The journey to Utopia

(The last post including this one will not be edited very well because right now I am standing outside of someones house using their Wifi to post these blogs)

We headed out of Flores today. We got our things together and waited in the lobby for our shuttle to arrive. Leaving Flores was a little bitter sweet for us. On one hand, the city is lovely and it would have been ideal to stay there a few more days. One the other, we didn’t want to be close to Enrique; the guy we got into an argument with the other day. Our van picked us up on time today, but it was still about an hour before we actually left town. We left with the intent on heading to Cobán, but as it has been for most of this trip, things were about to change. When our van pulled up to the other hotels to pick up other passengers, all of them were talking about Shamuc Champey. As the trip went on, I guess we kind of got inspired. I asked the drive if he would drop us off in Shamuc rather than Coban. He was a little annoyed, but he said it would be ok. 
One last picture of our view

We were not prepared for the amount of time we were going to travel today. We pretty much spent the whole day in the van–pretty close to eight hours, I think. The trip was pretty uncomfortable, but the environment outside the window was great. We passed through a number of small towns that each had it’s own vibe and style. However, each one still had the local people selling their goods on the street. We also saw a lot of animals just off the side of the road such as pigs, chickens, a lot of cows, and a few horses. 

they guy with the blue shirt
is Enrique
About half way into our trip, we pulled into a gas station that had a food mart. There were a few other shuttles that pulled up, and everyone pretty much mobbed the small store. Alisa and I looked around a bit but didn’t find anything that interested us. I walked outside, and I saw the back of a person that stopped me dead in my tracks. I knew who that person was. He turned around, and my fears were confirmed. It was Enrique from Flores. He was at the station. He must have been driving another van. I told Alisa and she looked upset. We left Flores to get away from this goon, and now here he was about three and a half hours south of Flores. We took some time to try to get some stealth photos of him so when we return home we can put them on the internet. It seemed like forever before our driver whistled us back into the shuttle. We were more than happy to return when it was time. 
We drove for a few more hours. It was pretty quiet in the van. Alisa and I managed to fall asleep a few times here and there, but we were really uncomfortable the whole time. When we got to Coban, the driver pulled into the parking lot of a McDonalds and everyone´s eyes lit up. The driver turned and uttered his first words in english “25 minutes”. Alisa and I really didn’t want any McDonalds, so we looked around looking for something else to eat. We saw a SubWay sign and ran that direction. The SubWay ended up being in mall which was kind of like the ones we have in the U.S but just slightly different in it´s own Guatemalan way. We found the restaurant, ordered our food, and ran back to the car because most Guatemalan drivers tend to take off even though everyone is not accounted for. 
Our trip then continued for another two hours. It took us off the paved road into miles of gravel. Often times the road was so narrow if you looked out the side of the van you would see tire and then cliff. It was a little scary. We made it to a small town called Lanquin were some young kids opened the door and told us that our trip was over and we needed to get out. We weren’t sure what to do because a lot of these kids were barley teenagers. Everyone got out kind of slowly and as soon as we were out of the car, we were mobbed by people why wanted us to stay at their hotel. There were about six people who surrounded me with brochures for their hotels. Everyone of them was telling me why I should stay at their place. It was overwhelming. The was a younger guy from Utah next to me had a reservation at a particular hotel, so I asked him which one he was at and he responded “Utopia”. That one was also listed in our travel book, so I chose the kid with the Utopia brochure. We took the last room for the night. 
waiting to be picked up
We waited in a bar for about an hour for our shuttle to come pick us up. During this time we got to get to know a few more people. We talked a little while with the family in Utah and a couple from Belgium. We were called outside when our shuttle arrived. Well…I thought it would be a shuttle, but it was actually a 4X4 truck with not very much room on the inside. We packed our things on the top and we stood in the bed of the truck while it took us all up to our hotel. It was a pretty fun ride up hill, and the driver even stopped so we could take in the sights. 

When we arrived, we were all sat down and they explained how the hotel worked. It´s basically a giant tree house with a really modern funky vibe. Every meal is served at long tables with all the guests at out at the same time. It really makes it easy to get to know complete strangers. The place is really relaxing and welcoming and pretty much open to the outdoors. I’m not really sure how to describe it yet, but after another day when we have had time to relax and enjoy ourselves I can write a little more on it. Just know this, it´s a pretty cool place that we did not expect to find out here in the middle of nowhere. 
every one in the hotel has dinner at the
same time
Oh yeah, we have only been here a few hours and they have already caught a tarantula and a scorpion (that one was in our room).

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