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Published: August 11th 2008
Hotel "Jardin de la Selva"
Its amazing what a couple of quid can get you these days!
After leaving Flores, I've taken a slight diversion and, instead of heading directly to Tikal, I've stopped for the night in a small village on the NW side of the lake, called El Remate. It's a small village that extends along the lakeshore and is about a 20 minute minibus trip from the terminal in Santa Elena (you can get there easily enough by catching a Tuk Tuk from Flores).
An easy going village, El Remate continues down a left-hand fork in the road (the other leading to Tikal), and although you pass a hotel on the left hand side near the junction, stay on the bus to find more variety and slightly cheaper accomodation. If you do get off the bus here (as I did) don't worry; there's a nice footpath lined with trees that runs parellel to the road and parts of it are on the shoreline too, and it'll take roughly 20 minutes to get to a hotel.
Mine for the night was a stunner: Hotel "Jardin de la Selva" with a resteraunt "casa de Ernesto" in the grounds as well. For Q40 (about £2.40 or $4), I stayed in a small bungalow with a thatched roof, doublt
Hotel "Jardin de la Selva"
complete with straw wolf. No wolves around thankfully.
bed and a fan. The only drawback seemed to be that the lock didn't work from the outside, though since I was the only guest there, there was no problem. Just across the road are a series of thatched huts, where you can lounge about for a bit, go for a swim or hire canoes. Around 6pm though, I was captivatyed by one of the finest sunsets I've seen whilst I've been here - the sun drops behind a large hill, turning the sky into a myriad of golds, reds, blues and purples. Guatemala is often called "la alma de la tierra" - "the soul of the earth" and after seeing that sunset, I can understand why.
I've also only just worked out that I can use different setings on my camera to take some grand photos, so you'll probebly notice a ridiculous number of those in this entry!
That evening, I decided to head down the road to look for a resteraunt. The next hotel along, "Mon Ami" is, as you may guess, a french owned hotel, but they do very good guatemalan cuisine too. There, I met a few french travellers along with some english and we spent
the evening chatting and drinking Cuba Libres.
In the morning, I had a nice leisurly bstart with a glass of freshly squeezed pineapple juice, before, I decided to head down towards the crossroads at the southern side of the village to have a look at the artisan work there. El Remate, and the region generally, is famous for it's wood carvings, which are a kaleidascope of colours in themselves, filled with natural patterns in the grain. Afterwards, I collected my things from the hotel and set off up the main road to catch a bus for my last, and surely one of the most impressive, stop, the Mayan ruins of Tikal.
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