Guatemala Travel Blog› entry 4 of 10 › view all entries
September 13th, 2007 – by: Missimone
the first weekend i was here the guatemala elections were happening country wide. no where was allowed to sell alcohol though the locals were all wasted and partying for 4 days straight. these elections saw about 50 candidates murdered and the child of one candidate murdered in warning. they are serious about their politics here. and even after all these ¨politics¨ there is still no president. there was no clear margin between the ex-general up for war crimes and the other guy. loco.
i went to san pedro to learn spanish. to try and learn spanish but there are a lot of distractions.... it is the first place i have met any aussies (only met one other in isla mujeres) and i have met heaps here - it was great to hear the accent again.
San Pedro is a smallish town on a beautiful lake surrounded by mountains and volcanoes. one of the most beautiful places i have been. so tranquil.
We kayaked to a neighbouring village across the lake to go rock diving from 5m and 12m rocks. it was 2 aussie girls, 1 aussie guy and 3 israelies fresh from the army. we all jumped from the 5m but it was only the aussies that had the balls to jump from the 12m rock! dont know what they do in the army.... it was awesome. i yelled (or screamed) ¨oh my god¨ on the way down. more fun if you yell.... really i am tough....
Gill and i went horseriding as well.
the othe thing about San Pedro is it is really easy to buy weed here. The main drug dealer in town is Mama Maria. She is about 60years old and you go to her home and her entire family is sitting there having dinner. You tell her how cute her little children are while whe yells for some kid to get you the order. On most corners little ladies sell bread "pan de banano...." but if you listen to the whole spiel of what they are selling you eventually get to "drugo" for weed and shrooms at the bottom of the basket. so surreal...
I finally got out of San Pedro after 3 weeks and went to Antigua. Antigua is a beautiful colonial town with gorgeous church ruins throughout the city, cobbled streets, parks and only old buildings. Full of travellers though. Besides the obligatory walk through town and visit to the markets and night out the highlight was the trip to the Pacaya Volcano. This is an active volcano and you hike about 2 hours up to get a magnifivcent view across to other volcanoes and then walk down to the lava. Close enough to poke a stick at (which we did) and roast marshmallows on (which we also did). Insane! it was so hot and the lava was actually flowing, the ground is colled lava and some of it is hollow and you just wander around, roast your marshmallows and stick the stick in to make sparks shoot out. So dangerous but so fun. Crazy to be so close to the lava and feel the heat blast you!
Then onto Semuc Champey in the middle opf Guatemala. Its a tough life this backpacking. I stayed in a cabana with the beautiful wood walls and thatched roof, right by the river on a big property. Perfect. All for less than $5 per night. Semuc Champey is one of the most beautiful places i have ever been. it is a series of limestone pools that is actually a bridge over the river. the water is so clear and dark blue through to green, surrounded by cliffs and jungle. Nearby we went caving which is crazy as most things in Guatemala. You swim and walk through water holding a little candle above your head with stalgmites hanging down, bats circling and the rest is pitch black. We climbed up the rocks in the cave and jumped off the into a small dark pool below, so dangerous. None of the safety precautions i am used to. And of course, jumped off the 10m bridge again into the river. new hobby maybe?
Last stop in Guatemala for now is Tikal, the best Mayan Ruins. And they are stunning. We (travelling with about 7 people incl canadian, kiwi, swiss, and israeli) got up at the arse crack of dawn to see the sunrise over the jungle and Mayan ruins. We could hear the howler monkeys, the parrots and the tucans as the sun came up over the misty ruins and jungle. so perfect, raw and intense. We were guided around the ruins seeing the sacrificial temples, the necropolis and royal temples. All I could visualise tho was that scene from Apocalypto with the heads bouncing down the stairs. It was really hard to imagine this 1300 years ago at their height before the jungle took over and ate the ruins.
and my hardest decision most days is whether to have the burritos or the pasta. its a tough life....
oh and the dodgy pick up lines so far.... teeheehee. gross!
"you want a real mayan experience?"
"best place to learn spanish is in bed"
"i love to make love"
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