LONG Drive

Published: January 11th 2018
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Another early wakeup wasn’t great, neither was navigating both backpacks down the ridiculously steep stairs from our dorm room, the bottom of my pack would hit on the stair above me and I had no room from sides to move. I had had two days to mentally prepare for bringing it down though, and in all honesty I need that time (maybe one more day), not kidding it was a 3-4 minute process. After breaky we all loaded our backpacks into one ute and bodies into the other all the way down to the busses. It was totally unorganised chaos, five hostels with Utes full of people, 6 busses going to different places, none of which bothered to advertise their destination, bus drivers shouting at everyone and cars trying to drive along the road. We found our bus, loaded our bags on then found out that despite being told at the hostel last night that the ticket included the boat to San Pedro from Panajachel (and confirming it with them no less than 10 times) it was not included. The driver from the hostel was a complete dick about it and refused to ring the hostel or offer any explanation or compensation. Bitter, we got on the already full bus, took the only two (crappy) seats left and started our never-ending journey. To be fair, we got to Macca’s really quickly, but that may be in part due to my killer playlist. A quick toilet and supermarket stop and the bus went SO FING SLOWLY. We were told we’d arrive at 4:30, in time for the 5pm boat. But it was quickly evident that wasn’t going to happen. At one point I woke just as we were crossing a crappy metal bridge and then the driver stopped and oh my god I wasn't even sure whether it was my worst nightmare or real life! Our next stop was over 4 hours later!!! On crappy seats, windy roads, small bladders and four hours until the next stop?? We pulled up to a shitty servo that offered overpriced cheese/meat tacos so I just got the still $4 “golden potatoes”. I watched Simone be prepared his cheese taco (thick slice of cheese between two tortillas, so not great) then get told to go to a small table for salads. A few minutes later I was presented with a plate and also directed to the table. There was a plate of tomato, onion and cucumber, small bowl of beans, 3 or 4 3cm long cooked potatoes and a lump of rice. I took a bit, ate it but my spuds were no where to be seen. I finally asked someone and was just pointed back to the table, told that they were the potatoes I’d ordered! And there weren’t even any left!!!!! I’ve never had and hope I never have a more disappointing meal in my life. Wtf did I even pay for. Another Aussie we met in Flores (stayed at a different hostel in Lanquin but also on our bus) was in the same boat, ordered beans and got nothing. Absolute bullshit. Still hungry, we all loaded back onto the bus for what happened to be the last time - this driver is not a fan of stops! We made it to Panajachel at 7:55 a whole 12 hours after leaving! And only two stops! At one point we actually managed an entire 3km in an hour. There was a boat waiting for us but for 40Q (meant to be 25Q) but with no choice and having gone the last three hours not knowing whether we’d even be able to get to San Pedro tonight we took it. It was bloody bumpy, absolutely, completely rough, two people were sick (we had also just come out of windy, windy roads).

Thankfully, our hostel was 30m from the dock, a God send after spending that long in transit, and also after seeing how steep the hill in front of us was (that we didn’t need to climb). We also managed to find a delicious dinner right next door, dough filled with veggies and topped with hot sauce, SWEET CORN and cabbage. And eating across the road? Our Swiss friends! We planned to go to their hostels bar afterwards but we couldn’t enter with our beers and it was completely empty so we somehow found ourselves at a techno club. Not my place. EVERYONE had taken something and was in such a trance, I think they were 90% Israelis, 100% drugged up, 80% drunk 100% had no idea of their surroundings. Not wanting to be rude to the Swiss guys Simone forced me to stay an hour (everything closes at 11 anyway) and bought 1L bottle of beer to get us through. By 10:40 even he couldn’t do it anymore and we left.


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