The nearest rooster started at 3:30 am. and did not shut up. I say nearest because every town has multiple roosters. Since we would be spending another night in Lanquin, Dave joked that we should buy the rooster and have him roasted.
Needless to say, I got up early and walked around the town. Hundreds of children walked by, most starting at me. What? Is my nose on fire? I'm more than 4 feel taller than some of the children. The little girls are cute as kittens in their school dresses. Some young men are wearing rubber boots and carry machetes - just like we'd seen in Panama. The house on the right of this picture was burning garbage, inside. You can kind of see some of the smoke. There was no chimney.
Today there would be no riding. We decided to leave the gear and the bikes at the hotel and catch a local van for the 9km ride. The large van had seats for about 20 people. By the time we left town, there were about 40 plus two riders hanging off the side. The hills were so steep that some riders had to get out and run to the top of the hill; the van simply didn't have enough power.
There's still room for a few more. That's Dave in front.
The roads were very steep and bumpy. Being packed in the bus so tight, my leg cramped up in minutes and the lady had to get off my lap so that I could stretch.
Semuc Champey is very cool. My pictures don't do the place justice but you get the idea.
This shot is taken from high above the pools.
Here's Taz, Dave, me, and another tourista.
Time to go swimming.
Again!! (7 meters)
Hmmm, this one is kinda scary. (10 meters)
Oh well, when will I be here again?
In the area where we were, approximately 85% of the population is Mayan. They speak a different version of Spanish. Most everyone greets you but I could never figure out to say "Buenos Dias", "Hola", "Bueno", or simply "Dias". I heard them all. Cafe (coffee) is pronounced Ka-fee-ta,
As we were walking to the park, this little girl ran up to us to sell some chocolate. I'd seen cocoa powder in the markets and this stuff was great. Just cocoa and sugar. By local standards, it was pretty expensive at 5 quetzals (about $0.70). Still, you cannot resist this cutie and I went back for more.
I also purchased chocolate from this girl. Even though the image quality is bad, it's a keeper.
Dave chose not to swim with me and Taz so we put him in charge of our shoes. When it was time to get out of the water, we couldn't find Dave. After awhile, we gave up and started the long walk back to our meeting place. The rocks were sharp and hurt like crazy. We tried tying large leaves to our feet to escape the pain. I almost started crying. By the time we found Dave, both my feet were bleeding. (It wasn't Dave's fault; he had no way of knowing where we'd end up)
We had a few cervezas and waited for the bus back to Lanquin. 4:30 rolled around and a half-empty bus pulled up to us but he didn't stop. Oh, crap! We started to walk the 9 km back to town. Up and down the steep hills, hoping to not have to spend too much time in the dark. A man from Belgium on a motorcycle stopped and gave Taz a ride back to Lanquin. Taz would then come back and pick us up, one at a time. Fortunately, about at the half way mark, an American driving a truck stopped and gave us a ride. Phew!
At least the walk back was scenic.