McArthur Glen Designer Outlet Centre
Trip Start Sep 2007
8Trip End Ongoing
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From Livingston I headed up the Rio Dulce river and stayed at a sort of jungle lodge. I was under the impression that I could take Spanish lessons there but I was informed that these had just stopped.......5 years earlier. Took a canoe out there and just chilled for a few days. From the jungle I
From Flores 6 of us headed down to Semuc Champey. We stayed at a hotel right next to the river, an ideal location for rope swinging into the river in the middle of the night. This place was cool, the "road" to Semuc Champey is only passable when there hasnīt been rain. From there I went
A 17 seater bus pulled up in front of the hotel to take us. This was fine apart from the fact that there were already 30 people inside the bus. When the bus hit a hill, me and Doug and a few others had to jump off so the bus could make it up. It was like a tin of sardines (or like the Rangers trophy room this summer) inside with no space to move. Me and Doug decided to jump on the roof for a bit more space. The driver was still letting passengers on at this point but eventually stopped when the bus was "full". If anyone is wondering when a 17 seater bus in Guatemala is full, its when there is 35 people and 1 chicken inside, 6 people on the roof and 3 hanging off the back. It was kind of surreal riding on the top of the bus, this Guatemalan man was making conversation with us, it was just a normal occurence for him on his daily commute to work. Overhanging trees were a bit of a nuisance and Doug lost his sunglasses when we got hit by a branch. I didnīt take any photos sorry. Doug did, but I was just content to hang on for dear life. There is a lack of seatbelts allocated on bus roofs in Guatemala and I think that this problem needs to be addressed.
We got the bus to Coban, its a big town but there is not to do there. The others left for Antigua the same day but Scotland were playing Italy so I decided to stay put. I paid 3.50 pounds to watch the game online but I started to realise that it was a waste of money after 5 minutes watching a blank computer screen. It was morning in you see and for some strange reason the whole town wasn't engrossed in the game. Pissed off I was walking through the streets of the town but I only had the Scotland game on my mind. I stumbled across a small shop with a TV on the ESPN deportes channel, but crucially, showing the game. I managed to tell the man I was Scottish and asked if I could I watch the game in the shop. I ended up standing in the middle of this shop watching the game, I had 4 cans of beer in the process. Its the first time I've stood and had a carry out in a shop whilst its open. The shop keeper was cheering on for Scotland too but it was all in vain in the end. I was heart broken when England didnīt make it either obviously. What I found most suprising was that the shop keeper was not acquainted with any terrorists - strange!
From Coban I wanted to head to Xeli, but through a chronic lack of English I ended up going to Antigua. On the bus to Antigua I got talking to four language student girls, they said I could stay with them. After mulling it over for at least a second I said aye but this backfired because girls don't like football and beer. I met a couple from the UK in Antigua, Ian and Erica. Ian is half Scottish and half Kenyan, a bit strange but I suppose it means he is not 100% from Fife which would be so much worst. We went out to the bars and clubs and ended up in some strange places, like the house of a club owners. The house was massive but itīs strange because in a way because most people don't have money. The rest seem to be super rich with not much in the middle. I think there is alot of drug money behind some of these wealthy people. We hiked up an active volcano,
a guide is advised because there has been alot of armed robberies! I didnīt
get robbed though, which is always nice.
To be honest alot of scaremongering goes on, I donī think these countries are dangerous and when someone gets robbed its more newsworthy than when someone doesnīt get robbed. Antigua was a nice town but it seems to be like London in that all the prices are jacked up, but I suppose it is because of us tourists. There was a few festivals happening in Antigua when I was there. My favourite was when men strapped fireworks onto their backs and danced around! I made another enquiry about an old banger in Antigua but was getting quoted stupid prices again, I think iīve given up on that notion and iīm just going to stick with bus roofs.
Next stop San Pedro!