The bus ride from Antigua to Semuc Champey was almost as testing as the climb up the volcano. Sleep deprived and squashed inside a moving oven for the first ten hours, before transferring to the back of a pick up truck where we hung on for dear life bouncing around a dirt track for the final hour of the journey. It was in the back of said pick up, that we met a lovely couple from Brixton Town whose company we have enjoyed for the last few days.
We arrived at about 11pm and were upgraded due to lack of available beds in the private rooms within our budget. Due to our previous days venture and the unbearable road trip, it wasn’t long before we were fast asleep in our new jungle surroundings. It then wasn’t long before we were wide awake as the builders commenced work at 7am. We were off swimming so we skipped the shower and headed out for breakfast.
It soon became apparent that due to our location, not only was there no internet, there was limited access to electricity, and no bloody cash machines. This was a bit of an issue as we only had enough to pay for our room for two nights and for one of us to leave on the over priced shuttle bus. It also meant we were screwed on the food front. Dom suggested hitch hiking but the only traffic in this God forsaken, beautiful, place were the over priced shuttles. We shared a breakfast of tortillas and beans and went in search of the pools for a soak and to discuss our limited options.
The pools were awesome. Just the right temperature, deep enough to dive into, and best of all, the water was drinkable so that solved our water crisis. I doggy paddled around for a bit and Dom soaked up the sun. We also made a plan. We’d ask the guy at reception if we could pay half of our bus ticket now, and half when we were able to use a cash point when we got to Rio Dulce.
On returning to the Eco hostel we were notified that we had to move to our new chalet or pay extra for the place we were currently in. We were downgrading our upgrade. The bellend behind the desk didn’t even help with the bags. He did say we could pay half and half for the bus though so we did at least have an exit strategy. Buoyed by the news, we celebrated with a lunch of seeds and nuts, and went back to the park for a stroll and another dip.
Once the park shut we went home for a shower and met up with our new buddies for a spot of street food dinner. We were led to the outdoor cafe by a group of kids who were trying to sell us dinner, chocolate and cans of beer. Proper little hustlers the lot of them. Dinner was good and having been informed that we were also able to run up a tab back at the Eco hostel and pay it when we got to a cashpoint, the four of us took advantage of happy hour.
We weren’t the only ones enjoying ourselves. The wanker receptionist was doing the salsa with all the girls, and then he took us back to the eighties when he performed a solo dance armed with a couple of yo yo’s. The crowd loved it too. Me and Tora would’ve brought the fucking house down with our Mime Ami Vice act.
Semuc Champey was an ace place to stay for a couple of nights. Next stop Livingston via Rio Dulce. Three modes of transport await us. Pick up truck, shuttle bus and boat. Another full day of travel. It’s also our last few days in Guatemala before the start of our internships in Belize next week. The start of another exciting chapter.