool (tarantula) other times it is not (bugs, snake). Normally I would have been well chuffed to see a snake in the wild but not when I'm naked in the shower with conditioner in my hair. Perv.

Spent the rest of the night playing cards with the staff or playing ninja with Oria and Enzo the two kids of the owner. I've got pretty good at it over two days! I'm definitely going to miss the Finca Tatin when I go!
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