Day 7 - Santa Cruz


I love this place. I think it's been my favourite so far. Not the town, but the view and this hotel. Great!
La Iguana Perdida

I love how they do dinner here. It's family style. You sign up by 3pm, they make enough for however many signed up, and then you all sit around a long table, share food and good conversation. This was how I met 3 of the other girls staying here. Sunny (her name is actually longer but hard to say so everyone was calling her this or Sun) is from Switzerland and travelling around Central America. Orla is from England and is studying in Mexico but on a small break so travelling Guatemala. Lacy is from Washington, DC and is a teacher in Costa Rica. She's also on a small break and is therefore travelling. Orla and Sun both left this morning but Lacy is staying tonight as well and then we're actually gonna travel together to Cobán. My original plan was to do Tikal (way up North) first and then do Cobán on the way back down but it actually makes more sense after looking at road maps to do Cobán first. Plus now I have a travel buddy for a few days! We're gonna attempt the chicken buses to Cobán tomorrow. Should get there before dark.

So after an amazing dinner of homemade pizza, salad, veggies, lemon tart, and tea (all for about $7) we sat around and chatted for a long while. We didn't get to bed until after 11. Really nice night.

This morning I woke up, had breakfast (awesome omlette with toasted homemade bread), and then got ready for the dive.

It was different. That's how we'll put it. The lake's altitude sits at 1560m.
You'd never have guessed that I already have 26 dives under my belt the way that it was going to start.
I lost a flipper (weird strap on ones) before we even started but my instructor recovered it. I then tried to decend and had a horrible time getting down. You're lighter in fresh water, except that the VERY THICK wet suit made me puff up like a marshmellow and I couldn't descend. We had to add more weight to my belt (which was so hard to take off and put back on while IN the water.
We finally got started and did a full 40 min dive but I was in a bit of a panic to start. Buoyancy is so much harder to control with just your breath. I found myself using my BCD a whole lot more. The visability was horrible... about 3-4 meters. It was so hard to see anything. It just looked like a whole lot of green water. I guess this is what lake diving is like? There were a few fish and some cool volcanic rock I suppose, but nothing spectacular. The coolest part was at the end, seeing the bubbles coming from the mud (which meant it was warm there) and then plunging our hands into the hot volcanic mud. That was probably the only really cool part about the dive.

Andy (instructor) and I got lunch and filled out my log book. 27 dives now. YAY! I then walked up to the town of Santa Cruz La Laguna. It was about a 20 min hike up the mountain (note to self: need to hike more to get into shape) and then I got some great pictures from up there. The town itself wasn't much... just a couple schools and lots of houses.

The rest of the day I plan to lay out on the patio (on the REALLY comfy couch) and read my book. Just relax, shower, then dinner. This place really is a great place to just chill. There's a sauna even too. May have to check that out later.

So tomorrow is a full day of travel to Cobán with Lacy. Next is a day trip to Semuc Champey if everything goes well.

Hope all is well at home. Miss you all.

Additional photos below
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3rd July 2007

Hi Sarah
You finally got a taste of what is like to dive here in Canada. Most of the diving here, in the Niagara area anyway, is exactly like you discribed. Enjoy all the good diving while you can. There are some good spots around our area, but they are few and far between. See you when you get home. Love you, Uncle Wayne
3rd July 2007

have fun
Note to self - try to get Sarah to run with me to get her in shape for hiking -lol! Glad you have a travelling buddy for a few days - enjoying all your blog entries - what a great experience! Love Mom
3rd July 2007

Sarah...sounds like you are having an incredible time! Thanks for keeping us updated on your very interesting travels. Looking forward to pictures when you get back.

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