A 4am pick up, we are told we will be in lanquin by 3pm….not true. Lots of windy roads take us back to Antigua to swap busses, we got there at 8am…an immediate change on to a different shuttle and we drive around Antigua for the next hour picking people up on the way. The most amusing part was 5 israli girls refusing to pick their bags up and demanding the bus driver do it… Even more to my (and everyone elses on the bus) amusement was when they realised they had the worst seats in the bus, picture these in your head; they are not proper seats, flimsy fold up seats that would be the worst for one hour, never mind 8. You can parly fit one butt cheek on it never mind two! The leader of the girls started mouthing off at the driver and looking around at the rest of us like we might dedicate our seat to her, when she realised that it would get her no where, she finally gave up and we could be on our way. 3 hours in… Hideous traffic in Guatemala city we get a stop off…. 6 hours in we get another and realise we are not going to be there by 3pm as told. We start talking to another group from the bus and realise we are all staying in the same place…. That was the beggining of what was set to be an awesome week!
So with a united hate for the group of girls on our bus, we finally arrive in Lanquin town. A small town, and after 14 hours of travel all we wanted to do was put our bags down and get into the shower. However the locals had other plans, literally bombarding the bus the moment it pulled up with hotel offers. Most of us however, were booked into Zepher lodge and there was a free cattle lorry to take us there. literally thrown in the back of a lorry with all of our belongings, we drive thought he beautiful valleys of Lanquin and arrive at Zepher Lodge. The reason we stayed at Zepher was because we heard there was a great social aspect along with organised tours to Semuc Champey National Park.
If i am completely honest i had love hate relationship with Zepher Logde. absolutely everything is on tab, so you pay at the end. Handy, however be warned there is no cash machine in Lanquin or Semuc Champey and the hostel wacks on a massive 10% to pay on card. Zepher lodge is still under construction in parts however this didn’t interrupt our time and would love to see when its completed fully. We stayed in a private room and private bathroom for 250Q a night, however dorms were only 70Q each. I would not say the private room was worth it really but equally for us, we like our privacy. Water was hot and i enjoyed a nice shower after the journey from hell.
the grup reunites for our firt evening in Zepher, aound us everyone is in the full swing of things including stipping off to play jenga (yeah im not sure either when playing a civilised game of jenga turned into a game where you end up stripping). i really wasnt in the ood for crazy one, and it was blwig a gale outside, everyone was checking thier rooms to find half of a tree blown in. Our room had a leek so we also had to move.
Introducing the latest group:
Eli, a guy from New Zealand, random thing i found out from Eli; you can create scars from cookie cutters… yes thats correct, he has the most perfect star outlines down his back from burning them in…however does advise its painful and not recommended.
Katie; travelling on a 4 week holiday, was planning to only do Guatemala but think that since changed as when we said goodbye she was headed to Belize. Katie is from California, and a fact i found out from her is that she is actually a member of the secet undercover party raving society but that it was her first party hostel experience.
Jake; who goes out with Jess and have been travelling for 9 months together and from Australia. After Guatemala and Mexico they head to Europe for the Rugby world cup. Random facts about Jake i found out, he makes a great flower girl, can drink an awful lot and even makes Nkosi look small. In fact i also found out he and Nkosi are so similar its like having two Nkosi`s….HELP! Jess is also possibly the most organised person i have met and loves to reserch stuff!
Theres also Mike, from the UK, who shares a common love for the Philippines and has derived a new name… OrlandApe – you can see it on the wall in Cool Beans Bar in Flores 🙂 Nickname derived from him looking similar to Orlando Bloom, and has long arms… like an ape ;-p obv.
Kay, from Canada and can drink a lot more than me and is a really fun girl to be around.
James from Wales, who i have never seen without alcohol in his hand. He is a very knowledgable lad and been on the road a while, need the answer to something, advice or info on the best place to stay, ask James – he can be found usually asleep on the bar!
Finally theres Richa, a super sweet chic and i got on great with and hopig to meet up again in central amaerica. I think she has the best hair i have seen in all my travelling.
Thats most people from our little group 🙂
Day one was agreed, tubing down the rivers would be our first activity in Lanquin. A fun day, we bokied throught the hostel. I probably ould do it all in Semuc Champey next time as the rivers were too shllow so could not go far and it meant alt of hanging around,lus worked out more expensive. Quite a few people hurt themselves quite badly from the shallow waters, hitting the rocks. It was a fun day, everyone was drunk and happyon the half price beers from the hostel. It was a beautiful river and stunning scenery, but the water was freezing. Also a lot of red burnt faces returned to the hostel that evening. Safe to say, me and Nkosi didnt last long when we got back, we gotto our rooms and burnt out asleep. Managed o get i a sneaky selfie though of course!
The next day was our day at the Semuc Champey National Park. It started off with a high brige and a yong boy called Ronaldo trying to sell us beers and then umping off the bridge to show us all up. The lads were all eager to jump and so they did. Nkosi was one of the last, and was nearly known as ~the guy who didnt jump~ for the rest of the day…. instead he was just known as the ~guy who almost didnt jump!~… it took him a good few moments to take his jump and by the time he went i had given up filming, much to his disappointment i didnt get shot! I of course wasnt going to jump off the bridge, not for fear of hights, more for fear of fish in the water.
After that we were lead to a cave and given a candle, which had to stay alight as you only got one. What an amazing experience walking throguh the cave lead only by candle light. At the end, we climbed up a big rock and jumped into a dark hole pool. Jake of course was first up, as youll get to discover, Jake LOVES jumping off hings into water. It was pretty cool, especially when i surprised Nkosi by actually doing it, which meant he then had to.
After some lunch at the park, which was really tasty and only 40Q ( iadvise the beef over the chicken if your visiting) it was time to head to the Semuc Champey pools. Jess and I decided to walk to the view point, Nkosi and Jake took the short cut to the pool. The view oint was STEEP. The climb was 1.5K of vertical steps, althought he view poit was worth it to see all the pools and that its looks like how the flyers picture it. Afterward we headed to the poos and everyone enjoyed a refreshing swim – apart from me due to my irrational fish fear and it was full of the ones that nibble at you and you ay ££££ for in the salons – literally worst nightmare.
A fab day and well worth doing, even stopped at rope swng on the way home where everyone had a g and Nkosi and Jake just tried not to break the branch o even worse, bang their legs big man problems I’m told.
The last nnight, everyone got merry, and in high spririts. Plaing jenga, eating and drinking lots. ake face plated a jenga tower at one point and ruined someones game, aswell as forcing most of the bar to join him on a tequilla shot. Not ure the bus journey the next day was at the forfrint of everyones minds at that particular moment….
So we all got on that well, we figured why end now and so the whole group headed to Flores together. Two busses were going to Flores that day, basically a quiet one, and our one!
The bus was run down and REALLY small. Richa had been having such a good time she decided not to get on her bus to Antigua, and insted hope no one noticed an addtional passanger on our bus. Of course they did, when there was not enough seats, and she is told she cannot come. After a lot of too-ing and throwing they make her make-shift seat out of a speaker to sit on for the next 8 hours. Nice! Luckily Orlandape fancied the pants off Richa, and kidly offered his seat in the front, using the excuse that it wasnt very comfy (yeah rigt i believe you!)
We have a mini van full of friends, Carlos – a really fun bus diver and Nkosi DJing in the front…what else culd we want?? Rum of course! Carlos stps off and everyone gets on the run, except me and Jess as we both have motion sickness and Jake who looks after us 🙂
Alot of singing, swearing, dancing and rum…5 hour in, the phrase `Rapido Carlos` and `Tranquilo Carlos` is becoming engrained in my mind as the bus ets drunker and drunker and im feeling more sick and sober than ever… howeever watcing everyone stumble off he buss a the ed of the 8 hours, shirtless and drunk, i felt ok with my decision to sty away from the rum 🙂