Published: May 2nd 2012May 2nd 2012
So after a few days in Flores we hit the road and travelled down to Lanquin in a shuttle bus for about 8 hours. Not the most comfortable journey in the world, not even sure if we were travelling by road the whole time! We arrived at the Zephyr lodge on Wednesday afternoon which was pretty high up in the hills and overlooked the river. Definatley the best hostel we have been in so far. We didn´t get up to much in the afternoon, just relaxed and recovered from our ball aching journey ready for tubing on Thursday.
Thursday we took to the river to go tubing, beers in hand and ready for a few hours floating down the rapids. We set off about 12.30 in the back of a pick up truck with 12 of us onboard on the side of a mountain road and headed up the river. We jumped on our tubes and off we went, tucking in to a nice can of Dorada Ice. After cracking open the first beer Dieter from the Hostel who is our host for the afternoon decides to tell us we cannot pee in the river because we will get some small fish swim up our streams and into out bladders which requires surgery to get them out. There is a slight look of panic amongst all the lads who know it is bloody hard to drink beer for 2 hours without breaking the seal! After half hour or so Dieter comes clean much to his own amusement and tells us he is lying the little shit, to which he recieves a good barrage of abuse that I will not repeat. There then seems to be a look of relief amongst all the guys and coincidentally the water appears to warm up, must have been in a patch of sunlight. So off we float down the river beers in hand relaxing in the sunshine and then all of a sudden boom, my arse takes a pounding on a rock (glad it was only a rock and nothing else) leaving me with a nice bruise and looking like a slight retard everytime I go to sit down. We left the river slightly less balanced on our feet than when we started, must have been the sunshine, and went back to the hostel. There was a party going on that evening so we took the opportunity to punish dieter in alcohol form. Our mission was successful, he was being sick the next morning haha! As was Will but he took the opportunity to blame the malaria pills or the BBQ from the night before, very sensible excuse! So as a result of Thursday night Friday was a day of rest and recovery.
Saturday we went to the caves and natural pools at chemuc shampey and started the day off by throwing ourselves off a rope swing into the river. This was the first of many near death experiences. Me and Oli displayed pretty much perfect water entry technique, Will decided to add in a bit of belly slap to spice up the entertainment. We then entered the water caves, candles in hand and with a mentally insane guide. Health and safety did not exist in this place and we found ourselves climbing up dodgy ladders and waterfalls before being thrown through tiny gaps into dark pools. We survived though and came through the otherside with minor cuts and bruises to add to my arse bruise. We weren't finished there though. Next up was a 12m bridge jump into the river, or 10m if you are a girl like Oli. Got a bit of arse slap on the water but nothing major although it did sting like buggery. We then took a hike to the pools where we were thrown down waterfall slides and swam behind the rocks of the waterfall. Yet more brusing for my bum! All in all though it was a great day and we managed to come away in one piece.
On Sunday we hit the road and took an 8 hour shuttle bus to Antigua. Totally different to Lanquin which was in the middle of nowhere, Antigua is a city with a bit more going on. We checked in at jungle party hostel (what a shit name) and then sat on our fat arses for the rest of the evening, or in my case bruised arse. Monday was football day, city v utd and in the pre match build I took great pleasure in winding Will up about how utd were going to lose. I was right haha, he was not happy and threatend my life on a few occassions LOL! We then wandered off down the market to find some food before walking past a McDonalds. Much to my surprise fast food king Will said we were not allowed one as it was not authentic cuisine, then 100 yards down the road the hypocrit goes and buys pizza. Me and Oli were livid and turned straight round and went back for a big mac. I was very impressed by the quality, Maccy D's never fails me and it was only 3 quid. Bloody bargain! We popped out that evening to another hostel for some drinks with Brock and Tom, two aussie lads we met in Belieze and again in Lanquin before heading to a bar called rickies. Not really sure if it was a bar or crack den, but nonetheless it served beer so happy days. This was also the place where Oli found his true self, salsa-ing the night away with his new found friend, I can't remember his name though, think it may have been Pedro. Oli later claimed he was fooled by the fact this guy was dancing with a girl earlier on and was only after a bit of advice on his two step!
On Tuesday we went on a hike up the Volcano which overlooks Antigua, I knew there was a good reason why I bought my 6 pound plimsoles from Primani. They have served me well so far, two treks and three visits around Mayan ruins and only parts of the stitching is coming undone. We trekked for three hours in the afternoon to the top where we were rewarded with toasted volcanic marshmallows. Very nice! The views down the Volcano weren't great as it was cloudy but it was still incredible at the top, all black and misty, thought for a minute I was in Lord of the Rings. Then I looked at the rest of the group and some of them did resemble orks, had to pinch myself for a second! Bloody knackered at the end of it but well worth the trip.
It's now Wednesday exactly a month into our trip and it is flying by. Got to go now, half hour until Spurs kick off, no chance I am missing a game given the opportunity!