2 January 2015
Today was great! We toured a Spanish castle with a girl from Guatemala City, went through the jungles where Tarzan was filmed, and stayed at an island where the descendants of ship-wrecked slaves live. I will write more later…on to our next excursion!
The end of another great day here in Central America, and most likely our last in Guatemala. We had an extremely early start so we could catch our bus to Rio Dulce, a small port city about 5 hours away from Flores. Although we were a bit sluggish we made it onto our bus without any hassle (well except that as Kylie was getting ready her toothbrush fell into the toilet… We’re sharing now haha). The bus itself was pretty interesting. We’d wanted to avoid riding a chicken bus – a cheapo bus that is the least expensive. Typically these buses have no A/C and people cram in several to a seat- and so we got the next best thing. Turns out it was only just a step up from a chicken bus with the A/C being the only difference. Oh well, it was a beautiful drive. Guatemala is full of rolling green hills and coconut/palm trees which make this place pretty stunning to drive through. Almost reminds me of Hawaii at times. When we got to Rio Dulce we started to look for the ticket booth to get to Livingston that evening (only accessible by boat) and ran into a girl named Maria. Maria was from Guatemala City and had finished traveling with her boyfriend and was in Rio Dulce with nothing to do. Kylie worked her magic and we made a new friend.
Having Maria around was pretty fortunate. She spoke perfect English, was very friendly and wanted to hear all shout our travels. Maria is an optometrist in Guatemala City and had all sorts of insights about traveling in the region. She took us to the Castillo (the nearby Spanish castle built in the 1800’s to protect the sailors from pirates) which was pretty cool. She also showed us where we could get done good local Guatemalan food. It was a lot of fun!
Honestly though, the highlight for me was our boat ride into Livingston. We boated across the enormous lake into the inland river to approach the city. Livingston is only accessible by boat so food is sent in each day along with other items. During the ride it began to rain and we were given tarps to cover ourselves as the rain bombarded us. When the rain stopped we entered the gorge area which was spectacular. The gorge rose 30 meters on either side of the river in clear cut jungle cliffs. It was spectacular to boat through as the sun cleared away the cloud layer leaving a bright, beautiful rays of light on the sides of the cliffs. I can see why Tarzan was filmed here, this place is a jungle paradise.
That’s all for now! Tomorrow we set off for Belize and a Mayan chocolate farm!