Coban, Lanquin/Semuc Champay, Tikal, Rio Dulce,
Trip Start Feb 10, 2006
31Trip End Ongoing
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We have had some amazing adventures since my last entry. We arrived in Lanquin last Wednesday to visit Semuc Champay. We stayed at a really nice hostel called El Retiro. It was set right next to a river in a small green valley, which was very beautiful. Thursday morning we headed out for the day with a tour guide to show us the Semuc Champay caves and bring us to the actually waterfalls in -Semuc Champay. The caves are made of limestone that go into the mountain for over 6 miles, and are over 50 million years old. They were discovered by the Mayans thousands of years ago, and were used to preform ceremonies. To go in the caves all we needed was our bathing suits, water shoes and a candle to light the way. The caves have a small stream running through them that connect to the near by river. This means that we were literally swimming through them with only a lit candle to show us the way! So we climbed, swam and slid our way through the caves. It was absolutely incredible! We were with a big group of people which made it even better
That night I ended up getting really sick...I think it was either from swallowing too much river water or the chicken I ate in town
The next morning we left at 10am to head back to Coban, to begin the longest trek of our journey so far (to Tikal). We jumped from van to van, being smashed in between large sweaty men. It was also an incredibly hot day, just to make things more uncomfortable. It was worse than any chicken bus we had been on. At one point I counted 24 people, in one freaking van. We finally made it to El Remate (about 30km from Tikal) at 8pm that evening. We were exhausted! In fact we were so tired we just went to the nearest hostel, which turned out to be little huts, with dirt for floors. We were so tired we did not care, and just went straight to bed! We were up at 5am the next day to head to Tikal, one of the biggest Mayan ruin sights in the world. They were absolutely amazing! The buildings or pyramids were incredibly tall, and there were over 50 different ruins in a six mile area (they were inhabited around 900ad). There were carvings of various gods, that were still visible and others that had crumbled away over time
Yesterday we headed for Rio Dulce. We were lucky enough to get on a direct shuttle which only took about 4 hours. We are staying at a Hotel Backpackers, a hostel that is literally on top of the river. We are staying in the dorm section where if you walked the wrong way, you would end up in the river! It is really beautiful here as well. Today we are going to Finca Paradiso (my spelling may be off), a hot spring waterfall, and tomorrow we are headed to Livingston. From there we are going to Utila island off the coast of Honduras in the Carribean Sea to get certified as scuba divers!