Internet is still really limited here. Im still writing this using an ATV as a desk while being earn by bugs.
I got up about 5:30 in the morning. It was an odd night. We are in a hotel in the middle of nowhere and in the middle of a jungle. There are so many different sounds at night it can be a little overwhelming. However, It’s a great experience. After I got myself together, I grabbed the laptop and headed up the hill to use the internet. There is no WiFi in the hotel itself, so we have to walk about 40m up hill to a small house with a white fence. For yesterdays blog, propped my laptop on a fence and tried to upload some picture from the day before and format another blog. It took a really long time, so I decided to just post the blog as it was and be done with it.
The hotel here is really amazing. It has a main lodge that is completely open to the outside and looks more like a tree house than a hotel. The first floor is the main lobby where everyone gets together and eats or talks. On the second level there are private rooms, a section where you can just rent a hammock and another section with bunk beds out in the open. It costs a little extra if you want mosquito nets. The rest of the hotel is surrounded with bungalows for groups of people or for a couple who want to be a little farther away. Again, it’s almost like being in a dream. It’s hard to believe that we are in the middle of Guatemala right now.
Breakfast was really fun. Everything here is done as a community, even breakfast. We have talked to nearly everyone here. We all sit at a big table and just eat and talk. We have spent a lot of our time with a group of siblings from Utah and another set of siblings from Kentucky. No one is really speaking Spanish here, but that’s not a bad thing. I think we needed the break. Plus, people here aren’t trying to sell us things or find some way to take our money. This place is really comfortable, and it’s really easy to just talk to anyone. We are really enjoying our time here. It’s kind of surreal. While in breakfast, we got an open invitation to Utah by the group of siblings. Someday, we can take them up on their offer.
Our trip started out a little after ten in the morning. There were about 18 of us and one 4×4 truck. The guy driving the truck told us all to load up. Believe it or not, we actually all fit in the back. It was a little uncomfortable as the majority of the path was off road, and we were constantly squeezed against the roll bar in the back.
We arrived at a set of caves called K’amba. We were all told to strip down into only our swimsuits and that we could check our bags with the guys at the front desk. I took out my digital camera and tried to turn it on, but it wasn’t working. We were really bummed out. The one time that we needed it, it wasn’t working. Fortunately, we were able to make friends with a few of the people on our trip and they said they would send us their pictures. The caves were really cool. We were all given candles and then led in. We started out about up to our knees in the nearly pitch dark area. Before we knew it, we were wading through deep water trying to swim with while holding our candles up in the air. It was really fun and a little scary at the same time. We also got a chance to climb up a waterfall using a rope that was only lit by our candles. Alisa wasn’t sure if she could do it, but some guy told her “You’ll never know if you don’t try, so she tried and she did it. When we reached the end of the tour, the guide had us stand back while he climbed up a cliff underground. He then jumped off of it into the water. He asked if any one wanted to go next and everyone hesitated, so I volunteered. I climbed to the top, thought about it for a few seconds, then jumped. It was great. I never thought I would ever jump off of a cliff in a underground cave system. It was great.
After we made our way out, we walked toward a long rope swing where we all took turns swinging and jumping into the water. Alisa really wanted to do it, but she hesitated a little too long. It was time to move on. We walked toward a really unstable bride where our guide told us we could jump off. It must have been at least forty feet hight. Alisa really wanted to do one of the jumps having not gotten the chance to swing or the underground cliff. We climbed up the onto the edge of the bridge together and on the count of three, we both jumped off. It was really fun.
From there we had a quick lunch and were then all loaded up onto the truck. After we got on we ended up crossing that crazy bridge we were just on. The bridge was in such bad shape, I never thought for the life of me a car would go over it. Not only did a car go over it, but a truck with about 18 people in the back.
We arrived at Semuc and went for a little hike up to a look out point. The hike was almost entirely stair and when we got to the top we were rewarded with an amazing view. This thing is incredible. It is a river and a spring that meet at one place, however it’s a little more unique than that. The river goes under ground and then the spring fills up pools above the ground where you can swim. Then after a few hundred yards the river that was under ground reemerges where it is connected with the spring. After we took some picture, we headed down to the pools where we were able to swim for a few hours. This was by far one of the best parts of our entire trip. We decided that we are going to stay another day here just to go back to the pools.
As our day was ending, a large storm started approaching. We all got into inner tubes and floated back to the hotel rooms. There were little rapids here and there, but what made really fun was the rain storms going on at the same time. We all laughed the whole time while we were nearly frozen.
We got back to the hotel where we warmed up, showered, and had a great meal. We spent the night listening to a marimba band that was made up of the young guys that guided us in the river. We also spent a lot of time talking to different people. We really like it here.