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Postcard :: pools paradise {Semuc Champey}

By Sunday, April 10, 2011 , , ,

The next bit of our journey, out to Semuc Champey from Lanquin, can be described as the Guatemalan approximation of a roller coaster. The bed of the small truck had been outfitted with a metal bar that ran down the middle about 4 feet off the bed of the truck. Bars also ran along the sides. We tossed our bags in and hopped up after them.

We held on so tightly the blood drained from beneath our fingernails and our arm muscles seemed sure to pop out of our skin. The driver only slowed to change gears. But otherwise expertly avoided mile deep potholes at top speeds and kindly didn't topple us overboard as he careened around turns and down steep hills. We ducked low hanging vines and outstretched branches as we headed deep into the jungle. We saw rolling green hills covered in flowering coffee plants and corn. It smelled fresh and everything was green.

At El Portal, our accommodations for the night, we checked into a thatch covered bungalo with private bath. It was our first place with such a luxury, but such a luxury came with only cold water. There were nice little shelves in the bathroom too where I would end up leaving my contact solution making for further adventures down the road.

The morning greeted us with heavy rain. We donned our raincoats and made our way across the bridge to Semuc Champey. Our guide book said it would open at 6am, so we were up bright and early. But at what we though was the entrance we saw a sign posted stating that it wasn't open till 8am. Darn - so Lukas took some pictures of the close by cascades.

"Megan, get your fingers out of the shot!" I was only trying my best to help keep the camera dry. After a couple shots we headed back to the room to wait till 8am.

Two hours later we found out that the entrance wasn't where we thought it was. Two hours lost, but at least the rain had stopped.

We came to the pools after a short walk along the trail. A paradise! Except for a couple of park workers clearing fallen leaves further down stream we were the only ones there. Above the turquoise pools rose steep rock walls. Greenery clung to the rock face and dripped over the top high above. Big puffy clouds rolled overhead. The clear water tumbled over the limestone from one pool to the next.

The air was thick and all I wanted to do was go swimming. I stripped down to my bathing suit and walked in. Little fish gathered around my legs waiting for me to stop moving so they could take little nibbles from my feet. They followed me as I swam out to the middle. As I paddled around Lukas explored, taking pictures.

Too bad our time at Semuc Champey was limited. Reluctantly we walked away from the water and back to El Portal. We hopped on the back of a passing pickup truck - death defying ride number two - and were back in Lanquin before we knew it.

{click here for: Postcards #1, #2, and #3}

*Note: I know when we were planning this trip we were hunting down any details we could find. So, if someone doing the same thing happens on this little blog of mine and would like more information and specific details shoot me an email. I may not have the answer, but I can tell you what we did. megan{dot}a{dot}wenger{at}gmail{dot}com

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