Monday, June 1, 2015

Semuc Champey

I left Lake Atítlan in the morning and wasn't quite prepared for the 14 hour trip that followed. I got car sick and maybe other sick as well. But I made it to my hostel which was set in the jungle. Though I spent my first two days pretty sick and it was raining a lot. I felt better by the third day and dinner finally stayed settled in my tummy. 

Day four was the purpose for all this nonsense and it was awesome! It was a full day excursion. We hopped in the back of a pickup truck, standing and hanging on, and headed into the jungle for an hour or so. We stopped near a river which is a milky green color because of the minerals. First task was to go cave exploring. I had my headlamp but they also gave us a candle. I was glad I had my lamp because there was a lot of water in the cave and I kept dunking my candle. 

We hiked a little ways up and headed in wearing our swim suits and hiking sandals. He even gave us a little warrior face paint. We walked and swam through water the whole way. There was a ladder up a waterfall, a very dark dunk tank where you could cannonball in and a couple water slides. One was through a hole and you couldn't see the bottom because it was pitch black. I was pretty nervous for that one but it ended up being fun. 

After the cave, we headed to the river and there was a line for the giant river swing. I stepped up after watching a few others go. And then it took a while to talk my self into swinging. It was a big swing and you went far and high over the river. I was so nervous. Finally I went. Cussing up a storm the whole way. As soon as I was over water deep enough to not kill me, I went for it. BAM! I went too early. Bellyflopped it big time. Everyone was asking if I was ok. I was embarrassed and stung, but was okay. Although over the next few days, one of my thighs purpled up quite nicely - the whole thigh. And my tummy muscles were super sore. Memories :). 

The swing done correctly by one of the other guys on the volcano hike from over a week and a half ago (randomly).

Next we relaxed in a tube ride down the river with little boys with coolers of beer following along in their own tubes to try and make a sale. Little entrepreneurs :). We walked our tubes back and a few of the brave souls jumped off the bridge. I was too nervous for them to even consider it myself. We had lunch and headed to Semuc Champey. 

It's a park and we walked a long path to get to the top of the pools. I was super hot and straggled behind. But I made it. Basically there's a raging river going down this canyon. But somehow some limestone covered portions of the river. Well not all of the river because some water, but just a little, comes over the limestone rocks. It has formed lots of levels of pools with clear water. We swam down pool by pool. Some people dove. I mostly slid myself from one spot to the next. Then at the end, you see the raging river coming back out under the limestone. So crazy. 

The next morning I prepared myself for another long van ride to the next destination. Luckily it was the nicest transport van I had yet seen and this trip was much, much better. 

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