Welcome King Soloman

Trip Start Dec 25, 2012
Trip End Aug 02, 2013

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Where I stayed

Flag of Guatemala  , Alta Verapaz,
Wednesday, January 30, 2013

In the middle of the jungle in the heart of Guatemala is a little town called Lanquin. Walking into Zephyr Hostel we are greeted with sweeping views of the rolling green mountains and the mouth watering smells of amazing food! We were here to visit the Lanquin Caves and the Semuc Champey but when jumping into a HOT shower with those same magnificent views enjoyed through a big open window it was hard to pull myself away.

After a bumpy ride down a rocky dirt road we arrive at our destination. The 20 or so tourists standing on the back of the ute slowly pile off. We are at the entrance of the Lanquin Caves which stretches for 15 or so kilometres and allows the flow of an underground river. Here we are painted up with war paint then handed a candle and told to not let them go out. Swimming through water whilst holding the candle in the air is do-able but keeping it alive whilst climbing up a waterfall was near on impossible!

Once we are deep in the cave the guide scales a makeshift ladder and tells us to pass up the remaining lit candles. He places them along a ledge just next to where he is perched. Under the faint light streaming in from the entrance we had ventured through and the flickering light of the candles he carefully lead us one at a time up the ladder.

We are sat at the top of a moss covered, almost vertical rock slide deep in a back cavity of the cave! Feeling a little apprehensive we each took our turns in using the naturally steep and almost slimy slope landing safely in a cool pool of water below, exhilarating!

Once out of the cave ours hearts were made to race even more when were put to the test with a rope swing and a 12m high bridge.

Climbing onto the rope swing we were told that we MUST let go when the guide yelled 'JUMP!' With a pile of rocks in the same proximity there was every possible chance of serious injury if his instructions were not followed. We took the swing of faith first with the Canadian boys yelling 'CRAZY AUSTRALIANS!' before taking the plunge themselves.

Then there was the bridge! The bloody bridge! Standing on the edge for 10 mins, with the fast current flowing 12m meters below, I finally let my nerves get the better of me. I could not jump. Soloman on the other hand jumped 3 times off the highest part and gained the title of King Soloman!

After a exciting morning our afternoon was spent exploring the beauty of the Semuc Champey! We spent the afternoon hiking to the mirador or lookout before floating gently down each pool allowing the cool water to stream delicately over our bodies.

Note: When a doctor says 'DO NOT consume alcohol on these antibiotics!' It is best to follow his recommendation. Deciding that one or two drinks should be 'ok' and waking up the next morning covered in a rash, I believe next time I will be following doctors orders!
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Sian on

Man this place looks amazzzzzzing! Like a bit of heaven on earth :)

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