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Trip Start Jun 12, 2006
173Trip End Jul 01, 2007
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....Semuc Champey. Hands down the most beatiful place I have seen so far and somewhere I originally had no plans to visit.
We left Antigua in the normal way three hours after originally arranging to leave. Myself Felicity, Yorkshire Matt and Matt from Holand, yes three Matts, left on my first chicken bus experience. The buses here are old american school buses, painted brightly in all sorts of colours and with extra seets added inside. The drivers have all gone to the Micheal Schummacher driving school and no seat belts are required, as you are held in your seat by the cramp positions inside. After surving another hairy ride we arrived in Guatamala City and left quickly again 30mins later, somewhere I donīt want to particually want to visit again unless I have a fire arm!!
The next bus journey was more relaxed on a large bus up to Coban in the middle of Guatemala. The country has the most amazing landscape of rolling jungle hills with large birds of prey circling in the hot mountain air.
5 hours later we arrived in Coban, a fairly big town with a horrible modern art statue right infront of a old colonial church. Had some great 1 pound street food and off the bed.
The next day we awoke early to catch a bus to Lanquin. After having tea in the bus drivers house we finally left at around midday on dirt roads through the jungle.
The ride took two hours and we found accomidation at el retiro an amazing hostel for 2 pounds at night in wooden huts hext to a river. You need to book in advance. Almost as soon as we arrived we organised to go tubing down the river. A local man drove us on the back of a pick up truck up river with an large inner tube. the current sweep us down the river. I my galant effort to take pictures I crashed through variuos trees in the river, one of which left a hand full of branches and the largest brown spider I had every seen
Yesterday was the most memorable day so far in my trip. The bus left at 9am for Semuc Champey a group of natural limestone pools ontop of an under ground river and caves with underground waterfalls. We first decided to take the cave tour. We were all given candles and trainers to wear in the caves, clever hodge also took his underwater camera, chears sanofi crew. As we entered the caves we were welcomed by hordes of bats and after a short walk we took are first swim. The caves were a mixture of climbing up waterfalls, swimming across underwater rivers and squeezing through tight gaps. At one point we could climb up a ledge and jump into a deep pool, very cool but again probaly a bit dangerous. On the way back to the enterence there was oppotunity to absail backwards through a waterfall. Of course I was the only one to slip and fell on the rocks below, cutting open my chest and at the time I thought I had broken my fingers....
Once out the caves we took the short walk to amazing natural pools of varoius depths, each of which has a small waterfall to another pool. These are great fun for swimming, diving or just sun bathing. Iīm rubbish at discribing but the pictures speak for themselves, the place was just amazing and not over run with tourists. That night we played a painful game of uno, that we had to cheat at to end because the danes were talking the thing to seriously.
Iīve just arrived in Flores ready for my trip to Tikal tomorrow, canīt wait....