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Guat Day 3, Chahabon - Semuc Champey + Guat Day 4, Semuc Champey tour

September 30, 2014

 

But, time to ride on. I packed up and made my way toward Lanquin. Victor had recommended, I'd stay at Retiro Hotel, which was a small resort like place right on a river.

 My little cabana at the Retiro

My little cabana at the Retiro

 The inside...clean and comfy.

The inside...clean and comfy.

 Shared bathroom...no problem.

Shared bathroom...no problem.

 Lush setting....

Lush setting....

 Love waterfalls...

Love waterfalls...

 Dinner was mandatory before next days tour...

Dinner was mandatory before next days tour...

At the "Retiro", I opted for the "Cabana", a private one-bedroom bungalow with shared bathroom. But, I didn't mind, since the bathroom was only a short walk away.The room was clean, one large bed, mosquito net , hammock and river view. Perfect for a couple of days.

 

October 01, 2014

 Up from the top on to the pools after a difficult hike...well worth it!

Up from the top on to the pools after a difficult hike...well worth it!

The next day, I booked myself for a tour to Semuc Champey, which included a cave tour and river tubing. The cost of the tour was 185 GTQ, that included 50 GTQ park fee, all activities and transportation. Lunch for 40 GTQ was extra. Departed from the hotel was 9 am and returned by 5.30pm.We were about 10 people, all cramped on the back of a pick-up truck for the 30 minute, very bumpy, ride. All part of the adventure.

 Narrow roads...beware of oncoming traffic.

Narrow roads...beware of oncoming traffic.

I must say, I am not a big fan of organized tours, but this one, I'd highly recommend. Our guide was this young, very energetic dude, who made this a fun experience. He jumped from trees and rocks in to the water. No fear. A few followed suit.

 Magical...

Magical...

 Mystical...

Mystical...

 Dark...

Dark...

 deep...

deep...

 Sinister...

Sinister...

 Wet...very wet.

Wet...very wet.

 ...enough of that.

...enough of that.

First, we had to climb up a few steps to reach the caves. We waded through knee-deep water, until we reached an underground waterfall. It was very slippery, and it was hard for me to keep my balance with wearing flip-flops and holding the GoPro in one hand. At one point, the GoPro got detached from the small trip pod under water. Somehow, I was able to frantically grab for it and catch it. Boy, was I relieved! We climbed up a waterfall on a rope, and I lost a pair of red-rimmed glasses (the second pair of cool glasses, I had lost on this trip so far), hardly able to breathe under the masses of water falling down on me.

After one hour or so, it got a bit chilly, since we were submerged in cold cave water most of the time. It was very dark down here. With only candles and headlamps at our disposal, we were able to find our way forward. Very cave like.

It felt really good, when we reached the light of day again, sunny and warm. Ahhh.....

On to our next adventure, tubing on the river. We each grabbed an innertube. Funny thing, while we were floating, local kids on tubes and small coolers came up to us, asking "Do you want beer? Pay later." And repeated that phrase over and over. Seemed like that was the only words in English they knew. But they knew their business. They sold lots of ice cold beer that day on the river.

We ended the tour with a dip in the natural pools and a long and exhausting hike up many stairs to a scenic outlook, from were I was able to take pics of the beautiful landscape down below.

 It's a cool place to visit.

It's a cool place to visit.

After a great day touring, I sank in to my bed feeling comletely tired,completely sore, but completely accomplished...