Published: January 18th 2015
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We travelled from Panajachel back to Antigua for a night as we found that all the shuttles to Lanquin went through Antigua so decided to break up the journey.

It was great returning to a familiar place and being able to revisit our favourite haunts including the sweet shop and the bakery for some banana bread.

Our shuttle to Lanquin was supposed to pick us up at 8am but it didn't arrive until about 8:30am. We then continued to drive around Antigua picking up other passengers for the next hour.

At our final pickup in Antigua the driver said to use the toilet as it would be three hours until the next one. Unfortunately things didn't go to plan as there was a road block which we sat in for nearly an hour and a half. Once the road block was cleared and traffic finally started to move it was at an incredibly slow speed due to the backlog.

We finally got to our toilet stop around 3pm and quickly grabbed some lunch before we continued on our way. The driver advised us it was going to be about another 3 hours to Conan assuming no more road blocks. Unfortunately this assumption was incorrect as we hit another road block where we sat for about an hour. We finally made it to Conan around 7pm, sadly for us we still had another two hours to drive. By the time we finally arrived our 8 hour trip had taken us 13 hours.

We were met at the bus stop by someone from the hostel and were shown to our accommodation. We had an early night with no dinner as the kitchen was closed by the time we arrived.

We signed up for the Semuc Champey tour the next day. The tour began with a ride in the back of a truck to Kan'Ba Caves. We explored the caves with candles, had our faces painted by the guides, climbed ladders, jumped off ledges, and walked under and climbed waterfalls. Once we were out of the caves it was time for the rope swing into the river before the short walk upstream to the bottom of the waterfall under Semuc Champey. It was an easy ride back downstream in our giant tubes with the local children throwing beer at us from the river bank to make sure we bought from them and not someone else. Before lunch Gary joined some of the local boys in jumping off the bridge while I watched.

After lunch we walked up to the Semuc Champey lookout point which had fantastic views of the pools below that we were about to swim in and explore.

We enjoyed a few minutes swimming in the pools before the guide arrived and took us exploring around the pools. We were sliding down from one pool to the next, jumping off rocks, exploring an underwater cave with an air pocket, before climbing back up which didn't go so well for me as I slipped and fell back into the lower pool. I didn't do any major damage and managed to climb up on my second attempt by avoiding the slippery foot hold.

In the evening we joined the shared meal and enjoyed a few drinks while chatting with some of our new friends.

The next day we had a quiet morning and after lunch went tubing on the Lanquin river which went past the front of the hostel. It was lots of fun going through the rapids but I found the water rather cold so tried to stay as high on my tyre as possible.

We left Lanquin for Rio Dulce hoping to avoid any roadblocks.

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